Matt Kemp Should Be of Little Interest to Boston Red Sox

With the annual winter meetings in full swing, so too are the trade rumors surrounding all the Major League clubs.  The Boston Red Sox are included in the rumblings, to varying degrees obviously given their recent World Series title and the less urgency to make a major splash this off-season.

One name that continues to swirl the trade winds is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Matt Kemp.  And the Boston Red Sox have again been tied to him as a potential trade target for Ben Cherington.

It sounds like talks between the Dodgers and Red Sox haven’t hit the ‘critical stages’ meaning a deal is far from imminent, which is the best news possible for Red Sox Nation.

Kemp should be of little interest to the Red Sox and aside from doing their due diligence, let’s hope  that Cherington refrains from pursuing his services.

Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that the two sides have discussed a deal surrounding Kemp, but that the talks have yet to reach the ‘critical stages.’  Furthermore, a source informs Edes that he doesn’t believe the talks will get that far, as relayed by Ricky Doyle of NESN.

Perfect.  That’s the best news that could come from this rumor other than hearing that the Red Sox will not trade for Matt Kemp.

The last thing this ball club needs is another outfielder to add to the already crowded roster.  Sure a move could be made involving Mike Carp or even Jonny Gomes if need be, but Kemp brings other risks despite his great abilities.

Yes, he’s a two-time gold glove centerfielder who could essentially replace Jacoby Ellsbury.  But so too can Jackie Bradley Jr. in the long-term who will be less expensive.

Injuries can decimate a ball club and Kemp’s last two seasons have to be a major red flag for the Red Sox.  Last season Kemp was limited to just 73 games and the year prior that he played in only 106.  The two seasons before that he only missed one game so if Kemp could stay healthy, his durability has been on display in the past.  But it’s a huge risk to say the least.

He brings power to the lineup, defense to the outfield and overall a high level of skill unmatched by the current Sox outfielders; when he’s healthy.  There’s that health thing again.

The other concerning factor with Kemp is his current contract status.  It’s not so much the $130 million that he’s still owed, given the Dodgers will have to eat a good chunk of that no matter which team is interested, but more so the fact that he’s locked up for the next six years.

If he can’t stay healthy, that’s a long time to have any type of money sitting on the payroll without receiving much production in return.  If he can stay healthy, is he worth blocking the path for Bradley Jr. or other prospects as they emerge through the minor league ranks.

The simple answer is if he can produce to the level that earned him enough votes to finish second in the NL MVP voting in 2011 when he hit 39 homers and drove in 126 RBI, then yes he is, providing he stays healthy for the next six seasons.

Of course sending multiple prospects back to the Dodgers is what they’ll be looking for if they move the two-time All-Star, something the Red Sox have learnt not to be tempted into doing.

In this case, the risk may be far greater than the reward and the last thing the Red Sox need is another outfielder who is locked up long-term and isn’t staying healthy, let alone producing on the field.  And the idea of unloading prospects to land him?  Thanks but no thanks.  Sound familiar?

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Matt Kemp

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  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    spot on

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