COMMENTARY | There are far too many people chattering about Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier for them to remain members of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Where there's smoke, right? Well, there are huge plumes of smoke emanating from Ned Colletti's Blackberry.
Obviously, it would make much more sense for the Dodgers to move Ethier, but Kemp seems to be the player getting the most attention right now.
After the Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano to a ridiculous 10-year, $240 million contract last week, they certainly aren't done spending and acquiring players. They've been linked to both Kemp and Ethier, but for the purposes of this article, I'm going to focus on Kemp.
The Dodgers and Mariners match up quite well in trade talks, and that doesn't even include the M's making Taijuan Walker available.
I wrote on my blog on Dec. 2 that the Dodgers need to trade one of their high-priced outfielders. But let me say this: I'm not for trading Kemp. His value is at an all-time low, he's owed $128 million over the next six years, and will have to move off center field sooner rather than later. He's suffered multiple injuries since May 2012 and he might not ever be at the level of his 2011 and early-2012 of production. Yet, teams still want him.
The Dodgers aren't going to get anywhere near equal value for Kemp, which is what makes the potential trade scenarios even more puzzling.
Kemp offers the biggest "boom or bust" potential of any reportedly available player on the market now that Cano has signed. Slotting Kemp in center field in Seattle would further energize the fanbase and wouldn't deplete the young talent too much.
But if I'm the Dodgers, I accept no less than third baseman Kyle Seager. The Mariners probably aren't jumping to trade a 26-year-old, cost-controlled third baseman but if it means getting Kemp, I could see it happening. Either way, Colletti would have to play hardball.
Colletti doesn't absolutely have to trade Kemp (or any of the other outfielders), but it would behoove the Dodgers to move someone.
Other pieces the Dodgers could be interested in for Kemp include Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush, Hisashi Iwakuma, Brad Miller, James Paxton, Stephen Pryor, Chris Taylor and Tom Wilhelmsen.
We can cross off Iwakuma, as the M's should be in no rush to move a guy who finished third in American League Cy Young award voting. We can also cross of Miller, who's slated to be the M's starting shortstop and provides better-than-average offensive potential.
Now, if the trade were to include Seager, then also getting a guy like Furbush or Wilhelmsen in return would likely cap the deal.
If the trade weren't to include Seager (and I wouldn't like it), then the Dodgers could expect something like Franklin, Paxton, Wilhelmsen and maybe another player. The Mariners don't really need Wilhelmsen, so I'm assuming he'd get moved in any deal.
In any trade, the Dodgers would have to include money. To get Seager, they'd have to include a lot of money. My best guess is a good $42 million over the life of the contract, knocking Kemp's average annual value down to a more reasonable rate (given his recent injuries). With the other package, I'd say a solid $20-25 million would need to be included.
The Mariners have money to spend, so they're not as worried about the Dodgers covering a lot of the contract. But they probably don't want to be strapped with more than half the Cano contract ($128 million) for more than half the years (six).
The two clubs match up well in many trade scenarios. With the Winter Meetings lasting until Thursday, talks could heat up. If Kemp is moved this winter, it'd likely be to Seattle. If he were to be traded elsewhere, the Dodgers might get extremely short-changed.
Dustin Nosler has followed the Dodgers from Northern California all his life. He's the founder of Feelin' Kinda Blue, a Los Angeles Dodgers' blog. He also co-hosts "Dugout Blues," a weekly Dodger podcast and writes about the St. Louis Rams for the Yahoo Contributor Network. Find him on Twitter @FeelinKindaBlue.
- Sports & Recreation
- Matt Kemp
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Seattle Mariners