The Case for Keeping Matt Kemp

When the Dodgers traded for Matt Kemp, it was a salary dump, a bad attitude dump as well as the opportunity to acquire a young, power hitting catcher with mad framing skills.  I embraced the trade for all the reasons it was made.  While he could be charming, Matt Kemp was frequently a malcontent prima donna in the lockerroom. I felt he was a poison, so I was excited to see him go even though he was responsible for one of the most electric moments I have ever seen in baseball.

Here’s the story:

Manny Ramirez was the darling of LA and Ned Colletti invited all the bloggers in for Bloggers Night on May 6th, 2009.  At that meeting in one of the Dodger Suites, Josh Rawitch (then the Dodgers Director of Communications) announced that in the near future, the Dodgers were going to break with tradition and allow bloggers into the pressbox on a limited basis.  After, the meeting I approached Josh privately and said “Look, since I have come all the way from Indiana and everyone else in in the LA area, I think it’s only fitting that I should be the first blogger to sit in the Pressbox.”  To my surprise, he said “OK.”

As I was driving to Dodger Stadium the next morning, Jared Massey called me and said that Manny had been suspended.  I thought he was joking and then turned on the radio and heard it was no joke.  I got to the ballpark early and tagged along with Tony Jackson to the Pressbox, Locker Room and all over the stadium. Josh explained to me beforehand that I could not wear Dodger gear in the pressbox and that I had to maintain neutrality, meaning I wasn’t supposed to cheer for the team. It was then I was granted a “Working Media Pass.”

That became problemmatic and I was tested early when the Dodgers loaded the bases in the first inning, and with one out, Matt Kemp hit a Grand Slam  to CF!  I almost jumped out of the pressbox, before I realized I wasn’t supposed to be doing that. What a moment!  Manny was just suspended and the Dodgers came out with guns blazing.  I wish I could say it had a happy ending, but it didn’t.  The Dodgers lost 11-9 with Ramon Troncoso, Cory Wade, Brent Leach and James McDonald giving up 10 runs in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. But, that is the story of how I became the first blogger to be issued a “Working Media Pass” for Major League Baseball at Dodger Stadium.  What a day! The picture to the right was taken that very day.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

The longer Matt Kemp is on the Dodgers roster, the more likely he will make the Openig Day Roster.  Now, a lot has to happen for that to occur:

  1. No other team  will offer enough money or prospects for FAZ to trade him;
  2. He needs to get into the best shaped of his life;
  3. He has to play better defense (and he can – he has in the past – he was never a Gold Glove, even though he won one, but he was OK); and
  4. He also needs to clean up his attitude… and I mean a lot!

That’s a lot that needs to happen, but it could.  Andrew Friedman has talked to him and evidently been totally upfront with Matt and while I am not holding my breath or counting on it, Matt Kemp could have the opportunity for an encore performance at Dodger Stadium in 2018.  They say you can never go home… and maybe you can’t… but maybe you can.  Matt Kemp has very little value which is why he was traded for very little value, but in 2016 Matt Kemp put up these numbers:

  • 39 HR
  • 108 RBI
  • .268 BA
  • .755 OPS

He still has a career OPS of .826 and has OPS’ed over .900 twice. Tell me that 39 HR would not look good in the 6th or 7th spot! Toles or Pederson could be his defensive caddy in LF.  Frankly, it’s a longshot… but it could happen.  It also could happen that some team agrees to pay $16 million of his $42 million dollar deal, and if they do, he is gone.  A guy can still dream, right?

Finally, I am publishing Houston Mitchell’s Dodger Dougout E-Mail.  If you haven’t signed up for it, I recommend that you do.

Houston Mitchell – Dodgers Dugout:

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and I’m wondering if Rihanna is happy Matt Kemp is back in L.A., if only for a short time.

Big deal

So Saturday brought some big news. The Dodgers traded Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp. What the heck is going on?

What’s going on is money. This was a straight payroll dump for both teams. Let’s take a look at the players involved and what they are scheduled to make.

Adrian Gonzalez: He will be paid $22.357 million in 2018 by the Braves, who released him the same day they acquired him.

