What’s Next For the Dodgers and Matt Kemp?

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of Matt Kemp, it is interesting to see the progression or degradation of his game – as his body increased in size, his production decreased in direct proportion.

2007

2009

2011

2013

2015

2016

2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF2LFHJkgYQ – I can’t get link to work

Most Dodger fans have strong opinions about Kemp… and many are not good.  I have witnessed the surly side of Matt Kemp, but I have also witnessed how gracious he can be.  At one time, Matt and Andre Ethier were both prima donnas and difficult in the lockerroom… not all the time, but at times.  You had to be careful around them because seemingly anything could set this off.  Andre got married and had a family and that tends to mellow a guy out.  Matt is a single, free spirit still lamenting that he should have won the 2011 MVP over that Cheating Ryan Braun.

As a  human being, Matt may not have been as good as some thought,  and conversely, he may not be as bad as some think.  Like lots of things in life, the truth lies somewhere in-between. Matt Kemp has summarily been dismissed by three different teams.  His defensive metrics are atrocious and his batting style is simply “all-or-nothing.”

Matt Kemp is an enigma.  Part charm, part venom, part talent, part sulk.  I can give you about $43 million reason why Andrew Friedman hopes that Matt Kemp has something left to prove.  There are $43 million reasons why the Dodgers hope Matt Kemp has a huge chip on his shoulder. At one time, the Dodgers were almost Matt Kemp’s team.  In fact, they could have been, had he acted with more maturity.  You know, the kind of maturity exhibited by Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor.  But, that’s all water under the dam now.  Matt Kemp is here and so are the Dodgers.

Can they both make it work? It’s going to be as difficult as herding cats.  Risk verses reward.  The risk is great, but the reward could also be.  Matt Kemp is fat and out of shape and very likely has some physical issues with his hips. This all could be for naught.  Or, it could be for something.  Andrew Friedman said he was very honest and direct with Matt Kemp.  While I do not know what was said, I do think it went something like this:

“Matt, we traded for you because we needed to dump salary and we were able to do that when we acquired you.  Now, this can go down in history as a salary dump and at some point we may trade or release you… or it could be so much more than that.  Matt, this is your opportunity at redemption.  It’s your chance to show Los Angeles and the World that Matt Kemp really is something.  This is your chance to cement your legacy. It’s all up to you, not me.

It all starts with your diet, health and intensity of training.  You weigh,like 245 right now, but back in the day, you were a lean, gazelle-like machine.  Can you dump the weight, increase the conditioning and train like you never have for years… if ever? Can you agree to play LF, hit #6 and just give it your all no matter what?… because if you do, not only can you do well, but you might approach your MVP level of a few years ago.

Check your ego at the door and leave it all on the field.  You are only 33 and have a couple more good years in your body… maybe you can retire as a Dodger and with a couple of World Championships.  Do you have the drive, desire and determination to reach out to be what your talent dictates? I’d like you to be part of our Championship team, but it’s up to you.  Can you get on board and behind this?  Can you be a part of this?  It’s your decision…”

Matt Kemp could screw this whole thing up.  That I readily admit.  Right about now, no one else wants him.  NO ONE!  But, when you get lemons, maybe it’s best to make lemonade.  I doubt there will be any middle ground.  With Matt Kemp, it will be boon or bust! I’m hoping for the boon, but am prepared for the bust!  He could be released during Spring Training or be an amazing comeback candidate. I don’t have an opinion as to what will play out, but I am hopeful.

Barring a miracle, Matt Kemp will be on the Dodgers roster until late March.  The Dodger have other business at hand, namely… maybe trading for Gerrit Cole.  I think Yu Darvish will cost too much.  Grandal and Pederson will have to be moved to make that happen (that will save about $10 million).  Would the Pirates trade Cole for Grandal, Pederson and Alvarez? Do they have to include Verdugo?

What if Matt Kemp showed up in Spring Training at 205 with a new attitude and desire?  What if he hit #6 and Toles or Kike served as his backup?  What if he hit .270 with 35 HR?  What if?

