2013 MLB Winter Meetings: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp
5 Teams Who Could Realistically Trade for Matt Kemp
The MLB Winter Meetings are right around the corner, and activity is certainly heating up. We are currently hearing and will continue to hear a ton of rumors. Some may actually happen, but most will fall by the wayside and we will quickly forget about them.
One guy who is currently being shopped around and seems to have a legitimate chance of being traded is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
At the moment, the Dodgers have to find enough room in the lineup for Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier. All four of those players are too talented and make too much money to sit on the bench. Something has to give, and that probably means a trade is on the horizon.
Puig is one of the most talented young players in the game, he is not going anywhere. I am sure that the Dodgers would rather trade one of Crawford or Ethier, but there does not seem to be much interest in either player. Kemp being traded is the most likely scenario.
The Dodgers are surely trying to sell Kemp based on his past success. There was a time not too long ago that Kemp was one of the best players in baseball. He had an incredibly impressive combination of power and athleticism, and at only 29-years-old, there is always a chance that he can regain his past glory.
Kemp's last few seasons have not painted such a rosy picture. Due to an array of injuries, Kemp only played in 73 games in 2013. He was once a big-time base-stealing threat, but he only stole nine bases in each of the past two seasons. His once-elite power even seemed to slip last season when he hit only six home runs and slugged .395.
The talent could still be there for Kemp, but it is almost impossible to predict whether he will return to his glory years or not. Kemp is still owed $128 million over the next six seasons, so there is plenty of risk involved.
Personally, I believe there will be a team that will take a chance on Kemp. It is so hard to predict what the Dodgers would need in a trade for him, but considering his recent issues and their current situation in the outfield, it is fair to think the price will be discounted. The risk is massive, but his upside is as well. Here are five teams who I could see trading for Matt Kemp.
5. Boston Red Sox
On this list of potential suitors, you will see a trend. They are all AL teams. With the ability to move him to DH if needed, teams in the AL should be more willing to accept the risk of Kemp's skills deteriorating than NL teams.
The Boston Red Sox have already been connected to Kemp, and it seems to make sense. Their center fielder from last season, Jacoby Ellsbury, is a free agent and seems unlikely to return. Boston could use some help in the outfield, and Kemp's ability to hit to all fields would really fit in well at Fenway Park.
4. New York Yankees
It would not be a rumor if the New York Yankees were not connected, now would it? The Yankees are reportedly willing to spend this offseason, and I am sure they would love to make a splash. With their holes in the outfield and GM Brain Cashman not being afraid to "go for it", the Yankees appear to be an obvious fit for Kemp.
3. Seattle Mariners
It feels like the Seattle Mariners have been trying to make a big splash for years. This offseason, they have been connected to all of the big free agents, but it seems unlikely that they will reel in a guy like Robinson Cano unless they blow away all other offers. Free agents simply do not seem to be interested in Seattle, so making a splash on the trade market may be the way to go for the Mariners.
Seattle has a nice young core centered around ace Felix Hernandez. If they can land Kemp for a reasonable price and he returns to being a MVP-caliber player, the Mariners would instantly become legitimate contenders.
2. Texas Rangers
Make no mistake, Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels is not afraid to make a big move. They have already acquired a risky player with huge upside in Prince Fielder this offseason, and they have plenty of ammo to acquire Kemp as well. I was not even a little bit surprised to hear that the Rangers are interested in Kemp, as he is the kind of guy that they are always connected to.
1. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays went for it in a big way last offseason and they underperformed. They are still a very talented team that could easily be a piece or two away from being serious World Series contenders. Taking a risk on Kemp would make a ton of sense for the Blue Jays as they try to keep pace in an incredibly tough division.