Guess I should comment on this.
I’m gonna FJM this piece, all bold parts are Ken Rosenthal’s original.
To win now, Dodgers could deal Kemp
No, that’s not the point. If the idea was to win now, the Dodgers would have traded Kemp and Kershaw and Laroche for Miguel Cabrera in the off-season. At this point, anyone they trade would probably be a trade down (except for Rosenthal’s delirious belief that the Dodgers could get Holliday).
Make outfielder Matt Kemp available, and the Dodgers’ trade options quickly would multiply. Make Kemp available, and the team could put together a package for virtually any hitter on the trade market — the Pirates’ Jason Bay, maybe the Tigers’ Magglio Ordonez, maybe even the Rockies’ Matt Holliday.
First, let’s look at how stupid this is. Bay is a good option, with an EQA of .330 and 14 homers. Good stuff, but he’s a bad outfielder and that leaves a hole in CF for Juan Pierre to fill. Magglio is 34. Let’s assume that the Rockies are dumb enough to trade Holliday to within the division and let’s assume that the Dodgers resign him to a beaucoup bucks deal that makes him 20 mil a year for the next 7 years, that’s still another LF with no defensive value. Currently, there are no OFs within the organization that would make up for Kemp’s defensive value. On top of that, Kemp is 23 this year, is still four years short of his prime. He’s not performing at his peak so far this year, has only 5 home runs, but even in a bad year, he’s STILL CONTRIBUTING POSITIVELY (103 OPS+). Holliday just turned 28 and Bay will be 30 by the end of the year.
And to suggest that they’d trade him now, after turning down offers for Miguel Cabrera, who’s CAREER OPS+ is 141 … is stupid.
To this point, the Dodgers have resisted moving Kemp or any of their other top young players, but their stance might be changing. “If we get to the point where we can definitively improve ourselves, we’ll do it,” general manager Ned Colletti told the Los Angeles Times.
This is the best. Colletti provides the most innocuous, agreeable comment (alternative Colletti quote: “If I could eat a hamburger without all the calories, I’d eat it”) and Rosenthal looks at it and says “THE SKY IS FALLING. DO YOU SEE DODGER FANS???” Granted, Holliday has averaged a 130 OPS+ in his career, but he’s not strong away from home. And if you’re going to take a risk on a player, why not take a risk on your homegrown talent.
Rival executives are skeptical,
As they should be. Kemp is talented and would probably cost a lot just by himself.
considering that the Dodgers frequently have backed out of trades involving their youngsters. Dodgers officials, however, say privately that they are indeed more willing to break up their young core. If that is true, Kemp would bring the greatest return.
OK, that’s unfair. Teams asked way too much of the Dodgers for good players and the Dodgers turned down those offers. They didn’t back out of any trades, at least they haven’t since Depodesta. Rosenthal’s sources sound like they’re full of shit, or maybe he just extrapolated something from a quote from his sources that they didn’t say like he did to Colletti.
A trade of Kemp is not the Dodgers’ only alternative — the team also could pursue a less dramatic possibility, trading either first baseman James Loney or right fielder Andre Ethier to add more of a veteran presence to a lineup that ranks 11th in the National League in runs per game.
Veteran presence is what’s needed? Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Brad Penny and Derek Lowe aren’t sucking enough, we need more veterans who will underperform their juggernaut contracts?
If the Dodgers are patient, Kemp might prove more productive than Bay, Ordonez or even Holliday. But this is a team that has won only one postseason game in the past 20 years. Colletti needs to win. Manager Joe Torre wants to win. And Matt Kemp is one powerful chip.
No, Torre and Colletti don’t need to win. The Dodgers don’t fire GMs and managers after two years as if that’s enough time to establish a winning team. I, as well as many other Dodger fans, would much rather see players cultivated and a potential dynasty built than one goddamn playoff series win. As Jim Murray said (or something like it), “I understand Branch Rickey’s concept of trading a player a year early rather than a year late, but [in the case of Mike Piazza] 10 years early?” In this case, 15 years.
Baseball has become a much more sophisticated science in the last 20 years and to continue the idea that “veteran presence” has ANY effect on a baseball team’s performance is completely outdated. Assemble the talent and victories come and trading young talent for old talent is something the Dodgers are well-versed in.
That’s the other thing. The Dodgers haven’t made any terrible trades in the last 10 years because they’ve had nobody worth trading. So now they have a player, the MO of the FO is to trade the player immediately so they can regret it?
I don’t know what Matt Kemp did to Ken Rosenthal, but he should apologize.