Your daily Matt Kemp roundup.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp could officially become a San Diego Padre tomorrow. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported today that Matt Kemp will take his physical with the Padres tomorrow, which is one of the first hurdles to finalizing the chain of events that will formally transform the Dodgers’ roster this week.

Once Kemp’s physical is complete, the Padres can send prospect Zach Eflin to the Dodgers, who can then send Eflin to Philadelphia to complete the Jimmy Rollins trade — barring any other hold-ups. Because the Phillies are sending cash to the Dodgers for Rollins (and the Dodgers are sending cash to the Padres for Kemp), the commissioner’s office needs to approve both trades.

It could be that the cash is the only thing keeping the Dodgers’ four-year, $48 million contract with pitcher Brandon McCarthy from becoming official. Judging by his new Twitter avatar, McCarthy sees no need to wait to change teams.

One more link to pass along: Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com offers an analytical breakdown of the Kemp trade, which might be needed if you’re a fan ready to jump off the ledge (and a wholly unnecessary read if you’ve already jumped off).

Cole Hamels and the Dodgers: 10 things you need to know.

Cole Hamels

Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has been linked to the Dodgers in trade rumors. (Getty Images)

A lot of people are wondering about Cole Hamels and the Dodgers today.

A lot of people were wondering about Jon Lester and the Dodgers a week ago, so I wrote this. In hindsight, there was probably more smoke than fire around that rumor. That appears to be the case again with Hamels. Here are some reasons why, and some other things to know about the 30-year-old lefty:

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You might as well laugh: Day 3 of the Winter Meetings, for anyone who missed it.

True story: My wife and I share a birthday. Same exact date, three hours apart to the minute.

Wednesday was our birthday. We didn’t get to spend the day together last year. This year, a simple dinner would do. So I told my editor months ago that I was booking a three-night stay at the Winter Meetings hotel, then taking off Wednesday night. Play it by ear Thursday.

I pulled out of San Diego with the Jimmy Rollins trade still simmering, not looking like it would be resolved Wednesday, and Dee Gordon and Dan Haren firmly about to become Marlins. Checked with sources, felt good about the story, filed it at a Starbucks in Temecula, barely caught wind of the Brandon McCarthy signing before I turned off my iPhone. Because no good husband would constantly check his iPhone looking at sports news or doing work stuff during the birthday dinner.

Heh.

In case you missed it, this is how possibly the greatest one-day roster makeover in the history of the Dodgers franchise unfolded:
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Reports: Dodgers, Brandon McCarthy closing in on 4-year deal.

The Dodgers and free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy have agreed to terms on a four-year contract, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The 31-year-old is 52-65 in nine major-league seasons with the White Sox, Rangers, A’s, Diamondbacks, and Yankees.

While not a star, McCarthy would boost a starting rotation that was down to three after the Dodgers traded Dan Haren to Miami on Wednesday. That trade is not official yet, but signing McCarthy is a strong indication that the Dodgers are seeking immediate help.

Reports: Dodgers to acquire Jimmy Rollins from Philadelphia Phillies.

Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins has more hits than any player in Philadelphia Phillies history (2,306). (Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers have acquired shortstop Jimmy Rollins, from the Philadelphia Phillies, a baseball source confirmed. Buster Olney of ESPN.com wasfirst with the news.

The Dodgers had been pursuing multiple deals to acquire a shortstop who would not be bound to a long-term contract. Rollins, 36, whose contract expires after the 2015 season, certainly fits that bill. Although he had the right to veto any trade because of his service time in Philadelphia, he apparently had no problem coming to Los Angeles.

It is unknown at this time who the Dodgers would be giving up to acquire Rollins, or if a third or fourth team is involved.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday that 20-year-old prospect Corey Seager is expected to be in the team’s major league camp during spring training. But his chances of being the Dodgers’ Opening Day shortstop were slim.

