Matt Kemp rumors: Slugger expected to be ready for Opening Day

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Kemp might not see much action in spring training, but the Dodgers expect him to be on the field for the season opener.

Dodgers' center fielder Matt Kemp is expected to be ready for the team's season opener in Australia, according to general manager Ned Colletti (via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times).

Kemp had a protective boot removed from his left ankle, and has been slowly working toward resuming baseball activities. The 29-year-old also had shoulder surgery this offseason.

Despite being the subject of many trade rumors this winter, Kemp will not be traded, according to his agent Dave Stewart. Earlier in the offseason, Stewart said he be "surprised" if Kemp wasn't traded, but after talking with Colletti, he appears to be convinced that his client will remain a Dodger.

After his second-place finish in 2011 NL MVP balloting, the Dodgers extended Kemp through 2019 on an eight-year, $160 million deal. He has struggled to stay on the field since, appearing in just 179 games over the last two seasons. In 2013, injuries limited his performance as well. He finished the season with a .270/.328/.395 batting line, which isn't terrible compared to the major league average for center fielders, but it's a far cry from the .324/.399/.586 line he posted in 2011.

Now that Kemp is healthy and can put this winter's trade rumors behind him, he can focus on getting back in shape for the 2014 season. The Dodgers will face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Mach 20th in Sydney, Australia.

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