Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kemp Wanted by Many Teams, But Only at the Price of Highway Robbery

Rumors of trading Matt Kemp make me nervous.

First, because it’s never a good idea to deal someone away after a lackluster or injury-plagued season.  Kemp’s value is as low as it has been since he hit an abysmal .249 in 2010 when he was in Joe Torre’s doghouse.  Word that the Red Sox would be willing to trade for Kemp if the Dodgers kicked in some money to complete the deal is absolutely absurd.  If the Sox want him that bad, they can take on all of his contract and not only deal us Xander Bogaerts, but some prime prospects as well.  Colletti really needs to not get taken if a deal for Kemp is in the works.

Matt Kemp winces in pain after severely spraining his ankle at Washing in July. (AP Photo)

Second, we saw that Kemp showed signs of his power returning as time advanced and he got further and further away from his off-season shoulder surgery.  We  heard constant references to players that had the same shoulder surgery who needed 9-10 months recovery time to come back completely.  Kemp rushed it and as a result, his numbers plummented.  If he had recovered fully and come back in June or July, he probably would have had an injury-free year and produced with consistency.  Matt’s competitiveness has proved to be his worst enemy at times, but you have to admire his tenacity and eagerness to get back in the lineup.

Third, if Kemp comes back with anything close to his 2011 season, we’ll be talking about that trade and what could have been for years.  The Dodgers have had their history of terrible trades and isn’t it time for the luck pendulum to swing in LA’s favor? A Matt Kemp at 75% of the production that he had in 2011 will be a steal and well worth the $21 million he’s to be paid for the remaining six years of his contract, especially at the inflated prices that star players are earning these days.

Fourth, do we really want to see Andre Ethier or Yasiel Puig in center field in 2014?  Ethier did suprisingly well there defensively, but his defensive deficiencies were exposed against the Cardinals in the NLCS, and it cost the Dodgers a game that could have seriously swung the momentum in the Dodgers favor had he fielded that Beltran fly ball and the Dodgers won a game in St. Louis.  With Puig, he certainly has the tools to be a center fielder, but he’s too wild out there and suceptible to errors of enthusiasm.  Who else is going to go out there?   Dee Gordon?
Kemp severely injured his shoulder while crashing into this outfield wall in August of 2012 (AP Photo)

Fifth,  Matt Kemp, believe it or not, is a major leader on this Dodger club.  His presence brings respect.   Young guys look up to him.  He hustles and he cares.  His enthusiasm and work ethic is to be admired.  I’m not ignoring his bonehead plays, such as the one where he hurt his foot in Washington in July.  Matt has a history of gaffes over his career, and he’s a tempermental sort too, but his upside far outweighs those negatives.

Colletti admits that he’s not shopping Kemp, but he’ll listen to offers.  He needs to be totally blown away with one to deal Kemp this off-season.  A healthy Matt Kemp added to the Dodger offense brings so much upside that the Dodgers will be the strongest offensive force in the league with his productive presence.  The center field piece is in place, he just needs to get healthy.  I haven’t lost my faith in Kemp.  Hopefully Ned Colletti hasn’t either.


  1. Evan, I would generally agree with you but the question has to be asked, has too much taken place this off season for a positive and productive Matt Kemp to return ? My hopes are that Ethier is the odd one out and Kemp comes back strong, but it were to be Kemp I could live with it.

  2. Gary, I guess it all depends on what is received in return. Peddling off Kemp at this low point in his career doesn't seem to be the prudent thing to do. Give us equal value if you want him. The rumors out there have teams lowballing the Dodgers AND insisting that L.A. also paying a good portion of his contract.

  3. Don't trade him, certainly not now as you point out. Red Sox - take a hike. The Dodgers already bailed you out ofyour financial mess. Don't look for them to be paying Matt Kemp or anyone to be playing for you.

    I think Matt can get it going again. That base running blunder was costly. With everyone healthy there would not be pressure on him to carry the team. As you say, he is needed in CF.

    Red Sox already dumped Ellsbury so if they want Kemp - pay for him.

  4. Like I said I'd rather Ethier be the odd man out. But, lets not forget that Kemp just had ankle surgery and just had shoulder surgery again to clean up the joint. They are already saying he won't be 100% in ST and hope to have him back by the start of the season. I just don't understand why these guys wait until after the season is over when they know they need surgery. Kemp could of had them back in July or at least in August. Instead he waits for Sept, doesn't make sense to me. Same with Billingsly, he wasted a year waiting for what was obvious.

    IMO, the Dodgers need to commit to a starting 3 OF and move forward. Having 4 stars for 3 positions makes no sense to me, especially when we have plenty of kids waiting in the wings like Van Slyke and Pederson.