Andrew Friedman said he'd deal inside the NL West

SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers wouldn't hesitate to make a deal with a team inside their division, according to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

That sentiment adds credence to recent rumors involving the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks trying to acquire the Dodgers' outfielders.

"For me, there are 29 other trade outlets, and to cut off four of them makes our job even more difficult," Friedman said. "It just makes it even more difficult to line up and do deals that make sense."

Friedman, in fact, said he wouldn't necessarily require division rivals to pay a higher premium for Dodgers players than he would teams from other divisions or in the American League.

Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said at the winter meetings Monday that his team discussed a deal that would have brought Andre Ethier to Arizona (his home state) and netted the Dodgers catcher Miguel Montero.

Friedman wouldn't confirm those talks, but he said he understands Ethier's desire to play every day.

"I'd feel the same way if I were him," Friedman said.

La Russa said it's "less likely" such a deal gets done now, but he didn't rule it out.

Meanwhile, the Padres continue to be linked in rumors involving Matt Kemp. A report in USA Today indicated the teams have discussed a deal involving Kemp and catcher Yasmani Grandal -- a switch-hitter who hit 15 home runs last season.

Dealing Kemp, in conjunction with having lost Hanley Ramirez to the Boston Red Sox, could create a massive hole in the middle of the Dodgers' lineup. Kemp led the Dodgers in slugging, and Ramirez was fourth in that category. One major league scout wondered, "Who would protect Adrian [Gonzalez]?"

To give up Kemp, the Dodgers would likely need to receive premium major league talent in return, but Friedman said it wouldn't necessarily require a middle-of-the-order bat to give one up. The Dodgers could simply go all-in on their pitching.

"Generally speaking, our ability to score runs is so intertwined with our ability to prevent them, there's a connection there," Friedman said. "I'd be OK if we gave up 100 runs if we scored 200, to go to the extreme example."