“In Lou Of”- West Coast Notes: Why I think Mike Trout and Matt Kemp should be traded in 2016:
I always find that the July 31st trade deadline is the day that you really know what direction a team wants to go in. The contenders (buyers) make improvements to their rosters for the stretch run by trading prospects and young players to the lesser teams (sellers) in exchange for impact players. We have seen this more and more in recent years and although there are plenty of similar style offseason trades that teams make, the value that the sellers can get in season is typically better because more teams are buying at that time. There are 2 players that I’m gong to discuss here specifically today, one from the NL West and one from the AL West.
NL West: San Diego Padres: OF Matt Kemp:
The Padres are off to another tough start in 2016 and in my opinion it’s time for them to strip down the roster and rebuild. They play in a highly competitive division and will not have a chance of truly competing in it until at least 2018 or 2019.
Even that may be wishful thinking if the Padres don’t sell their good but also aging players. Guys like Tyson Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner should all be moved for prospects, however like the title of the article says, I think Matt Kemp is the best candidate to be traded and here is why.
At 31 years old, playing RF rather than CF has definitely helped Kemp stay healthy. He may be in San Diego where hitters have a disadvantage, yet his final stat line in 2015 was fantastic and he’s off to solid start in 2016 as well. This is a player who will hit 25-30 HR, with 90-100 RBI and 75-80 R in SD, surrounded by a weak lineup and a losing team. If/when Kemp is traded, he will be moved to a contending team who needs a boost in their line up. Right now, I think the Cleveland Indians would be a perfect fit for Kemp and his services. Marlon Byrd, Rajai Davis and Lonnie Chisenhall are not the answer for Cleveland, which is why bringing in Kemp to join Kipnis, Brantley, Lindor and Santana would give the Indians the offensive boost they need so desperately to help their fantastic starting pitching. That would also give Kemp proper protection behind him and very capable table setters hitting in front of him which would only have a positive impact on his overall numbers.
The Padres can probably request a pitcher like Trevor Bauer and a few other minor leaguers all for Kemp, which would add to the young talent they’ve stated to acquire since trading Craig Kimbrel to Boston.
AL West: Los Angeles Angels: OF Mike Trout:
He is the best player in MLB today and his prime years are being wasted by playing with a team in complete shambles. The Angels have absolutely no farm system, have too much money invested into players who are no longer productive like Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver and Josh Hamilton who not only isn’t on their roster any more but he’s being paid by the Angels to play for Texas.
If the Angels want to turn this disastrous organization around, trading the best player in the world may be the best way to do it. By trading Trout now while he’s under contract, in his prime and still very young, the Angels would net the best possible package of prospects and young MLB ready talent.
I take you back to this offseason where the Diamondbacks traded the #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, a top pitching prospect and an all-star caliber OF in exchange for Shelby Miller. Forget for a moment that Miller has been awful so far in 2016 and think about the difference in skill set and impact that a guy like Trout has over Miller. The Angels can trade one player and change the entire fate of their minor league system.
I think all of the 29 other teams in MLB would be interested in acquiring Trout and here are 2 trade partners who I think the Angels should look at.
Trade option 1:
Angels trade Mike Trout to the Yankees FOR
SP Luis Severino, C/DH Gary Sanchez, CL Dellin Betantes, OF Ben Gamel and 1B Greg Bird.
Trade option 2:
Angels trade Mike Trout to the Dodgers FOR
OF Joc Pederson, C Yasmani Grandal, SP Jose De Leon, OF Trayce Thompson and 1B/OF Cody Bellinger.
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