Brandon McCarthy: He will be paid $11.5 million by the Braves in 2018. Atlanta has him penciled in as a starter. McCarthy played three seasons with the Dodgers, going 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 29 starts. For that, he got paid about $36 million.

Scott Kazmir: He will be paid $17.7 million by the Braves in 2018. Atlanta also has him penciled in as a starter, and hopefully that pencil has a good eraser, because the Dodgers paid him about $30 million over two seasons to go 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts.

Charlie Culberson: He will get a lot of playing time with Atlanta, which is close to his hometown in Georgia. I liked Culberson a lot, and hopefully he gets a nice ovation when the Braves visit L.A. next season. He had 80 regular-season at-bats in his Dodger career, but he will always be remembered for the game-winning homer he hit in Vin Scully’s final home game, and for doing a great job filling in for an injured Corey Seager in the 2017 NLCS, going five for 11 with two doubles and a triple. He followed that up by going three for five with a homer in the World Series. He will more than likely make a little over the major league minimum in 2018.

Matt Kemp: He is owed approximately $43.5 over the next two seasons. He is no longer the player he once was, and is regarded by most as one of the worst defensive outfielders in baseball. It is extremely unlikely he actually ends up playing for the Dodgers, as they are expected to trade him or just release him before the season. As Andrew Friedman said on the day of the trade: “I was very open and honest with him about what the future might hold. It’s just too difficult to say, definitively, at this point.”

So, what does all this mean? This is all about the Dodgers getting under the payroll luxury tax next season. Each season, Major League Baseball sets a payroll threshold. If a team goes over that threshold, they have to pay a penalty. Each year they go over the threshold, the penalty they pay increases. The first year you go over, the penalty is 20% on the dollar (for example, if you are $1,000,000 over the threshold, you owe $200,000). If you go over for a second straight year, you owe 30%, for the third and subsequent consecutive years, you owe 50%.

The Dodgers have been over the threshold for the last two seasons (2016-17). The team was assessed a $36.2-million tax this year, based on a season-ending payroll of $253.6 million.

Thanks to the way contracts are valued under the collective bargaining agreement, Saturday’s trade puts the Dodgers under the 2018 total payroll threshold of $197 million. They currently have a payroll of approximately $173 million. They still need to add a few bench players/relievers, so they will probably go into 2018 with a payroll of $175-$180 million.

Why is this so important? Because, once you come in under the payroll threshold, your penalty resets. So, if in 2019 the Dodgers go back over the threshold, their penalty will be 20%, not 50%. And the 2018 off-season will be filled with top free agents, such as:

Charlie Blackmon

Josh Donaldson

Bryce Harper

Clayton Kershaw (assuming he opts out of his current deal)

Dallas Keuchel

Craig Kimbrel

Manny Machado

And that’s just to name a few. So this trade was all about positioning themselves to sign a couple of big names after the 2018 season, in which they are still favored by most to win the World Series.

Or, as Friedman said when this was pointed out, “Oh, I hadn’t noticed. Is there a big free-agent class next winter?”

Farewell Adrian

It is sad to see Adrian Gonzalez go. He was the heart and soul of the Dodgers offense for many seasons before his back gave out on him, and was one of the most popular Dodgers of all time. He had this message for Dodgers fans after he was traded (Gonzalez had to waive his no-trade clause for the deal to go through):

“My final decision was not based on playing time as I had agreed to a limited bench role. It is a way to test the free agent market and see what opportunities are out there for me so I can make the best decision moving forward for me and my family. Lifting the no-trade clause is the hardest decision I have ever made in my career due to the fact that I loved every single second being a Dodger.

“I have talked through this whole process with Andrew and the Dodgers organization and they are giving me this opportunity to see if there is a better fit for me somewhere else. As the roster stands right now, there might not be a spot for me on the roster.

“I want to thank the Dodgers owners for being the best owners I have ever played for. Also my coaches and teammates because with them we had an amazing five years together. And most importantly to all the Dodgers fans, no word or phrase can describe how grateful and blessed I am to have been a part of their cheers and support.

