Shopping in LA: Matt Kemp or Mark Trumbo?

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Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Final Word

If the M’s are able to land Ellsbury or Choo (Yes, I know Ellsbury rumors are dissipating), then either one of these guys would be a huge asset to the team. As I noted last week, a big name leadoff hitter is nothing if the rest of the team can’t cash in the runs.

In this situation, the biggest risk is that Kemp may not pan out again like he did in 2011. If injuries continue and he is unable to regain his stride, not only will he be costing a lot of money to the Mariners, he will be virtually untradeable around the league. It will take a lot of convincing to get any team to pick up a heavy price tag like that for the next six years. If Kemp is able to return to MVP form, then he’ll be playing to his pay-level.

Trumbo, on the other hand, offers the ability for the Mariners to negotiate terms for the next three years before he becomes a free agent. Expect his salary to increase, but it’s outrageous to expect he’ll earn anything close to Kemp. That being said, Trumbo has the potential to post Kemp-like numbers, and might turn into a big impact player at a lower price than Kemp.