Padres unite Ian Kennedy, Carlos Quentin in trade with Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers haven’t completed any trades this morning, and don’t appear to be close on any either. They have had some interest in making trades within their division, but that’s a difficult proposition. Especially when you’re in first place, the rest of the division trying to knock you off your perch.

That didn’t stop the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres from pulling off a rare intradivision swap Wednesday morning. The Padres receive starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, while the Diamondbacks receive relief pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor-leaguer Matt Stites and a draft pick.

The trade unites Kennedy and outfielder Carlos Quentin in San Diego, the two players responsible for inciting benches-clearing brawls with the Dodgers this season.

Daily Distractions: Contemplating Kershaw contracts; Dodgers-Yankees; Yasiel Puig.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is looking for a lot of money in his contract extension. But we knew that already, right? (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are talking about a contract extension. One side or both might be getting antsy.

At least, that’s often the case when the terms of a deal are leaked to the media: To achieve something that negotiation cannot.

Kershaw said the leak came from the Dodgers’ camp, not his. Regardless, there’s not a whole lot we can read into the reports on CBSsports.com and FoxSports.com, mainly because the two stories differ on the dollar amounts being discussed and the likelihood of a deal happening in the near future.

If — and this is a fairly big if — Kershaw is seeking “about $225 million,” as CBSsports.com reports, he probably wouldn’t prefer the 10-year or 12-year contract structures mentioned on FoxSports.com, which would almost certainly lock in Kershaw to a longer term than he’s seeking. Those terms were more likely to have been proposed by the Dodgers. Again, this assumes the two reports are both drawing their separate information from reliable sources.

Is it wise to invest 12 years in a 25-year-old pitcher who has already thrown more than 1,000 major-league innings? In any player?

These are legitimate questions here. The Dodgers have probably asked them internally. At some point, we might discover what conclusion they reach. Does Kershaw think he’s worth 12 years and $300 million? Ask him yourself in about an hour.

Some bullet points for an Autistic Pride Day:

Continue reading

Daily Distractions: Taking a moment to appreciate The Brawl; nicknaming Yasiel Puig.

Mark  McGwire, Kirk  Gibson

Mark McGwire and Kirk Gibson aren’t talking about the 1988 World Series in this photo, but isn’t it fun to imagine they are? (Associated Press photo)

Like Yasiel Puig’s arrival last week, The Brawl has been a gift to the media that keeps on giving.

Accuse us of glorifying violence, I don’t care. It was a rare occasion and one that’s been examined from a lot of angles. Searching for the words in the moment, some of us in the media not typically prone to hyperbole rose to the level of hyperbole (before remembering that, no, the 1984 Braves-Padres brawl was much worse, even when it’s set to the “Benny Hill” theme song).

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com hopes The Brawl inspires baseball’s rulemakers to forbid players from leaving the benches and bullpens during a fracas. Still others couldn’t get over the number of coaches involved who filled out our baseball card collections in the 1980s. One piece exploring this topic concludes with God admonishing Ryne Sandberg. The gift that keeps on giving.

And oh, the photos.

Take a moment to appreciate it all before the MLB-induced discipline squashes the moment today.

Some bullet points for a Thursday morning:
Continue reading