“The entire Dodger nation welcomed me with open arms and took me in right away. Thank you for everything to the fans and the city of LA. You will always be in my heart. This closes a chapter for me, but not the book.”

And finally

Who are the greatest Dodgers of all time? Look for more on this after the holidays as I turn to you to help decide. Start thinking about your top 10 all time. Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Player, owner, announcer, any person with a connection to the Dodgers counts. Voting will begin in January. Until then, enjoy your holidays!

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston.

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 71 Comments

  1. One of the underappreciated things about this trade is just how futile the strategy of signing the old and infirm to fill out the starting rotation has been. Note what Mitchell said here:
    “McCarthy played three seasons with the Dodgers, going 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 29 starts. For that, he got paid about $36 million.

    “the Dodgers paid him (Kazmir) about $30 million over two seasons to go 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts.

    $66 MM for 5 years of Kazmir and McCarthy combined – 21 – 13, ERA over 4.50. This money (as well as that doled out to the likes of Brent Anderson) was simply not well spent.

    Please – no more injured/injury prone pitchers!

    I was a big fan of Matt Kemp’s at one time. A part of me would love to see him put on the Blue again. BUT – if his attitude is bad, and if he’s still in bad shape and can’t play any defense, why would the Dodgers keep him?

    1. worked well with Blanton and Morrow.
      `
      Interesting those two are in the bullpen with more, but different usage.

    2. … but even when you sign non-injury prone pitchers, they get injured. The list is long but I can look them up if you like.

      1. What – do you think that the money invested in Kazmir and McCarthy was well spent?

        Do you advocate doing it again?

        1. Hell no!

          But, I understand why they did it.

          My point is that they didn’t sell the farm or break the bank with a long-term deal.

          Healthy pitchers can become unhealthy one too (Price, Cueto, et al)

        2. I think so.
          `
          Always try to find value.
          `
          Not sure there is a need for more pitching given the farm system. But say the team wanted a LH 2B to spell Forsythe and they could get an oft-injured 2B with high upside for a similar type deal.
          `
          Probably, Not definitely.

  2. What American League Team could use Kemp for $5-10 million per year?
    Can he be bundled with some combination of Grandal, Thompson &/or Pederson?

    1. FAZ is working all the angles – you can bet on it, but if ATL could have gotten $10 mil a year they would have not traded with the Dodgers. I agree with Bluto that there are no takers.

      There weren’t many takers for Brandon Morrow or Chris Taylor last year, either.

  3. 39 HR
    108 RBI
    .268 BA
    .755 OPS
    .
    He had 40 stolen bases as well and in his last game in San Diego he hit a ball that was caught against the right center field that would have been a home run in any other park. That would have been 40.
    .
    But, I am not impressed with a .755 OPS or only 108 RBI for someone that hits 39 home runs. That tells me there was a lack of clutch hits for someone that was near MVP.

  4. I think your list is dead on Mark, but it doesn’t take into account of the harmonious locker room the Dodgers have had for the most part the last 3 years with each year getting better than the next. Even Greinke said his last year in LA, the Dodgers had a great locker room. The only person Puig would want to be around less than Mattingly is Kemp. Sure, Kemp had to deal with knuckleheadness of Puig, but Kemp was also jealous of the new star in town that was taking his position in RF and they bumped heads multiple times. Poor Matty didn’t want to play LF and now he’s barely a passable in LF. Kemp, Hanley, and Beckett were moved out of that locker room and things got a lot better.
    ~
    For him, it’s not really about does he want to be a Dodger again. It’s do I collect the last two years of my contract and ride of into the sunset or do I get my fat ass into shape, help a ball club, and maybe extend my career a couple of years. He needs to watch Money Ball because the talk that David Justice got is where he’s at now. Multiple teams have been willing to pay money for him to leave.
    ~
    The chances of having him around Seager, Bellinger, Buehler, Verdugo, Toles, the more mature Puig and the rest of the young players is very very slim. They were willing to pay Carl Crawford $21 million to go away and he was well liked by everyone. Kershaw and JT won’t want him back. Doc saw his routine in SD so I have a hard time believing he would want him in his locker room too.
    ~
    Dodger Stadium isn’t the most difficult outfield in the world to play, but why bother. Is he going to be any better than Toles/Kike platoon or a Joc/Kike platoon? Why block Verdugo? If the Dodgers can’t move him then maybe he’s allowed to show up to ST to show other clubs that he’s in shape so they can try to move him then, but I doubt it.
    ~
    To me the real question is, which team might give the Dodgers 33 cents on the dollar to take him off their hands. At this time, I don’t buy Boston. The Yankees just added Stanton to a loaded lineup with a loaded bullpen. The Red Sox have to answer with someone better than Matt Kemp. Plus, Matt Kemp doesn’t have the demeanor to handle playing in Boston if things don’t go his way. Every star in the AL East who don’t play for the Skankees or Red Sox is being shopped now. Boston is the only team that can give the Yankees a race so they don’t need Matt Kemp. They are thinking Hosmer or Martinez.

