Trading Kemp is the most attractive option and is everyone’s goal at this point. That being said, it appears the market for Kemp does not exist. Matt Kemp does not have much working for him when it comes to being traded. His age, contract, and attitude all serve as big turn-offs to a potential suitor.
So, if Friedman can pull of a trade it would have to be done one of two ways. The first is he would have to swallow part of Kemp’s contract in order to make him more affordable to another team. This would allow the Dodgers to get him off the roster at a cheaper price than just releasing and paying. The second and more problematic option is to include a top-tier prospect.
Kemp’s market may be small but it is also one that can be manipulated should the Dodgers choose to. By including top-tier prospects, the Dodgers could make Kemp’s ugly contract look a lot sweeter, especially to a team looking to rebuild.
That being said though, including top prospects, is my first and biggest con. If the only way to trade Kemp is packaging him with big-name prospects it would need to be thoroughly investigated as to how much that really helps the team. Depending on who the Dodgers would need to trade, paying Kemp his $43 million to just walk away may be more beneficial in the long run.
Prospects like Yadier Alvarez, Keibert Ruiz, and others have been discussed in potential deals with Kemp. If the Dodger can make a Kemp and Alvarez deal work then I am all for it but the jury is still out on how much more I would do. Trading Kemp with the right prospect is, to me, the most attractive of these three outcomes because it prevents the Dodgers from paying big cash. At the same time, it also may cost the Dodgers a player they can use in the future.
A Kemp trade would just further along the success of the previous trade and would set the Dodgers up very nicely to participate in next year’s mega-free agency class. But the biggest issue here is how far are they willing to go to make a trade happen?