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Could one big Dodgers trade lead to another?

12/9/2013

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Could the Los Angeles Dodgers acquire David Price by trading Matt Kemp?

Of course, we’re not talking about a one-for-one trade. The Tampa Bay Rays are willing to trade their Cy Young-caliber left-hander, according to myriad reports, because they can’t afford to pay him as he nears arbitration. Kemp will make $128 million over the next six years. No-go, right?

But that doesn’t mean the sides couldn’t eventually line up for a deal, provided the Dodgers can get a nice return on Kemp or Andre Ethier, who are considered their two outfielders most likely to be traded.

The Dodgers’ farm system is thin, particularly at the upper levels, where teams like the Rays -- frugal but competitive -- will be looking for players. The Dodgers are hoping to hold on to most of their prospects -- guys like infielder Corey Seager, outfielder Joc Pederson and pitchers Zach Lee and Julio Urias -- and aren’t interested in shipping out a big package of young talent, even for a player like Price.

But what if they could land a couple of well-regarded prospects for Kemp or Ethier and then use those players to land Price? It could be either part of a three-team trade or two separate transactions. It’s probably something the team has considered. To get higher-end prospects, the Dodgers likely would have to absorb more of either outfielder's salary, but that shouldn’t be a problem as the Dodgers embark on their new multibillion-dollar TV deal.

The Dodgers have fielded plenty of calls on all their outfielders. Eventually, those calls could turn into face-to-face meetings and then, according to general manager Ned Colletti, “we’ll see where it goes.” There's no reason it couldn't then turn into a different conversation.