Should the Padres Trade Matt Kemp? I Don’t Think So

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I love watching Craig Kimbrel pitch. Though by his standards he was a little “off” last season, he was still one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball last season. His fastball to slider combo is incredible, with his hanging arm for dramatic effect peering into home plate. Despite that man-crush, I was okay with his being traded for four top prospects in the Red Sox system.

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I’m generally of the persuasion that closers are somewhat over-rated and that the Padres have a pretty darn good history of closers, as the torch has been passed without a hitch from Trevor Hoffman to Heath Bell to  Huston Street to Kimbrel. So while the fact that they also traded away the easy choice to take over in Joaquin Benoit, I’m confident that either one of their relievers like Kevin Quackenbush or even Jon Edwards who saved 20 games for AAA Round Rock before traded to the Padres in the Will Venable deal last season.

Now though, a new rumor has been reported by Ken Rosenthal that the Padres are actively shopping Tyson Ross and Matt Kemp. To me, trading Kemp and/or Ross would be a huge mistake by the Padres. Matt Kemp was a very productive hitter for the Padres last year, and unless Preller can get a really good haul both at the major and minor league level it would not be a productive move.

Sure, he would shed some serious payroll, but what would he do with it? I saw a report earlier where Colby Rasmus was identified as a top outfielder free agent prospect. So we can trade Matt Kemp away, likely for some prospects and maybe even a shortstop, but then what do they do for the outfield? Travis Jankowski, Wil Myers for 100 games, and Colby Rasmus? Sure, Melvin Upton Jr. too…right. This idea does not excite me.

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Matt Kemp showed last year he can lead this team in the clubhouse, on the field, and produce runs with the best in the game. I am ready for Preller to make some amends for the trades that didn’t pan out last season, but I felt from the start that the Padres trade for Kimbrel was more like an after thought trade and a convenient way to also rid himself of Carlos Quentin‘s salary. Yet Kemp’s trade did work out for the Padres. Yasmani Grandal had a good first half (.282 BA, 14 HR) for the Dodgers before tanking in the second half (.182 BA, 2 HR). Let’s not trade one of the few players on the Padres who can be considered “face of the franchise” before even two years into the San Diego Padres A.J. Preller Experiment.

What do you think? Should Kemp even be on the block or saved as a Padres building block for the future?

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