Sep 20, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) during batting practice prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It May Be the Wrong Time to Trade Matt Kemp


If a World Championship takes trading my favorite player, so be it. I’m all for the team’s success, and sometimes that involves trading a favorite player whom as a fan I may have an emotional sentiment toward. If the Dodgers trade either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, I will certainly be sad and upset. They have both been long-tenured Dodgers who we have watched and rooted for over many seasons. At one time Kemp and Ethier were the deadliest one-two punch in the league, but times have changed and here we are discussing their future beyond the Dodgers.

The Dodgers may not even end up trading any of their four superstar outfielders this offseason. Last

The sight of Matt Kemp on crutches shocked Dodger fans before the 2013 postseason started. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

offseason we saw the rumors swirl, and no trades were made. The Dodgers went into Spring Training with extra pitching and an extra outfielder, and they ended up needing all of that and more. The Dodgers may begin Spring Training with Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig in order to gauge the health of CC, Dre, and especially Kemp before making a move. Even though Kemp’s health has been a liability for the past two seasons, teams are interested and calling on him this winter.

If I was a General Manager of a MLB team, I would be calling on Matt Kemp as well. In 2010 Matt Kemp was the best player in the league, and his talents still lies somewhere beneath all those bandages and casts. He is going into his third year of a eight-year $160 million contract, and by trading him now the Dodgers would be selling low on an investment that has the opportunity to recoup some of its value if Matt Kemp should bounce back and perform well. While the Dodgers would surely save on salary by not having to shell out $21 million a year on Kemp, the big question mark is what could the Dodgers gain in return on a trade involving Kemp and of what value.

Kemp only played in 73 games for the Dodgers this season at a price of about $287, 671 per game appearance. When you look at it that way, it really sinks in what a disastrous injury riddled season Kemp had in 2013. The Dodgers could very easily send him on his way and pick up perhaps a solid third baseman and prospects from a team needing a superstar in waiting who may or may not regain his superstar form next season. It’s a gamble, but some teams are willing to risk it for the upside. There’s no question that Matt Kemp is one of the best players in the game when not rolling his ankle or blowing out yet another hamstring. The injuries have really added up, and after two miserably failed seasons, Kemp is suddenly the talk of the Hot Stove season.

 

Nov 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp watches the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners and Rangers have reportedly shown interest in Matt Kemp this offseason. The Rangers just made a huge trade which brought Prince Fielder to Texas. They also picked up Shawn Tolleson off the waiver wire from the Dodgers recently. Texas is not happy with their perennial postseason choking, and trading for Matt Kemp may just put them into the favorite category to win it all. The Mariners won’t trade us Felix Hernandez, but there are some other intriguing players in their minor league system as well as Corey Seager‘s older brother Kyle who mans third base. I still see Juan Uribe being signed soon to play third for the Dodgers in 2014, but Kyle Seager plus prospects for Matt Kemp is a deal which I would listen to.

Matt Kemp said through his agent that he wants to retire as a Dodger. I, as a fan, would also love to see Matt Kemp finish a successful career in Blue which would include a World Series ring. The Bison has been one of my favorite players besides Andre Ethier over the past eight years since they both debuted, but the reality is we want a World Series victory. We do not want to knock on the door of the Fall Classic and fail to make it to that final stage again next season. I cannot see the Dodgers winning it all without a healthy Matt Kemp in center field.

The Dodgers have said that they want to go younger next season, but I seriously doubt they will be trading Matt Kemp and letting Joc Pederson man center field. Kemp is still the best center fielder in the organization besides Tony Gwynn Jr. who is now a free agent and unlikely to be re-signed with the Dodgers for next season. Matt Kemp’s future is up in the air, but instead of trading him we need to make sure he is completely healed and healthy and raring to go by March for Australia. There’s still some Bison Blasts in there somewhere, and the Dodgers need to figure out how to unleash the Beastmode again before someone else does.

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  • Jaime Rodarte Mireles

    Personaly, the whole idea of trading away your best over all player just because you have 4 starting caliber outfielders is idiotic to me. Yeah I’m a huge fan Kemp so my opinion is a bit bais. But durning the playoffs it was really obvious that the Dodgers main problem was hitting and we all know that when heathly Kemp’s a freak’n beast at the plate. Can you say the same thing about Crawford or Ethier??

    • Stacie Wheeler

      The Dodgers probably make it to the World Series or win it all if Kemp was healthy last season.

      • AaronKnuckleCurve

        yep, but he wasn’t…because he dogged it down third to home. after all these years, still making base running blunders. anyway, besides all that…he’s still got the biggest upside of anyone. I love Uribe…but he should be a back up. he’s old and empenada’d out. He wakes up for the post season. but who can we work in for him? at 3rd? and btw, any report on Bills? I saw Beckett in the dugout in the post season but not Bills.

        • Stacie Wheeler

          Last I heard about Bills is that he felt great and was on a throwing program in hopes of being ready by Opening Day. I think he’ll probably be ready mid-2014.

  • bobbybaseball

    Keep in mind that in order to move Kemp and receive top prospects in return, the Dodgers would likely need to eat a sizeable chunk of his salary, which would reduce the salary savings mentioned in this article.