A guy who I thought might make a nice addition to the St. Louis Cardinals lineup last year at this time is reportedly on the market again. And he makes even more sense this time around.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers are aggressively trying to shed an excess outfielder or two and that Matt Kemp could be had.
Kemp had a nice rebound season last year, batting .287 with 25 homers and 89 RBIs. But, maybe more importantly, he made 599 plate appearances, his most since 2011. It seems that he put a stretch of injury problems behind him to again become a steady starting player.
He's 30 years old and, since another year ticked off the clock, Kemp now have five years and $105 million remaining on his contract. If the Cardinals could get the Dodgers to kick in a reasonable amount of cash, we could quickly get to the point where Kemp's contract could be reduced to an amount competitive with what the team would have to pay to sign a guy like Nelson Cruz. But Kemp is four years younger, a better outfielder and a more consistent player.
Last season Kemp finally came around to the idea of playing right field, which would make him a perfect fit for St. Louis.
But what would it take to get him from the Dodgers? And, if he could be had for a reasonable trade, would the Dodgers be interested in trading with the Cardinals? Not only were there some bad feelings between St. Louis and Los Angeles after back-to-back contentious playoff battles. But the Cardinals and Dodgers are both likely to be playoff teams next year. So would LA want to potentially have to face one of its superstars of the last few years in a do or die post season set?
I don't know if a deal can get done. But I would sure like to see the Redbirds make a run at it. Kemp might be the best single offensive piece they could add in a time when offensive help comes at a premium.