The start of the MLB season is still months away, but rumors surrounding some of the biggest stars are already getting chaotic. No player is safe during the winter meetings, including some of the most notable names for franchises.

Two of the most heralded players on the market are Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. The two sluggers have lit up the West Coast and East Coast, respectively, and might be on the move during the offseason.

Whether it’s during the winter meetings or after, myriad players will be relocating ahead of the 2015 season. Here’s a look at the latest rumors coming out of San Diego.


Matt Kemp

Even a great end to the 2014 season hasn’t saved Kemp from being involved in trade rumors.

The two-time All-Star outfielder was riddled with injuries during 2013, but he bounced back last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Finishing at .287/.346/.506 with 25 home runs and 89 RBI, Kemp has become a hot commodity.

While several teams were initially looking to land the power hitter, just one remains in the hunt. Jon Heyman of and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the latest on the San Diego Padres’ interest in Kemp:

If there’s one thing the Padres lineup lacks, it’s pop. Kemp would immediately bring that to the middle of the order. In fact, he had more homers last season (25) than the entire projected outfield for San Diego of Seth Smith, Will Venable and Carlos Quentin (24).

Making this trade also seems like a win-win for L.A. as well with a loaded outfield already in Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Either. It also leaves a spot for Joc Pederson, who finished last season with 33 homers with Triple-A Albuquerque.

If the Dodgers get an impressive package back, they would have even more assets to add to Pederson. For the Padres, the franchise would be able to insert a key bat into the lineup and add a superstar—who is still only 30 years old—to the roster.


Justin Upton

Jason Heyward might not be the only notable name leaving the Atlanta Braves this offseason. Upton’s name has been in rumors for a while now, but it appears talks are heating up at the winter meetings.

However, the haul that the Braves received for Heyward might not be matched by other teams interested in Upton. Heyman, who’s been a busy man during the meetings, has the latest on Upton:

The Braves believe they should get more for Justin Upton than they got from the Cardinals for Jason Heyward.

Rival executives agree with that. Upton, due to better power and overall offense, is worth more than Heyward.

But here’s the problem: Executives also believe the Braves got too much for Heyward, a defensive specialist whose offensive numbers are declining a bit. They see young pitcher Shelby Miller as an overpay, so no one wants to do better than that yet.

Heyman goes on to mention that the Seattle Mariners were reluctant to trade Taijuan Walker, who might be a comparable asset for Upton. Given the slugger’s talent, getting a great prospect in return seems like the only way he’s leaving Atlanta.

After hitting 29 homers and 102 RBI last year, the Braves should get a huge return for him on the market. However, finding a partner willing to pull the trigger might make this deal wait until desperation sets in ahead of the trade deadline.


Marlon Byrd

On a slightly smaller scale, Marlon Byrd has put up similar numbers to both of the previously mentioned players. Being with the Philadelphia Phillies, however, has kept him out of the spotlight recently.

With the Phillies potentially looking to trade quite a few assets, Byrd has been a popular name. Rosenthal passes along the latest on Byrd’s likely destination if he’s moved:

When looking at the numbers, Byrd had a great season last year with a .264 average, 25 homers and 85 RBI. However, being 37 years old might cause some drawback for teams looking to build a franchise for the future.

For a team like the Baltimore Orioles, they have a huge hole to fill after losing both Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz to free agency. Landing in Baltimore seems like a perfect fit, but there are several other contending teams that might inquire about the slugger.


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