The Mets should avoid Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Hot Stove, Opinion
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By Steven Inman

Photo by USA Today

Photo by USA Today

While the Mets finally have some money to play with this off-season, they must be very careful in how they spend it. Last time they had money they spent it on the likes of Jason Bay and Oliver Perez. Needless to say that didn’t work out in the Mets favor. They need to bring in the right players. Speculation from L.A. is that the Dodgers will shop outfielders, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier this offseason. With Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford in the fold as well, the Dodgers don’t have the room to play both Kemp and Ethier and will look to trade one. The problem here is both are overpaid and could be high injury risks. The Mets should avoid both at all costs here.

Ethier will be 32 in April. He has been a clutch, consistent presence for the Dodgers but he doesn’t look like the same player anymore. He still has value to a team but not on his current contract. Ethier is about to enter the second year of a 5 year $85 million deal, well over payed even for the Dodgers, who don’t have an open outfield spot for him at the moment. He still has $71.5 million over four years due to him. Ethier has always struggled against lefties but in 2013 he hit a woeful .221 with just 3 homers in 145 AB’s against southpaws. He really should only be playing against right-handers at this stage of his career but for the money he is making, that isn’t going to happen.

Kemp has been a superstar player in the past but 2013 like 2012, was filled with numerous DL stints. Kemp is still just 29 but he has 6 years and $130 million left on his deal and with the injury history he has, he isn’t worth the risk for a team like the Mets. Kemp has also always been a terrible defensive centerfielder despite his “Gold Glove”. UZR and most defensive metrics believe he cost the Dodgers a whopping 15 runs in center this year despite playing just 73 games.

The Dodgers might be able to move Kemp if they ate some of his money but from what I understand, they are unwilling to do that and they want a decent prospect hall should they move the runner up to the 2011 MVP. Kemp can regain his superstar form but he still isn’t exactly a bargain. The Dodgers won’t be able to move either player unless they substantially lower their asking price, in terms of dollars and prospects.

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