I don’t think Kemp can wreck this team.  I don’t think Doc, Clayton, Cody, Corey, JT, Kenley or Rich Hill will tolerate a bad actor.

Matt Kemp:  THIS IS YOUR LAST BEST CHANCE!

 

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 65 Comments

  1. I’m not as concerned with Kemp’s attitude as much as some others on this site, and I’m certain that with Dave Roberts and an established core of leaders, there is no way that anyone is going to undermine the commitment to take care of unfinished business. If anything I think that Kemp would buy into the culture as it exists, and could well become a model citizen. And if there’s any hint that he could undermine the culture, I’m sure he would be gone in an instant.

    Seems to me that Kemp has regained his power stroke with 35 bombs in 2016, and 39 doubles, and 19 long balls last year in only 115 games.

    And if he could get down to 205, or thereabouts, he might even be able to upgrade his defense.

    Of course, nothing is guaranteed. And if Kemp doesn’t provide production, he could simply go the way of Carl Crawford.

    And of course, any chance that Kemp has of contributing will depend on his health, and his commitment to work his keister off.

  2. It’s got to mean something to the young players on this team when they see the commitment the organization has to playing hard and having the right attitude. $20m won’t get you a spot on this roster unless you produce.

  3. The Dodgers kept Chase Utley around to be the team Dad. A more mature Andre Ethier took Bellinger under his wings last season. Matt Kemp is the antithesis of those two. Not worth the risk with all of the talent the Dodgers have to play LF. I forgot about the arthritic hips until you mentioned it Mark. You’re right though. It is up to him if he wants to continue to have an MLB career.

  4. For every reason you can come up with to keep Kemp you can come up with a reason not to keep him. I believe this team has the leadership from the front office down to the players that will keep him in line or he will be gone. If,and that is the biggest if you can find, Kemp can be not terrible in left his bat could be a difference maker.

    A motivated Matt Kemp could be an all star and maybe even a mvp caliber season. While I’m not holding my breath, I do believe the front office gives him the spring to show he’s serious and in shape. This front office worked a miracle offloading Gonzalez, McCarthy and Kazmir, I don’t know if they have another one in them to move Kemp if he’s a turd.

    On Cole I don’t think the Bucs need Pederson or Verdugo,they have some young outfielders already. Maybe Alvarez, Font,Lux and Beat could get it done. I could see FAZ sending Pederson, Thompson and Sheffield to Tampa for Odorizzi.

    It sounds like they are trying to sign the Japanese closer Hirano, which would be nice as he’s a ground ball pitcher. I would like to see them go after Jared Hughes also.

  5. The Dodgers don’t need Kemp, no other team wants him plan and simple.
    HawkeyeDodger is right Matt Kemp is not worth the risk, and he doesn’t deserve the chance. The last time the Dodgers wanted him to play left field he caused nothing but trouble in the clubhouse thinking( as always )only of himself.Now if he starts in left he will be blocking the path of Toles or Verdugo. The Dodgers lowered their payroll and moved some players that most likely wouldn’t have been much help to the team, Kemp is in that group.

  6. I am not a Kemp fan. I agree with all of the if’s you guys put forward. The one and only chance Kemp has is the honesty of Friedman and Doc. I think they are honest with every ball player and the players love it. Look at what Agon and Culbertson had to say about the Dodgers. They give players a chance to make it. Taylor and Barnes made it because they were given an opportunity. I think the Dodgers will give Kemp an opportunity. He is 33 years old. He is old enough to figure it out. However, most of the time these guys do not change. It is in their DNA.

