A lot of talk recently has centered around the San Diego Padres interest in big name stars. They bid high on third baseman Pablo Sandoval (He signed with the Boston Red Sox) and they were aggressive in the Yasmany Tomas sweepstakes (He signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks) and continue to look for a big addition to their lineup. These days, the Padres are being linked to Los Angeles Dodgers’ superstar outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp finished the 2014 season with a bang and his trade stock is very high right now. The Dodgers would love to dump his contract and gain some prospects in return but is it the right move for the Padres?
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Kemp is owed over $100 million dollars over the next few years and, with the Dodgers’ glutton of outfielders, he seems like the contract Los Angeles would most like to sell off. Formerly a center fielder, Kemp has moved to the corner outfield spot which is an area the Padres are in desperate need of improving. Los Angeles is in need of catching help and with the Padres’ depth in that department a deal between these two teams seems like a logical fit. The Padres could send someone like Yasmani Grandal or Austin Hedges along with a few other prospects for Kemp but they would have to take on a significant amount of money in the process.
But, here’s the thing. The Padres are more than one significant bat away from competing in the National League West and Kemp would have to be the first in a series of significant moves. The Dodgers would likely eat a chunk of Kemp’s salary but that would only ensure that they gain a more significant prospect bundle in return. Still, the Padres would be forced to take on a lot of money and relinquish a few top level prospects to the rival Dodgers. The team is not ready to compete in 2015 and selling off some of their better farm hands would set back their rebuilding process. Is this in the best interest of the team’s future?
To be fair to Kemp, he is a true star and would be a pretty special addition to the Padres. He would bat third and put up big numbers while doing so. He’d help put the Padres back into the headlines. But, he’s not what’s best for the team or the organization. A significant salary addition is not what they need, especially for someone who tends to lean towards being more egotistical than one would like and has had injury troubles and inconsistencies in the past.
Diluting the farm system also wouldn’t be ideal for a Friars club looking to get younger and set their sights on contention a few years down the road. Yes, Matt Kemp is a bonafide star but for the Padres trading for him would be a bone head move.