Featured Post: Could Kemp Be The Finishing Touch To Powerful Mets Lineup?

An article by posted on December 11, 2013 0 Comments

matt kemp

An MMO Fan Shot by Adam Choit

With the Dodgers likely looking to unload an outfielder (possibly during this week’s Winter Meetings), if I were Sandy, I’d definitely look into going after Matt Kemp via trade. Hear me out…

Kemp is only 29 and while he won’t come cheap, despite a down season and injuries, I’d think he’ll cost a lot less now than he would have two or three years ago.

When completely healthy, Kemp is capable of being one of the top sluggers in the league. In 2011, he finished second in the MVP voting  when he hit .324/.399/.586 (172 OPS+) with 39 homers, 126 RBI and 40 steals. In 2012, he missed two months and still .303/.367/.538 (149 OPS+) with 22 doubles, 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 102 games. Last season, though, Kemp hit just .270/.328/.395 (105 OPS+) with six homers and nine steals.

We all know signing Curtis Granderson was a nice start to upgrading the offense, but it’s far from enough. In fact, it questionable at this point whether or not the Mets lineup is that much more improved from last season. Lets assume Granderson replaces Byrd’s offense, the Mets’ offense still ranked at the bottom with Byrd’s surprising and excellent production. The Mets still need another solid-to-great bat to take this team to the next level.

In my opinion, if you want to be a serious team you need a legit 3-4-5. The Mets once had that in David Wright, Carlos Delgado, and Carlos Beltran, bit have since floundered offensively since that strong middle of the order. I’d say Wright, Granderson, and Kemp would change that and give the Mets a formidable 3-4-5 that would strike some fear into opposing pitchers.

The Mets are obviously not going to sign Shin-Soo Choo, nor are the showing any interest in Nelson Cruz who seems headed back to the rangers anyway. The available options for a power hitter are limited via free agency. Besides, I’d bet that Mets brass view Granderson as their lone big splash free agent signing.

With limited resources, I would think the Mets would likely pursue a veteran starter via free agency, as well as pursue a couple of low cost arms for the bullpen. If the price comes down for Stephen Drew, that could be intriguing, but I don’t expect him in a Mets uniform come
2014.

I wouldn’t object to Sandy prioritizing upgrading SS (via trade or free agency) over pursuing a Kemp-status player, but to some degree I think obtaining someone like Kemp would placate the fans enough where we could be okay with giving (a skinnier) Ruben Tejada another shot.

In terms of the details of a potential deal, the Dodgers are said to be interested in paying a some of Kemp’s significant $124 million salary over the next six seasons, giving the Mets some relief there. As to what players it would take to acquire him, would expect it could take a combination of the following:

  1. Juan Lagares
  2. Rafael Montero or Dillon Gee or Jon Niese
  3. Daniel Murphy OR Wilmer Flores

It may take another prospect or player not named David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, or Noah Syndergaard.

The point is we should engage them and find out. He may cost less than we think and it’s clear the Dodgers want to move him or teammate Andre Ethier.

Is there any support among MMO readers for the Mets to pursue slugger Matt Kemp?

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Adam Choit. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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