When many teams around MLB contact the Los Angeles Dodgers front office about the possibility of a prospective trade, the first player usually brought up in any conversation is outfielder Matt Kemp.
In the weeks prior to the trade deadline last season, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was adamant that Kemp wasn't available for trade, but that didn't stop other teams from inquiring. It could be a different story this year. Kemp's current contract expires at the end of this season, and owner Frank McCourt may very well base the decision to retain Kemp on his production during the first half of the 2011 campaign.
If Kemp isn't extended for more than two years, he will become a free agent for the first time after the 2013 season. Considering he will earn $6.95 million this year, his salary demands could easily reach eight figures as he enters his final year of pre-arbitration.
Like many of his teammates, Kemp's 2010 statistics saw a significant decline from his Silver Slugger and Gold Glove year in 2009. Despite the fall in production, we already examined why many expect Kemp to significantly improve in 2011 here.
The following slides show seven teams that may pursue Matt Kemp in the months leading to the 2011 trade deadline, and even if the Dodgers decide that Kemp's best future is in Los Angeles, Colletti will once again find himself in a position of entertaining dozens of phone calls before July 31.