  7. I understand the intrigue of Matt Kemp, but I also understand the intrigue some have in drugs. Not me, I just say NO, just as I would with Kemp. Kemp is a high risk, medium reward (ceiling) at this point in his career. FAZ has stayed away from players like Kemp. Kemp is not the RH hitting answer in LF for LAD. Kike’ is better than Kemp against LHP, and I am not blocking Toles/Joc/Verdugo for Kemp.
    .
    I heard FAZ when they said their overwhelming goal for this off-season was to get below the luxury tax threshold. There were about 1,000 blogs written all over the internet about the Dodgers as the favorite to get Stanton. All the while, FAZ kept saying to those who would listen, no we are not in unless the Marlins take A-Gon, Kazmir, and McCarthy. I heard FAZ say they were much more likely to trade for their needs than to sign any FA. Now what I am hearing FAZ say is that they will either trade or DFA Kemp. I believed FAZ before, so I will believe them this time as well. Kemp will not go to ST with the team. All it depends on is how much on the dollar they are willing to spend to move Kemp. Maybe the pundits are correct and there is not much interest, and that Kemp’s trade value is zero. I do not believe that it is zero, but it may be that the Dodgers have to take back 80%-90% of his contract, which is better than DFA.
    .
    Why would a team take Kemp at $2M – $4M, rather than try to sign him at MLB minimum once he is DFA? He could be somewhere between a .5 and 1.5 oWAR. An AL team might be willing to take that risk, and would not have to spend a lot of brain cells trying to woo him if he is a FA. Regardless as to what he thinks, there is virtually no chance he can find an NL taker. He has to play in LF in the NL, and that evaporates any positive oWAR, and puts him in a negative WAR. No NL team wants that. His only chance is to the AL as a DH.
    .
    I have long been an advocate to get Gerrit Cole. I have no idea what it would take to get him, but as long as Walker Buehler is not involved I believe FAZ will listen. Cole has two years team control so he will be expensive. I do not think Cole gets moved as long as McCutcheon is a Pirate. If McCutcheon is moved and the re-tooling begins. Austin Meadows is promoted and immediately slotted in CF, with Marte in LF and Polanco in RF. Adam Frazier remains as the Pirates version of Kike’, and Jose Osuna is the #5 OF RH bat off the bench. The Pirates are said to be interested in Clint Frazier from the Yankees in a potential Cole trade to NYY. If they are interested in Frazier, then the Pirates would be interested in Verdugo. Verdugo is virtually the same player as Austin Meadows. Meadows is a little faster, but Verdugo has a much better arm. Neither one are big power bats. I can see the Pirates having interest in Verdugo, and they could then flip Polanco, to pick up a young 3B to take over after Freese leaves. With Meadows, Bell, Verdugo, Marte, and all of the young pitching they have, they could be in contention as early as 2019.
    .
    There were two trade scenarios I thought were very interesting. One was penned by Dustin Nosler, and even he believes that it is extremely unlikely to happen. Yasmani Grandal to the DBacks for AJ Pollock. The DBacks desperately need a catcher, and everyone knows how much Greinke loves to pitch to Grandal, and they have Chris Owings who could play CF. The Dodgers could get that defensive CF (and RH bat) that I have wanted. Both will be FA next year, and both have comparable projected arbitration salaries. While all of the accolades go to Goldy (deservedly so), there are many that believe that Pollock is the heart and soul of that team.
    .
    That trade would move Taylor to 2B, and that would open up another trade proposal I read (I do not remember where, but it was not mine). Logan Forsythe to the Mets for Matt Harvey. The Mets desperately need a 2B, and Harvey is expendable. Forsythe is the more steady and reliable player, but Harvey has a higher ceiling (and lower floor). Again both players are FA next year, and Forsythe is a more expensive player salary wise. This is one of those trades that would drive the anti-FAZ crowd crazy. Another injury prone pitcher? Haven’t the Dodgers had enough of those? Harvey is a top of the rotation pitcher in his walk year. IMO, I love the potential of Matt Harvey. He could absolutely implode, and that risk is high. But what if he regains his early potential? Kershaw/Harvey/ Hill/Wood/Maeda. And they still have the prospect capital to go after Cole or Archer. I do not know what it would take, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. I would not trade Forsythe unless the Dodgers get a good defensive CF so Taylor can move to 2B.
    .
    Can you imagine a lineup of:
    1B – Bellinger
    2B – Taylor
    3B – JT
    SS – Seager
    LF – Kike/Toles/Joc
    CF – Pollock
    RF – Puig
    C – Barnes
    Rotation – Kershaw/Cole (or Archer)/Harvey/Hill/Wood – Maeda goes to the bullpen where he becomes a RH version of Andrew Miller.
    .
    That would be an awesome lineup, but the rotation would be the best in MLB.

