Mariners Trade Rumor Series: Talking Kemp With Los Angeles Writer


Previous posts in the Mariners Trade Rumor Series: Justin Upton, Troy Tulowitzki

The Seattle Mariners are in desperate need of a right-handed bat. The Los Angeles Dodgers have four highly-paid outfielders, one of them being a power right-handed bat. It would seem that these two teams could be able to help each other out. But what it take for the Dodgers to let go of Matt Kemp?

Scott Andes, editor of Lasorda’s Lair, is here to discuss the rumors of Matt Kemp being traded.

Mariners Trade Rumor Series: Matt Kemp

Emerald City Swagger: Which Dodger OF do you think is most likely to be traded?

Lasorda’s Lair: Crawford is the most likely to be traded, if a trade is made. The Dodgers really don’t want to trade Kemp, and Yasiel Puig is not going anywhere. Andre Ethier has little to no trade value and a huge contract. Crawford seems the most logical to deal at this point, although Kemp has the most value right now. He hit 25 home runs last season and had a bounce back season.

ECS: What would it take for the Dodgers to part with Matt Kemp? 

LL: I think it would take a lot to get Matt Kemp in a trade. I’m talking about a huge blockbuster that would have to overwhelm the Dodgers into trading him. I’m talking about four or five or six high-level prospects and money changing hands. The Mariners would probably have to pick up some of his contract as well. But the Dodgers are looking for catching, relief pitching, and possibly a shortstop. Maybe if the Mariners were to offer the Dodgers a bundle, then it’s possible. But it would have to be a lot.

ECS: With five years left on his deal, how many more years is Kemp capable of playing worthy of his contract at more than $21 million in AAV?

LL: Well, I think Kemp is still in his prime, although he’s not a spring chicken anymore. Regardless, he is still very, very talented, and can still play at an all-star level probably at least for a few more years. He just turned 30. Remember, he did have a lot of injury problems that took him over two years to recover from. We’re talking about a major shoulder injury that required surgery. He nearly destroyed his ankle, and has had various hamstring injuries as well. but if he’s healthy, he’s one of the better players in Baseball.

ECS: What could be possible hitches in a trade for Kemp?

LL: I think a big hitch would be the Dodgers requiring a big return for him. Theyre going to want a lot. Another hitch would probably be his huge contract that is still on the books. If the Mariners really do want him and are willing to part with the players, then they are also going to have to be willing to pay a large portion of his contract.

ECS: Ultimately, do you see a deal getting done for Matt Kemp? And how do the Mariners compare in terms of what they have to offer compared to other teams?

LL: Probably not. The thing you have to understand is that the Dodgers really don’t want to move him. He’s a homegrown Dodger that nearly won the MVP a few years ago. He’s a great player, a fan favorite, and I still don’t see the Dodgers moving him unless they are overwhelmed with a great deal. Since they didn’t re-sign Hanley Ramirez, also losing Matt Kemp would lake a lot of right handed power out of the lineup. That would severely weaken the offense, and I would doubt they would do that. Unless Seattle or another club makes them an offer they absolutely don’t or can’t refuse.

I think the Mariners have a lot of great young talent to move in a potential deal, as good as any other club in Baseball. So I think it will come down to the Dodger’s willingness to want to move Kemp. Remember, we’ve been hearing rumors of a trade for the last two or three years now, and he’s still a Dodger. I still would be surprised if the Dodgers traded him, especially after the bounce back year he had. When all is said and done, the Dodgers have gone two seasons with six outfielders, and they could conceivably they could go another season. Media outside of Los Angeles has blown up the situation into something that it isn’t. It’s not that big of a deal, but it would take a huge deal to get Kemp. Although I don’t think that is surprising to anyone.

This post is part of a series in which ECS conducts Q&A discussions with writers who cover teams that may be potential Mariners trade partners. Look out for the fourth and final post featuring a conversation about  Yoenis Cespedes!