Are you serious? M’s looking to deal for Dodgers’ Kemp

By Terry Benish

Special to The Sports Paper


Some national baseball writers in the past week have linked the Mariners to various free agents. It began actually a few weeks ago when agent Scott Boras drew first blood when he floated some malarkey through Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports about Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin Soo Choo being courted by Mariners.

If you recall, Rosenthal even suggested contract amount and length during the ALDS.

Then it was suggested the Mariners were interested in Carlos Beltran and Johnny Peralta from Jerry Crasnick, Next it was Nelson Cruz and Matt Kemp, Dexter Fowler and Peter Bourjos, and last, Brian Wilson of the shoe polish beard.

It is more than fair to ask who is talking to whom of these correspondents. I fear that agents are planting these seeds rather than the M’s Jack Zduriencik.

There is a piece on how bad Cruz is as a player, sort of a doppelganger for Michael Morse, juiced and often injured and one dimensional. Check it out on, which we will come back to when we talk about the prospects.

Dave Cameron of USSMariner even suggested two guys ‑ Chris Young and Rajai Davis ‑ one current Oakland A and one former A, respectively. Young has descended three straight years from a pretty good player that hit .200. Davis is fast but can’t hit a lick and at the age of 32 in this non-juiced world looks to be a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Signing geezers that can’t play is something the Mariners have proved does not work.

But there is some kind of siren’s lure there that I don’t hear.

The guys mentioned are almost all on playoff teams and most are free agents. From a number of perspectives it suggests they will reconnect with their current team. If not that team then perhaps the Yankees or some such.

Matt Kemp 2


Matt Kemp


Kemp was an elite player within the last two years. He has been injured since: one hundred and six games in 2012 and only 73 this past season. His left ankle blew up this past season and he received surgery. The year before it was his throwing shoulder ‑ labrum and a clean-up.

Kemp should have won the National League MVP in 2012 and now the Mariners are linked in a potential trade. If past history means anything, the M’s might give the Dodgers one or two great young pitchers and maybe a good major league short stop and in return they get a guy that sounds like a dump truck when he walks by. These are the kind of trades that signify that whatever the rebuild was, it is well and truly over.

Which is a good segue to the state of the farm system and prospects here, there and everywhere. Go to MLB.Com for the current Mariners’ 40-man roster.

Let us break roster down to some categories such as established guys, prospects and suspects:

The Establishment:  Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders,

Prospects:  Abraham Almonte, Brad Miller, Nick Franklin, Mike Zunino, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez, Chris Taylor, Stephen Romero, Ji-Man Choi, DJ Peterson

Suspects:  Carlos Peguero, Xavier Avery, Julio Morban, Dustin Ackley, Carlos Triunfel, Justin Smoak, Jesus Sucre, Jesus Montero, Tom Wilhelmsen, Chance Ruffin, Stephen Pryor, Yoervis Medina, Brandon Maurer, Lucas Luetge, Bobby LaFromboise, Anthony Fernandez,

Blake Beavan, Carter Capps.

Maybe there some movement from the suspects to prospects and even further to establishment type players.

The good news is that if all the prospects fulfill their potential the team might make a move. But if they trade prospects for geezers it will be another horror show.

Some folks might even take umbrage at Smoak and Ackley. But really, it is impossible beyond naked optimism to say they project as established players after the past two years.

No there there.

For a finer look at deep minor stuff look up Jay Yencich’s piece at:

The greatest risk is that the M’s trade away Astrubal Cabrera again, or Omar Vizquel, or Shin Soo Choo or Carlos Guillen or Freddie Garcia or Adam Jones or Jason Varitek or Doug Fister and keep Jose Lopez and receive Ben Broussard or Tony Perez’s son or nothing but plain nothing.

Most of the guys the M’s are reported to be interested in like Kemp, Davis and Young can’t play as they might have.

What has gone on with the M’s in the past have has not been the re-birth of Branch Rickey.

No, just the opposite.

And you can’t find a team in the dumpster.