By Justin Patrick @calling_allfans on July 30, 2014
With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching (July 31), there will be a lot of rumors swirling. One such rumor is that the Red Sox are interested in trading for Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp is certainly talented, and the Red Sox outfield has been almost nonexistent at the plate this season, but here are five reasons why the Red Sox shouldn’t trade for Kemp.
Kemp has a mixed reputation in the clubhouse. He isn’t a bad guy, but there have been reports that he is full of himself. Also, when he came off of the DL and found out he wasn’t in the lineup, his demeanor in the locker room was poor, which can rub off on other players. How will he act when the Red Sox aren’t playing well (like right now)? The Red Sox work best when they have good clubhouse chemistry, and Kemp probably wouldn’t provide that.
In the last two seasons, Kemp has had ankle and shoulder injuries that have really limited his play. He played only 73 games last season and 179 total over the past two seasons. He has had two operations on his left shoulder in the last two years and another one on his ankle in October. His current team, the Dodgers, believe that his ankle issues limit him to playing only the corner outfield positions.
Kemp is still owed approximately 8 million on his current contract, which runs through 2019, and he will turn 30 on Sept. 23. Do the Red Sox really want to commit that much money and that many years to someone who is injury-prone and who has had multiple surgeries? Sure, it would help if the Dodgers eat some of his contract in the deal, but who knows if that will happen. The smart move for the Red Sox is to not take on any of his contract.
Lester, who is rumored to be part of this deal, has already been scratched for Wednesday, so it appears Boston is willing to trade him. That would be a mistake. Good pitching wins World Series, and Lester is one of the best and most durable pitchers in baseball. He would probably give the Red Sox a bit of discount, so unless L.A. is willing to part with a lot of other pieces in addition to Kemp, the Red Sox should hold on to Lester.
Kemp’s declining production may be due to the injuries and surgeries, but when Kemp was one of the best hitters in baseball (2011-2012), he produced a battling line of .324/.399/.586. Between 2013-2014 (where he’s played far fewer games), his line dropped dramatically to .272/.334/.414. Given what the Red Sox would have to give up (at least Lester) and commit to (Kemp’s remaining contract), it doesn’t make sense for the Red Sox to make this deal.
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