Jun 17, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) celebrates scoring a home run with center fielder Andre Ethier (16) during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Series Gives Royals a Chance to Scout Trade Targets


Over the next few days, as the Kansas City Royals face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers, there could be more than an opportunity for the Royals to attempt to gain ground in the American League Central. There could be an opportunity for the Royals to scout for an outfielder as well.

Between Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and a returning Carl Crawford, there simply are not enough spots in the lineup for everyone. When prospect Joc Pederson seemingly on the fast track to the majors, and hitting at a .319/.434/.570 clip with 17 home runs. Even with the caveat that those numbers are being put up in the Pacific Coast League, a league notorious for inflating offensive statistics, Pederson has certainly put together an impressive first half to the season.

However, there are roadblocks to moving either Crawford, Ethier and/or Kemp. First, Crawford and Kemp have had injury concerns over the past few years. Crawford has appeared in a total of 191 games over the past two and a half seasons, while Kemp has played in a total of 246 over that same time frame. Second, Kemp has seen his power virtually disappear over the past season and a half, with a total of 13 home runs in his last 500 at bats. Ethier also has seen his power fade recently, dropping from 20 home runs in 2012 to 12 last year to a measly three home runs thus far in 2014.

However, the biggest obstacle, especially where the Royals are concerned, may be the salaries owed these players. Andre Ethier is owed another $53.5 Million over the next three years with a $17.5 Million vesting option and a $2.5 Million buyout. Kemp is slated to earn another $107 Million over the next five years. For the Royals to even consider either player, the Dodgers would likely need to eat a significant portion of those contracts.

While neither Kemp nor Ethier have performed up to their accustomed levels recently, there could be signs that either player could be a solid buy low candidate. Kemp has hit a line drive in 27.2% of his at bats, the highest rate of his career, proving that he is hitting the ball well. Ethier, meanwhile, has not hit the ball nearly as well, with a 20.8% line drive rate while hitting an infield popup in 12.2% of his at bats. However, that could be the result of inconsistent playing time and the potential need for a change of scenery may be what Ethier needs.

The Royals could use another power bat in the middle of their lineup. Although neither Matt Kemp nor Andre Ethier has the production of a power bat thus far this year, both have been that type of hitter in the past. Kemp, in particular, is showing signs that he may be set to get back to being that type of hitter.

If the Dodgers are willing to eat a good portion of their salaries, Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier could be an interesting trade piece for the Royals. This three game series will give the Royals an excellent chance to scout both players first hand.

Tags: Andre Ethier Kansas City Royals Matt Kemp

  • KCMOWHOA

    Not a chance that the Royals trade for either of these guys. We can’t afford either one, and Moore would balk at whatever they’d want in return. For reasons you’ve noted, I don’t think it would be worth even if we were willing. This is the team, and except for maybe a bench move, we’re set for the rest of the season.

    • kc4life25

      Hate to say it but your prob right. At some point we need to add a legit threat to the middle of the lineup not just for this year but the next few. We will prob only be able to do this via trade as I dont forsee the Royals winning any bidding wars.

    • Dave Hill

      You are probably correct in that Moore will think that a bench move or a reliever is all that is needed. However, if Moore can convince the Dodgers to eat a chunk of those salaries, it could be worth looking at.

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    I’m not sure why this idea has been popping up as of late. Both are way out of the Royals price range and the only way the Royals could afford them is if the Dodgers agree to eat early $7M a year. No team would do that.

    Also, suggesting trades are fun, but the one thing people never do when suggesting the trade is provide the part of what we are giving the other team. There is no way the Dodgers make a trade for Kemp or Ethier without a huge return. Unless you’re planning on suggesting the Royals give up our 3 minor league players that are in the top 100 and a our pitching, we don’t have anything to trade away. Like KCMOWHOA said, this is the team we are going to stick with. We might improve our bench, but we aren’t going to be making any moves that are huge trades. We can’t afford it, and we don’t have the ability to trade away our every day starter since we don’t have a solid replacement.

  • Seth

    Everyone is missing one key thing in the article, the fact that the Dodgers will have to eat a significant amount of the players salary. If they are willing to do that and we dont have to give up our whole farm system, I say bring one right in.

    • Dave Hill

      Exactly Seth. Think I mentioned that at least twice. Glad you were paying attention. :)

  • jimfetterolf

    Some people think a run saved is worth a run made, so wouldn’t agree with benching Gordon, Cain, or Dyson to bring in an expensive player with fading skills at a high cost.

  • cardsfanatik

    I don’t think that any of these guys will happen. However, I do believe that Moore knows the Royal’s are going to NEED more offense to make the post season. It has been said that Dyson/Aoki will work, but in reality it won’t. Aoki has a good track record, but I see a decline. His defense isn’t stellar by any means. Dyson isn’t an everyday player. This team NEEDS a RF’er that can be counted on for consistent production day in and day out. One that can hit for power. Dyson can then be the 4th OF’er/pinch runner. A position which he would be good at, but not an everyday guy. Aoki can be flipped to someone needing OF help for a younger prospect with some upside, possibly to replace a position in the minors we have to trade away for a bat. If they can’t find a RF’er with some pop, they need to look at trading Moose, or just send him to AAA and trade for a 3rd baseman. The reality is, this team WON’T make October with Dyson/Aoki in RF, and Moustakas at 3rd base. This team isn’t a huge amount better than the team last year. And last year was close but no cigar. The Tiger’s have scuffled this year, and that is the ONLY reason the Royal’s are still close. We don’t need another SP, the pitching has done enough for the Royal’s to have a MUCH better record than they do right now, but once again, the offense has been completely non existent at times. Post season teams don’t have offense’s that just disappear very often. Pitcher’s can’t throw shut outs day in and day out, I don’t give a shit who you trot out there, it ain’t gonna happen. Moore is going to HAVE to make a trade. He sent Myer’s to Tampa to get us over the top, he can’t stop now, because, after this year, Big Game James will be donning a new uni, and if the Royal’s STILL don’t have a playoff appearance, Dayton should be sacking groceries at Hy-Vee. Josh Byrnes is a GM free agent. And I doubt we would have to put up with a manager with a career winning percentage under .500 under a new GM also. The Royal’s are treading water right now, that is all, they had a nice run, followed by losing 4 straight. But that follows a May which everyone wants to forget, once again. The pitching is fine, the offense is not. Maybe we could add some salary, and then turn around and move Butler. He won’t bring the return they SHOULD have gotten for him in 2012, but meh, whatever, he’s not getting it done as a DH. I like BB, but if your ONLY job is to hit, you damn well better produce, and he’s not. There are a lot of ways that Moore could go, if he’s smart enough, or willing enough. Should be an interesting watch. But if he makes NO moves, that will be the WORST move. And it can’t be just a “bench” bat.

  • MarinersRoyalsBraves2014

    Seth Smith, the Padres fired their GM and are going to have a fire sale, also look into Chase Headley, there are alot of Pads who could fit in KC.