Matt Kemp and the Padres in 2017

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Jul 2, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Matt Kemp (27) hits an RBI double during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Matt Kemp (27) hits an RBI double during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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What is Matt Kemp‘s trade value now and how valuable would he be to a Padre 2017 team?

On my last post “What are AJ Plans for Padres? part 2”,  I had a comment wondering about Matt Kemp. My response was so long that I thought it might be a good post.

More from Padres News

Before I lay out all the reasons why Matt Kemp could be on the 2017 Padre team, let me say I understand why the Sport Beat writers want Matt traded. But let us look at the facts.

There are three issues 1) Money 2) Performance 3) Value

MONEY:

Matt’s contract is 21.75 million per year for 2016-2019. The Dodgers pick up 3.5 million each year. Thus the NET (for those non math wizards) is 18.25 million.  Yep, that is a lot of money for a Padre Management, but maybe not for this one..

Where does it rank in MLB??  You would be surprised to know Kemp’s 2016 salary is 22nd on the list of all MLB hitters  For Outfielders his salary is 8th. Guess who is #1 Outfield Salary for 2016?? Yep the “BUM” Justin Upton at 22.125 million. How would you like to be saddled with that 6 year deal. We all know how awful he has been for Tigers in the hitter friendly AL this year. Me and Melvin are so glad he is NOT a Padre.

Back to contract talk…. In 2017 Matt’s salary drops to 11th highest for Outfielders and 26th for all hitters. He just beats out the net for Prince Fielder who Texas is paying 18 million (24 minus 6 paid by Tigers) through 2020. He is hitting this year .215 with 4 Hrs and 44 RBI. Texas is VERY WORRIED .

Despite the craziness and awful dead contracts, the trend has been for higher salaries each year. Next year (2017) will be no different. Many contracts will be signed that surely will surpass Matt Kemp not only for 2017 but 2018 and 2019 as well. So much that MAYBE he will seem like a bargain.

The question that has the Padre fans and the talking heads asking: Will Matt’s skills drop like a rock and will we be saddled with a Prince Fielder type player and contract?? No one knows the answer, certainly not me!! Other teams can afford low performing high salaries but not the Padres.

As a team the Padre total salaries for 2016 ranks 17th in baseball. We would have to increase 10% more to move up to 16th, and 22% to break the top ten. The Dodgers (1st overall) are almost DOUBLE ours.

The POINT I would like to make is that this management is NOT afraid to spend money. NOT Dodger money but not bottom of the barrel money either. I  will repeat AGAIN, just check out the money AJ spent on International payers. Thus I do not think Kemp will be part of a salary dump fire sale. Kemp’s salary will not break the budget for 2017.

Performance:

On the performance side we could not ask for much better from MR. Kemp. This year he ranks 3rd among NL Outfielders with 58 RBI’s. This is for a Padre team that has a pitiful OBA of .303. 12th best in a 15 team league. Compared with other teams how many LESS RBI opportunities has he had to produce those kinds of numbers?? You know he usually has better 2nd half, so how good will his whole year numbers be??  Last year he led all of the National League in “go ahead RBI’s” and in RBI’s for NL Outfielders. All with a crappy 1st half. He is a clutch hitter!!

I know it is hard to get your head around 18 million a year. However based on the current market the real story is that Matt Kemp has been worth what the Padres pay him for last year and this!! Hard to debate the numbers., just look around and compare.

Trade Value:

Matt’s trade value could not be any BETTER than it is now!! With a usual strong second half looming, he would be a HUGE difference maker to any contending team THIS YEAR. World Series kind of difference. So much so that those teams should be drooling over the possibility. The hang up of course is Matt’s FUTURE money. Will he turn into a “Prince Fielder”? Bill James studies of players over 32 have scared many teams. Of course there are always exceptions. Look at Big Papi in Boston. He is 40 and having a MONSTER year.

I do not think AJ is scared to keep Kemp, especially for 2017. For the trade market I bet he feels he is in a position of strength (unlike the Sheilds trade). AJ knows Kemp’s strong value for 2016 and should hold out for a SWEET package. No Fred McGriff trade for four magic beans this deadline. The question really is “what is a sweet package?” We need MLB starting pitching for 2017 but unlikely is that available from a contending team. The bottom line there is TRUE value in Kemp’s bat.

Padres 2017:

Ok what could a Padre 2017 line up look like?? I say bring up all three Triple A players and keep Kemp. Norris and Upton are traded.

  1. Manuel Margot CF
  2. Wil Myers 1B
  3. Matt Kemp RF
  4. Hunter Renfroe LF
  5. Yangervis Solarte 3B
  6. Austin Hedges C
  7. Cory Spangenberg 2B
  8.  “A BODY” SS

Now that is potentially a winning line up!! If the three rookies have a 2017 season like their 2016 triple A season, then we are “Rocking and Rolling”. Other than Short Stop, there are no glaring holes. OK I know I am dreaming a little. Maybe it is too soon for Margot but certainly not Renfroe and Hedges. They HAVE to play at the ML level in 2017.

I also say give this line up a chance by keeping Kemp. His clutch hitting would be the back bone of this team, especially if Hunter Renfroe hitting behind him can produce at the ML level. Take Kemp out and there is a huge hole to fill. Something we don’t have at the ML level to fill, even if we kept Melvin Upton. There is also not anything immediately available on the farm. We have spent it all with Hunter Renfroe.

Next: Padres and San Diego Do All Star Game Right

All AJ would have to do is SOLVE the Pitching mess we have now to win in 2017. But that is for another post.

You all know I am a “homer” with MY padres, so maybe I am dreaming. Three candidates for “Rookie of the Year” would be so, so cool!! If all three flame out that would be ugly… I do not want to think about that… please let me have my dream!

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