Before they do, let’s review three little words: Just say no.
Why are rumors going to start? Simple. Agent Dave Stewart is doing some pre-deadline selling on behalf of his client as Kemp is not getting the playing time that he would like in the crowded outfield of the Blue Crew.
Combine that with Seattle’s need of another right-handed hitter and, voila, instant rumor. Not that hard to predict.
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Here is the problem with this possibility. It is not a great idea. If Kemp was worthy of playing time he would…wait for it…be playing more! That is the first issue.
The first issue leads into the second issue, which is the reality that Kemp is just not the player that he used to be. In 2011 he was amazing. Unreal. Video game numbers.
Unfortunately, it is 2014 and we have seen a slow decline over the last few years. His slash line in 2011 was .324/.399/.586 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI. Oh, and he stole 40 bases. 7.8 WAR. The total package.
This year, Kemp has a line of .269/.330/.430, with eight home runs, 35 RBI, five stolen bases and a -1.2 WAR. Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke has a 2.0 WAR, by the way. He might be a better acquisition with his .400 OBP.
Is Kemp still a pretty good player? Sure. Could he have a resurgence in a new environment? Possibly. He is healthier this year, but he is also owed $107 million through 2019. That, my friends, is called a serious gamble.
If the Dodgers want to sell Kemp cheap and pay the bulk of his remaining contract, then perhaps the Mariners could consider a trade. However, Los Angeles is not going to give Kemp away unless he becomes a serious problem in the near future. They will want a quality pitching prospect or two from the Mariners, and that price may be too high.
The Mariners may need another bat, but Matt Kemp is not the solution. Just say no.