Matt Kemp wants Prince Fielder in L.A.
The Los Angeles Dodgers could use some offensive firepower to complement Matt Kemp in the lineup next season. One of Kemp's closest friends in the game, Prince Fielder, just so happens to be a free agent.
But no, he hasn't started recruiting him -- yet.
"I'm sure (Fielder) has had enough of baseball," Kemp joked on a conference call Thursday. "I don't know what he's got going on right now. I'm sure he's enjoying his kids and his family.
"But hopefully we can get him over here. I would love to have him here in L.A."
Whether it's Fielder or someone else, Kemp said he'd like to see the team add another big bat this offseason.
"I think more offense would definitely help us out," he said. "Last year we lost a lot of close games. One-run games, two-run games, I think if we got one more big bat we'd be even more dangerous than we were (the) last two months of the season.
"If we're going to add somebody that's going to help us win, why not do it?"
Kemp was celebrating yet another award after his stellar season. So far he's won a Silver Slugger, the Hank Aaron Award as the National League's top offensive player, and a Gold Glove. The NL MVP award will be announced Nov. 22.
"I never knew until I was in MVP discussions that it took this long to wait to see who the MVP is," he joked. "It feels like a long time. My family is getting a little impatient."
In the meantime, Kemp is standing by to find out who the new owner of the Dodgers will be. He found out Frank McCourt had agreed to sell the team late Tuesday night via Twitter.
"I was a little surprised," he said. "It's an unfortunate situation for Mr. McCourt. I have nothing but respect for him. He's never steered me the wrong way. We've always had a good relationship. Just to let everybody know, I wish him the best."
Major League Baseball has said it hopes to have a new owner in place by Opening Day. That also happens to be the unofficial deadline Kemp's agent Dave Stewart has set to discuss a long-term contract extension for Kemp, who would become a free agent after next season.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told ESPNLosAngeles.com last month that he did not want to be constrained by artificial deadlines.
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Kemp seemed to agree with his agent.
"I don't know what the future holds for us, but I've told everybody ... where I want to be is in L.A. Hopefully I can stay here a long time," he said. "But like Stew said, during the season it's time to just focus on baseball. My team is the most important thing. With contract negotiations I've heard it can get kind of tough. It might be a little bit overwhelming for that person and probably with the team, too.
"I don't want to mess with the chemistry of the team or whatever is going on the clubhouse. I just want to play baseball."
In addition to complicating Kemp's contract extension talks, new ownership could mean a front office shakeup or even changes in the dugout. First-year manager Don Mattingly earned high marks for his steadying influence during a tumultuous season. The Dodgers finished 81-79 with a strong finish in September.
Kemp said he hoped new ownership would give credence to that.
"I don't think there's going to be many changes as far as our team, I hope not," Kemp said. "We all worked well together. The coaching staff worked well together with us as a team. The chemistry was great. I wouldn't really switch anything up right there."
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.