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As Red Sox rumors swirl, Kemp heating up

While numerous observers were dismissive about an ESPN Boston report about the Red Sox's interest in Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and the possibility that he could be part of a Jon Lester deal, the Sox have been scouting Kemp for at least the past month, according to an industry source.

The $107 million remaining on Kemp's contract would make a deal difficult to execute, and with the Dodgers playing well, GM Ned Colletti might have little interest in breaking up his outfield combination, although a healthy Kemp could well pop up on the Sox's radar again in the offseason.

Kemp snapped a 25-game homerless streak with two homers in a win over the Braves on Tuesday night and is hitting .452 with nine RBIs in his past eight games. He has raised his batting average 19 points and his OPS 58 points in barely over a week.

Making a trade problematic is Kemp's contract (he's owed roughly $118 million between now and 2019); the Dodgers would have to be willing to eat a considerable sum for the deal to make any sense for Boston to make it.

ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon writes today that Kemp's hot bat has actually made it more difficult for the Dodgers to trade him, as it might be an indication he is getting back to being the player who dominated the National League three years ago.