Seattle Mariners: Could Matt Kemp be Next?


Mariner fans, if you are not excited for 2015 already, check your pulse!!

It is very clear that the focus of the front office is to WIN in 2015. Injecting more power and veteran presence in the lineup with Nelson Cruz was a great start and I do not think they are done.

Is Cruz the only answer necessary to the offensive struggles the Mariners have had for the better part of a decade? The answer to that is…sort of.

Yes he is a great addition of power and will likely spend the majority of time in the DH role. This still leaves an opportunity to add a corner outfielder that can hit.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Dodgers made a move with the Cincinnati Reds that brought yet another outfielder, Chris Heisey, into their already overcrowded outfield.

The Dodger outfield  now consists of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke and now Chris Heisey. This doesn’t even mention their top prospect Joc Pederson who was a 30 home-run, 30 stolen-base guy in AAA in 2014.

More from Mariners Rumors

If you’ve been following the Mariner rumors over the better part of the last 6-8 months you have probably put two-and-two together as to why i’m talking about a Dodger trade. If not, let’s catch you up quickly…Matt Kemp.

Since prior to the trade deadline in 2014 the Mariners have been linked to rumors about the possibility of acquiring Kemp from the Dodgers.

For whatever reason Kemp seems to be the odd-man-out in the crowded Dodgers outfield. However I do feel that Ethier will go eventually as well.

For the stretch run in 2015 you will see Crawford, Pederson and Puig in left to right respectively for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have been reluctant in dealing Kemp, and understandably so. Battered by injuries in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Kemp played 150 games in 2014 and finished with 25 homers and 89 RBI.

But the thing I enjoy about Kemp the most is his ability to hit for average (.292 career) as well as power.

Kemp can be an inning starter as well as a rally extender. How many times have you seen the M’s scuffle through the bottom of the line-up and struggle to turn it over?

With Kemp likely in the 6-hole behind Seager, this will extend the line-up, giving the bottom third a better chance to turn it over to top with men on base.

Yes the asking price for Kemp is relatively steep, as is his contract. The positive is Kemp is under team control until 2019, his current deal is 8-years at $160 million. So yes, it would be another $20MM man for the Mariners. But this wouldn’t be a one-year rental such as a Justin Upton would be.

I will start this part of the article by prefacing, I LOVE Taijuan Walker. I think Walker has tremendous upside as well as potentially dominating stuff.

Is he ready to be slotted into the four spot in the rotation? Maybe.

Bottom line here, Walker is still a prospect. Injuries in 2014 may have plagued him from more opportunities at the big league level.

Right now we just do not know what the answer is as to what we will get from Walker.

My gut says Walker is going to be a great Major League pitcher if he can stay healthy and continue to mature.

Right now the Mariners have shown they enjoy what they have developed up to this point in their young players, and are ready to move on adding veteran guys to lead us back into the post-season.

Jul 23, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker (middle) is relieved by manager Lloyd McClendon (right) during the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners had the best pitching in baseball in 2014, without Walker playing a major role. Offense, as we all know, was a far different story.

If Walker will get the Matt Kemp deal done it may be time to do it. That being said, the Dodgers may have to send some cash as well for Kemp’s contract.

Potential Run Scoring Offense of:

1. Jackson CF

2. Ackley LF

3. Cano 2B

4. Cruz DH

5. Seager 3B

6. Kemp RF

7. Zunino C

8. Morrison 1B

9. Taylor/Miller SS

This is for another post, but the Mariners can still make other minor moves to acquire back of the rotation pitching depth as well. Winter meetings should be fun… Whatever the move may be, the Mariners should not be done.