  5. I remember that story, as I had a ticket for you that day until you told me you were sitting in the press box. First blogger to sit in the press box was a great accomplishment. I still can’t believe they made this latest trade work. Now they need to find a suitor for Matt but I am rooting for him to stay with the team.

  6. Heyman says there’s no market for Kemp:
    http://www.fanragsports.com/heyman-trade-market-for-matt-kemp-virtually-nonexistent/
    `
    If the Dodgers can eventually find a taker via trade, the club’s front office might just be comprised of magicians…As a member of the Braves this past season, he hit .276 with 19 home runs, 64 RBIs and a .318 on-base percentage across 115 regular-season appearances and 438 at-bats in all while also registering as one of, if not the, worst outfielders in baseball defensively.

    1. I believe that is the case, and if it is then why not see what he can do? You can always cut him later too if he’s a malcontent, fat, lazy, slow, etc.

      I do believe that if got his body and brain into shape to play LF, he could be close to average on defense.

      Can FAZ and Roberts get him to buy in? I wonder what his relationship is with Roberts? They were together in SD.

      What team needs a DH?

      Not many.
      Not Baltimore
      Not Boston
      Not the Yankees
      TB would not pay
      Not Toronto
      Not the White Sox
      Nor the Indians
      Detroit would not pay
      Nor would KC
      Minn would not pay
      The Astros are coverd
      Not the Angels
      Not the A’s
      Not the Rangers
      Not Seattle

      Maybe the Nippon Ham Fighters!

      You can only hope Kemp can rebound or maybe a teams’ DH goes down, or maybe you take back another bad contract? I am fascinated by the possibilities which are as far apart as heaven and hell.

      1. Any of those teams take him at $7.5 million a year if the Dodgers throw in a mid-level propect or 2? If the Dodgers could free up $15 million over two years to spend elsewhere it would be worth deal a Sborz or some other mid-level prospect who probably isn’t in LA’s plans long-term.

      2. Trumbo can play OF, Baltimore could want him.
        KC rehabbed Kendrys, maybe they try Kemp?
        Beltran retired, Houston needs a DH.

        1. Thomas,

          Do not use Trumbo and outfield in the same sentence! 😉

          KC won’t pay

          Houston has Gurriell and Gattis.

  7. Question, How does the system work that resets the luxury tax clock?
    Is it the start of the season under 197?
    Is it the Average payroll throughout the 2018 season?
    Or is it something else?

  8. It’s obvious that Matt Kemp was ‘ chum ‘ in this deal. Even Kemp knows that. I suspect Dave Roberts was in on this and, being the best “Adjustment Bureau ” in MLB he probably told FAZ he can get something positive out of Kemp. I think if anyone can it’s Dave Roberts.
    Kemp has skills, but he needs to be redirected , and have an attitude adjustment.
    There will be plenty of competition so he will have to work hard to prove himself. He might have been a premadana once, but those days are over.
    I think the best strategy for everyone is to give him the change to either succeed or fail, it will be up to him.
    If he improves the Dodgers just might end up with a player that can be productive, or get some value for him in a trade. If not, they can do with him what they already have plans to do with him if it doesn’t work out. I have know idea what that is,but we can be sure FAZ already knows what it is.
    And you can be sure Dave Roberts will not let Kemp cause problems in the clubhouse a second time.

    1. If anyone can get this out of Kemp, Roberts is the one.

      That being said, if Kemp becomes a productive player for the Dodgers-including in left field-no one will ever trade with us again.

  9. AC has been silent on all of this. I feel he is about to unleash extraordinary denunciations upon us … and soon! 😉

    1. I have been absolutely overwhelmed at work. I have a major presentation on Tuesday PM.
      .
      I am not a big Kemp fan. He is the worst defensive LF in all of MLB, and I would rather have Kike’ hitting against LHP than Kemp. We have 8 weeks until Spring Training. If FAZ cannot get any team to pony up anything, then I would expect FAZ to release him so he has some time to find another team. Some team will sign him for the minimum. If they need the extra roster space, he could be released sooner.

  10. Mark,
    What does ” Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner! mean?

    An other option is FAZ could hire you to give Matt Kemp the talk you gave to one of your employees who had an attitude and a coming in late problem.
    Maybe you and Matt Kemp sit across from each other, bellybutton to bellybutton and you tell him like you told your employee, ” Matt, we think you have potential and a future here, this is what we expect out of you and this is the way it’s going to be. Got it?”

    1. The legend tells that years ago every casino in Las Vegas had a three-piece chicken dinner with a potato and a veggie for $1.79. A standard bet back then was $2, hence when you won a bet you had enough for a chicken dinner. !”

      I doubt that I could be the one to talk to Matt Kemp. I’d try and kick his ass and he would kick mine.

  11. Maybe they can have his legs broken and collect the insurance money.
    Would it still go against the salary cap?

    1. Luxury Tax money is used to fund player benefits and MLB’s Industry Growth Fund. It is also used to fund player Individual Retirement Accounts and part will be given to teams not over the tax threshold. I am not sure of the percentages.

  12. I can understand why the Dodgers would attempt to move part of Kemp’s salary in a trade. Don’t understand why they would just release him without the salary relief.

    1. Because he’s been a clubhouse cancer for three teams and he’s taking a roster spot from someone more deserving. it’s addition by subtraction.

  13. I am not a Kemp fan and I do not want to think about him in that locker room with all those kids. Get in shape, not likely, but maybe, keep his mouth shut, put the team first and himself second, never. Matt Kemp is a self-centered malcontent prima donna and does not deserve to be on this team.

    1. Where does this come from?

      I keep hearing how Kemp is a clubhouse cancer, but it seems the more folks comment about him, the worse he gets. Yeah, I “read somewhere on the internet” that he wasn’t happy getting switched to LF, but is it possible the prima donna/clubhouse cancer label is a little overblown and based on rumor and speculation?

      Not that I’m arguing that he’s a model citizen, but where is the evidence?

      And I keep reading he has “no value.” Of course he has value. The issue is his contract far and away is in excess of his production. Teams want to drop him like he’s hot because his contract is exorbitant and GMs have finally figured out how to read defensive metrics and no longer place as much ..value…on “stars” who “put butts in seats,” (which I have to say was a really dumb argument for criticizing the Kemp deal FAZ made with San Diego). It wasn’t that long ago that AJ Preller valued him enough to give a lot for him, even though San Diego has a pretty cavernous outfield.

      If Trumbo can play in this league, I don’t see why some AL team wouldn’t agree to pay 3-5 million per year of his remaining contract to take him off the Dodgers’ hands. That’s what I would estimate his value to be.

  14. Sometimes I am serious and sometimes I am not. Mark and I have that in common. Here is a non-serious thought. Get Kemp to agree to be optioned to the minors and then take him off the 40 man roster. Tell him he only needs to work on fundamentals and therefore doesn’t have to go on the road.
    .
    The Dodgers have already accomplished what they wanted to do with this trade and that was to get under the salary penalty. Whatever happens with Kemp can only be considered a plus from here on out.
    .
    If Boston does not sign Martinez or Hosner there is a chance that they would trade for Kemp if the Dodgers kept some of his salary.

  15. Baseball 1439, I agree with you. I do not want him n the locker room with all the young players. He needs to be given away in the best deal possible. I doubt if any team will bite. They know they can get him for nothing this spring. Expecting Matt to change his attitude is like expecting a skunk to change his stripe. Will not happen.

    1. I have faith in Roberts and his coaches, so I only see this as a win with Kemp.

      Attitude makes a lot of difference, as well as time, and this may be Kemp’s last chance to prove everyone is wrong about him, and that brings some heavy motivation for Kemp, if he can get in this mind set.

      And if anyone can get Kemp to believe, it is Roberts!

      Roberts has done a pretty good job, getting 25 players, to believe, in the last two years.

      I see some people that wanted everyone to give Puig another chance, not wanting to give Kemp that same chance.

      Remember Kemp injured himself terribly on that wall in Colorado, trying to help his team.

      And he went through a terrible few years, after he got injured, trying to be that same player.

      And an athlete being in denial after getting terribly injured, is not unusual, and that is what Kemp was doing, after Mattingly took him out of center, and wanted him to play leftfield.

      I think Mattingly should have had more compassion for Kemp at that time, because Mattingly had his career cut short, because of injury problems too.

      It took Puig a few years before he got with the program, why not give Kemp this same chance?

      If he comes to spring training in shape, and shows he wants to compete, why not see what he has.

      He might surprise a few people with his defense, if he has the motivation and drive, to be better out there.

      Just being in better shape, can make a big difference on defense, along with having a better attitude.

      Kemp had some pretty good numbers, in 2016.

      And last year, his numbers were not the same, because he was out on the DL, for a hamstring strain.

      But if you doubled the numbers Kemp had last year, for the games he missed, he would still have pretty good numbers.

      And if Kemp comes to spring training in shape, and stays in shape during the season, he probably won’t have any injury issues.

      The truth is that Kemp gave Freddy Freeman some pretty good protection, while he was with the Braves.

      And they both had really good offensive numbers, because of this.

      We have needed someone to protect Cody in the line up for a while, and maybe Kemp can be that guy, that can protect Cody.

      Kemp has had issues with his defense and attitude, but no one has said that Kemp can’t hit, because he is still a good hitter, with power.

      And maybe Turner Ward can help Kemp stop swinging at those sliders, on the outside corner, like he did with Puig.

      Like I said at the top, I only see this as a win, because the Dodgers don’t have anything to lose with Kemp, and if they can get anything out of Kemp, that will make this deal, look even better.

      Kemp could provide great protection for Cody, in the line up, just like he did, with Freddy Freeman.

      And Freeman had a MVP type of season, with Kemp protecting him.

      1. Apples and Oranges. Puig was a 25 year old who hadn’t entered his prime yet who was sent to the minors. Kemp is a 33 year old prima dona who has been sent packing by 3 teams. No one comes off worse in Molly Knight’s book than Kemp and from what I hear the same is true in Ned’s new book.
        ~
        The Dodgers sent him and cash packing for Grandal. The Padres sent him packing and were willing to pay off Olivera’s contract to do so. They were willing to pay off a domestic abuser who wasn’t even in baseball so they could get Matt Kemp out of their locker room. Now the Braves are willing to take on about an extra $25 million this year to have him gone. It hasn’t just been Molly Knight and Ned’s books. He was ripped by the Padres front office. He was ripped by the Braves’ owner and if you read the article that I posted. AA’s top priority was getting Kemp out of the locker room.
        ~
        Let’s put his personality and locker room behavior aside for a moment. In the best of scenario’s will his on the field performance as a guy with terrible range, routes, and an extremely low .OBP, going to be much of an upgrade over a Toles/Kike platoon or a Joc/Kike platoon? I don’t think so and i would argue those guys are better options than Kemp even if he shows up in shape. Now throw in his attitude and is it really worth the risk?
        ~
        If you listen to Friedman’s interview with SportsnetLA you can tell Kemp isn’t in the plans. He compares it to Gonzo’s problem of not having enough AB’s available and he mentions a whole slew of players that would get AB’s before him including Joc. The fact that Kemp hasn’t said a word and the Braves couldn’t flip him elsewhere should speak volumes about Matt Kemp.
        ~
        We can all be nostalgic about a young Kemp and the MVP he should have got. I defended him through his injuries and wasn’t happy when they traded him, but I was wrong. I would have Puig hit behind Cody 100 out 100 times before Matt Kemp.
        ~
        BTW, after being called out by the Braves owner for being fat and out of shape. He showed up in shape last year and with supposedly a new attitude. By the end of the season he was fat again and unwanted in the clubhouse. Kike hit lefties better than Kemp last year and I would rather see Toles or Joc against a righty. Not to mention the atrociousness defense Kemp brings.
        ~
        Matt Kemp said he was happy to finally be playing in a real baseball town when he was traded to the Braves. Let him play in Oakland. Here’s an idea. He’s from Oklahoma City. I think there’s a baseball team there. Never mind they wouldn’t want him near the kids there either.

        1. Hawkeye

          Puig was not badly injured playing for this team, so he had no excuse for not being with the program.

          And I hear in that same book, Puig is not talked about nicely, either.

          I did try to look up, any excerpts they had about Kemp, in Ned’s new book, but I couldn’t find anything..

          And I wasn’t happy when I heard about Kemp’s comment, about playing in a baseball town finally.

          But I read something else, that put his comment in perspective.

          He had grown up watching the Braves, because as you know, almost everyone, any where, at that time, could see the Braves and the Cubs play, on TV.

          And Kemp grow up watching the Braves on TV, because as you know, his home town doesn’t field a major league team.

          And if we are only talking about offense, we haven’t got that much out of leftfield, in the last couple years.

          And Kemp had better offensive numbers in 2016, then most of our outfielders.

          What I am saying, if the Dodgers end up having to hold on to him, I will leave it to Roberts and his coaches, to decide what to do.

          Of course, I want Toles to get a chance!

          I also don’t understand why we are talking about Joc so much.

          Joc not only showed up to spring training, not in shape the last couple years, just like Kemp, he has not hit consistently, after three years.

          And what Joc did in seven games, didn’t prove to much.

          I don’t want us to have to trade for an outfielder again, at the trade deadline, because Joc has stopped hitting again.

          1. He grew up watching the Braves and he still couldn’t get his act together for them. Joc, Puig, Toles, Verdugo all young guys learning how to be a professional. Kemp had his chance with three teams and he blew it. Puig got a wake up call and responded. Kemp has been told don’t let the door hit you in the ass and he’s acted the same way. Kemp’s hamstring injuries are similar to Puig’s. He put on too much weight and his hammies couldn’t take it. In Kemp’s case it was fat. I defended Kemp because the one injury was running into a wall. The second injury was because he was half-assing it down the line. THREE TEAMS have made it a priority to get him out of their locker room.

        1. Hawkeye

          I always respect what you say!

          Because I not only feel you are very knowledgeable, and I think you are a fair guy too.

          And I really don’t want to mess with the team’s chemistry.

          And I actually love watching our young players, develop.

          I guess I just badly want us to get a good right hand hitter, to protect Cody, in the line up.

          Which book did you think was best, of these two books?

  16. If they can’t unload Kemp they’ll bring him to ST and see what he has. If he lights up the Cactus League some team will consider acquiring him and if he doesn’t, and continues with his horrible “me first” attitude, he will be DFA’d.

    The one thing you constantly hear from players is the excellent communication skills possessed by Doc and the FO. Doc makes it a point to speak to every player, everyday. Perhaps he can persuade Kemp to be a “team guy.” He’s an awfully expensive PH but can you imagine Kemp being an offensive weapon off the bench in a tight game in the bottom of the ninth. Dodger Stadium excitement for sure.

  17. Matt is not stupid and he can read what is said about him. The question is whether he wants to own up to it, accept blame and then change!

    Unless they throw in something some other team really wants, I can’t see him moving now… maybe in the Spring.

  18. One thing is for sure, with Faz you never know! How about 1 year of Britton and Trumbo for Kemp and 2 prospects? It’s almost revenue neutral for this year and upgrades the bullpen, plus Trumbo can play 1st and 3rd and OF and is a potent bat off the bench. Kemp takes over the DH with Trumbo leaving. If a prospect was Oaks, Font or Stewart they could slide into the rotation, or the deal could be expanded to include Ryu for something else back. I would also do 1 year of Adam Jones for Kemp and one pitching prospect, but I think the O’s would like to dump Trumbo. If they trade Machado there could be a sell off over there.

    I see Realmuto wants out of Florida and Yelitch is thinking about it. They won’t want Kemp but the tear down will continue. Boston signs Moreland to play 1B moving Hanley to DH, what does this mean for JD, is he still on their radar? Obviously Hosmer is not, leaving the Padres and KC at this point. When will the big free agent starting pitchers sign? Someone needs to set the market for this year, Arrietta and Darvish being the top targets.

  19. Let’s get crazy and smoke that crack pipe. Kemp and Puig to Boston, Bradley and Verdugo to Miami, Yelich to LA.
    .
    OF Yelich
    2B Tyylor
    SS Seager
    3B Turner
    1B Bellinger
    OF Pederson/Henderson
    C Barnes/Grandal
    OF Toles/Thompson

  20. I say get Kemp to play 1B for 2018. Put Bellinger in LF. At least for next year. That would make a good offensive lineup. Kemp is very athletic, which showed in his early years. Until he got wiped out in CF going after a fly ball, I don’t recall a clubhouse problem with him. That injury has side tracked his entire career. I think he still has some decent years ahead of him. I’ll take 25 HRs and .270 and 85 rbi at 1B with the kid in LF. Someone should post that lineup.

    1. 1. Cody Bellinger is a Gold Glove 1B.

      2. The Dodgers did not get rid of A-Gon for Cody to play LF. I would be shocked if Cody played an inning anywhere but 1B.

      3. Matt Kemp has never played the infield or 1B since… forever.

      4. If Kemp can’t play LF, he can’t play!

      5. A lot of people are down on Kemp… and rightfully and deservedly so.

      6. Matt Kemp has been a big Clubhouse problem with the Dodegrs – I can personally attest to that.

      7. SD and ATL said he was a problem.

      8. He was a horrible defender in LF because he did not want to be there and the only way he won’t be again is if he transforms his mind. I believe he can be a decent LF… IF he wants to.

      9. There’s no reason to believe he can change who he is. If he changes, it will take a miracle.

      10. I do believe in miracles, but they are rare.

  21. Three final things:

    1. FAZ has nothing to lose lettinng Kemp go to Spring Training;

    2. All he needs to do is show up, step up and shut up!

    3. He will be a #6 or #7 hitter – Can he handle that?

    It’s all conjecture. Not many stranger things have happened.

    1. Just to weigh in…I like Matt Kemp, always have. I was ok with the trade to the Padres because it opened things up for Puig and they had a logjam in the OF. He can still hit but his fielding went south and he still has a bad contract. So if the Dodgers can’t find any takers AND he convinces the team his attitude has changed he will be in spring training and compete for a spot. If he can’t convince the team his attitude has changed and he can’t be unloaded he probably will be DFA’d. The whole DH thing seems to be him still wanting to play the field so they may be trying to convince him to accept a DH role so he can be traded to an AL team which I read he would not do for Atlanta. Whatever transpires the team was able to unload 3 bad contracts and get under the luxury tax. Worst case they eat the contract, best case get a better version of Kemp, or find a way to package him to an AL team. I have no idea what Faz and Roberts have in mind.

    2. They can’t risk him getting hurt in training camp, can they?

      He can’t play defense. It doesn’t matter if he can hit.

  22. FYI, there are 9 references to Matt Kemp in Colletti’s book,
    ‘ The Big Chair ‘ . None are negative toward Kemp, most are positive.

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