“When you have a guy like Corey (Seager) — we’re not going into the season expecting him to contribute,” Zaidi said. “If he works his way into the lineup, great. We’re not expecting him to contribute. The guys that we’re looking at are all in the kind of timeframe where we’re comfortable if they’re a good fit this year.

“We value positional versatility too. So guys that aren’t only shortstops can move around the infield and accommodate Seager a year from now or whatever, I think guys like that will be of value to us as well.”

Rollins has played 18,080 innings at shortstop in a 15-year career and one-third of an inning at second base. He has 2,306 career hits — most in Phillies history — including 216 home runs and 453 stolen bases. In 2014, playing at the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, Rollins batted .243 with 17 home runs and 28 stolen bases.

The trade would be the Dodgers’ first major deal under new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who previously acquired veteran reliever Joel Peralta from the Tampa Bay Rays in November.

On Corey Seager and the Dodgers’ pursuit of a shortstop.

Corey Seager

Corey Seager is expected to be in the Dodgers’ major-league camp when spring training begins. (Staff photo)


SAN DIEGO — I touched on the Dodgers’ pursuit of a shortstop in today’s Winter Meetings notebook, but general manager Farhan Zaidi offered more to say than I had room in print.

So, about Hanley Ramirez’s replacement …
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Andrew Friedman on Ryan Lavarnway and multi-position threats.

After day one of the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers’ last transaction remains the non-blockbuster Ryan Lavarnway signing.

Lavarnway came up as a catcher but bounced around last season. All of his 24 major-league innings last season came at first base. He’ll be bouncing again in 2015, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday: “He’ll catch some, play some at first, and right handed bat (off the bench).”
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Report: Andrew Miller didn’t want to sign with a West Coast team.

Andrew Miller, the top left-handed relief pitcher on the free agent market, signed a four-year contract with the Yankees today worth a reported $36 million.

Miller has been linked to the Dodgers a couple times — once at the last trade deadline, before he was ultimately traded to Baltimore, and again during the free agency period.

However, Miller reportedly never wanted to sign with a West Coast team, apparently leaving more money on the table to stay on the East Coast. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, Miller signed with the Yankees for reasons beyond the money:

In the total package, there were things that the Yankees could offer me that no one else could. I live in Tampa (where the Yankees train). That’s two months at home that I don’t have otherwise.

In hindsight, the Dodgers’ best chance to land Miller would have been via trade. Even then, he might have been impossible to re-sign and the Dodgers might have sacrificed a top prospect for a rental pitcher in the playoffs.

Given how the Dodgers’ bullpen struggled in the NLDS against St. Louis, would that have been a bad thing?

Jon Lester and the Dodgers: 10 things you need to know.

Jon Lester

Jon Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s. (Getty Images)

Jon Lester is arguably the best left-handed pitcher on the free agent market. Wednesday, it was revealed that the Dodgers might enter an escalating bidding war for his services (according to reports here, here, here, here and here).

Here’s what you need to know as of Thursday morning:

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Report: The Phillies want Corey Seager or Joc Pederson for Cole Hamels.

Cole Hamels Dodgers

Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has four years remaining on his contract. (Getty Images)

If the Dodgers want to acquire Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, as has been rumored, it will reportedly cost them one of their top position-player prospects.

The Dodgers would prefer to keep shortstop Corey Seager and center fielder Joc Pederson, according to FoxSports.com, which would make a play for Hamels unlikely.

Hamels, who is from San Diego, cannot contractually block a trade to the Dodgers according to the report.

The Phillies are attempting to rebuild their expensive, aging roster, making them less interested in a veteran outfielder (Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford or Matt Kemp) than teams in “win-now mode.” Hence their interest in the Dodgers’ prospects.

Hamels, who turns 31 on December 27, ranks sixth among active pitchers with a 3.27 ERA and second with a 1.142 WHIP. He finished sixth in 2014 Cy Young Award balloting after going 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts.