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How about the Mets and Matt Kemp?

Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers ounds

Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers ounds first in the seventh inning after hitting his second two-run homer of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on July 29, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty

Something for Mets fans to ponder as the clock ticks down to Thursday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline:

Matt Kemp went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs on Tuesday night in the Dodgers' 8-4 win over the Braves.

It went mostly unnoticed because the Dodgers announced during the game that Vin Scully will be returning for a 66th season in 2015.

Scully is a Hall of Fame broadcaster. Kemp looked as if he was heading toward a Hall of Fame career when he finished second in the NL MVP voting in 2011. Kemp hit .324 with 39 homers, 126 RBIs, 40 steals, an OPS of .986 and won a Gold Glove as a centerfielder.

The Dodgers rewarded Kemp with an eight-year, $160-million contract.
Now 29, Kemp has suffered through two injury plagued seasons (shoulder, ankle) and this year is trapped as part of the Dodgers' four-man outfield rotation. He is batting .282 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 96 games.

The Dodgers reportedly would love to clear up the logjam and send Kemp elsewhere. Kemp's agent, former All-Star pitcher Dave Stewart, said maybe this is the right time for Kemp to move on.

Fact: The Mets need a big bopper in the outfield. Fact: Manager Terry Collins loves Kemp from their days together when Collins was the Dodgers' farm director. Fact: Kemp's .800 OPS this season would place him second on the Mets behind Lucas Duda.

You know where we are going with this . . . would it make sense for the Mets to try and add Kemp before the deadline?

The quick answer would be no way, not with five years and about $114 million left on Kemp's mega-deal (including the rest of 2014). But there are ways for the Mets to get that salary figure down.

Would you give Kemp a five-year, $53-million contract as a free agent? He'd be worth it if he proves his recent surge -- .397 with 13 RBIs in his last 17 games -- is a sign he is ready to resume his status as a run producer.

The Dodgers are looking for another starting pitcher in their bid to win a World Series now. But what if they strike out on Jon Lester or David Price? Would Bartolo Colon be an acceptable fallback?

Here's the beginnings of a deal: Kemp for Colon and Chris Young. Remember, Colon is due $11 million next season. For that reason, he likely will not be a Met in 2015.

Kemp is owed about $7 million for the rest of 2014. Colon and Young are owed a combined $5.5 million. So the Dodgers kick in half that difference (about $750,000) to make the trade cash-neutral for 2014.

For 2015, Kemp is owed $21 million. But the Mets will have subtracted Colon's $11 million, so it's only a $10 million gamble for next season.

The haggling will really come over 2016-19, when Kemp will be paid $21.5 million per for a total of $86 million. Or maybe it's not that complicated: the Mets pay half and the Dodgers pay half.

Would the Dodgers agree to that? It all depends on how eager they are to end their relationship with Kemp.

So, in essence, under this scenario, the Mets would be paying $53 million to get five years of Kemp beginning at age 30. They are paying $60 million to get four years of Curtis Granderson beginning at age 33.

The Mets have to find creative ways to add bats without spending money they don't have -- $100 million or more on a single player just doesn't seem to be in their future -- and without sacrificing their top young prospects.

This would be one way to do it.


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