Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Rumors: Jose Bautista Deal An Option With Superstars Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez On DL?

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May 31, 2013 12:28 PM EDT
Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp
Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp (R) celebrates with A.J. Ellis after scoring on an RBI single hit by Adrian Gonzalez against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Los Angeles, California May 15."

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not gotten off to the start they imagined when they traded for high priced talent like Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford last year and after signing Zack Greinke, the team is just 22-30 a third of the way through the season.

Making matters even tougher, the team has now placed outfielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list after he strained his hamstring on Thursday. Kemp has dealt with hamstring issues in the past, including last year when he missed over 50 games and now the team will have to deal with life without him for a little while. Kemp said that he didn't want to re-aggravate the injury like he did last year and that he hopes to be fully healthy with no issues when he comes off.

Kemp signed an eight-year, $160 million deal with the team and after being an MVP candidate before last year, he hurt himself while going after a double by Mike Trout as the team played the Angels in their rivalry series. Kemp has struggled at the plate and he is hitting .251 on the year with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 51 games and he has struck out over 50 times over the past 190 at bats after dealing with shoulder surgery.

Kemp has been on a slump with 10 strikeouts in his last 17 at-bats and he now will get some rest on the DL and manager Don Mattingly said that there is a chance he could come off sooner than expected. The team will bring in Tony Gwynn Jr. from Triple-A to take his place, while they also have Andre Ethier to use. The Dodgers have struggled on offense this year with Hanley Ramirez also on the DL, as they rank 29th in the league in runs scored and 29th in slugging percentage.

Many felt that the Dodgers had the chance to be World Series contenders after signing Greinke and trading for the players last season, the team has been a disappointment. Gonzalez is leading the team in hitting, home runs, RBIs and OPS, but without Kemp in the lineup the team has struggled. The team is dealing with a number of injuries, including to Josh Beckett, Kemp, Ramirez, Nick Punto and AJ Ellis and since they are 7.5 games behind the Diamondbacks, they could look to make a move at the deadline.

The Dodgers have money behind them with the new ownership group and as shown last year they are not afraid to make a move and according to Bleacher Report the team could go after a high priced player. One option could be for slugger Jose Bautista, as the Blue Jays have not played well at all after making moves of their own and after he signed a five-year, $64 million contract extension a couple years ago he could be a prime target. The 32-year-old is in his prime and he has been swinging the bat well over the past few years and the Blue Jays still have Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Reyes when he returns from injury, so they wouldn't suffer that much depending on what they got back. Both teams have struggled and another trade could be what wakes them up this summer.

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