    1. The success of pitchers coming back from thoracic outlet problems is shaky at best. Harvey has also been a problem in the clubhouse. I’ve soured on him but I agree that you can’t move Forsythe unless they find a top notch CF.

  8. Wonder if the Red Sox would trade Hanley Ramirez for Kemp? Salaries and years match well and Kemp would be able to DH and play some LF for Sox and Hanley could play some 1B and PH some for the Dodgers against LHP. Other possibilities to trade for that match up with Kemp’s contract would be Mauer from the Twins and Martin from the Jays. Once discussions open, you never know what could occur. Would love the Dodgers acquiring Stroman from Jays because of the way he pitched last Spring in the Classic.
    Getting Cole would be a great get for the Dodgers especially if coupled with McCutcheon. Would suggest packaging Maeda or Ryu, Grandal, Alverez, Peterson, and Baez as a starting point. Hate trading this much talent and good contracts but you have to give to make a deal. Would even include Kike since his ability to play multiple positions and kill LHP could attract interest.

      1. Bluto — pick your poison— Kemp or Ramirez. Ramirez can play 1B against lefties and pinch hit in late innings and there are apparently reports of an improving situation with back. Would fill in to give Bellinger a break 20-25 games . Costwise it is strictly a wash.

    1. Astros dodged a bullet on this one. I do not believe the Dodgers were ever in on him.
      .
      That makes Brach untouchable, and Givens more than he was before. What does this do to the Orioles thoughts on moving Machado?

      1. Seems like they waited too long to get anything real good for Machado. I don’t know if it is better to wait for the trade deadline or not at this point. Sure seems crazy to deal two top prospects for one year of control. I read both the Dodgers and Astros thought they had a deal for Britton. Reality has hit their owner real hard today.

    1. Start with Buehler and go from there. IMO he is the best defensive CF in MLB. Kevin Pillar and Mike Trout are 1B and 1C. Nobody in the NL is close. And he started to hit this year. Kiermaier’s contract is extremely team friendly :
      .
      2018 – $5.5M (age 28)
      2019 – $8.0M (age 29)
      2020 – $10M (age 30)
      2021 – $11.5M (age 31)
      2022 – $12.0M (age 32)
      2023 – $13.0M option – $2.5M buyout (age 33)
      .
      Kiermaier is who the Rays will once again re-build around, especially if he continues to hit. I do not think the Rays are in a tear down. I would not be surprised to see Archer now staying with the Rays. With getting rid of the Longoria contract, I think they are gearing up for next year where they can pick up some of the second tier FA. With a better than decent rotation of Archer/Andriese/Snell/Honeywell/De Leon, all young and controllable. A potential young infield of Bauers at 1B, Duffy at 2B, Adames at SS, and Arroyo at 3B. Kiermaier in CF. Ramos behind the dish. They can trade Odorizzi to get a RH OF. With NYY and Bosox in the same division, it will be difficult to win the division, but they can compete for a wild card slot this year, and with some strategic FA’s next year, they can compete even better.

      1. Ok Kiermaier is off the table, someone who has been mentioned as being available is Jackie Bradley Jr. How about Kemp, Farmer, Thompson, Rios,Sborz and Abdullah for Bradley Jr and Hanley Ramirez.

        Ramirez would be cheaper to release than Kemp, Bradley Jr to center, Taylor to 2b and like you proposed Forsythe to the Mets for Harvey.

        1. Two questions. Why would the Red Sox do that deal and why would the Dodgers want Hanley back? Hanley can’t play anywhere defensively, Bellinger hits lefties so he doesn’t need a platoon partner, and like Kemp if Hanley is sitting then he’s going to be a sour puss in the locker room. I like a deal for Bradley, but they would have to get some sort of real prospect in the deal.

          If the Dodgers are going to move Kemp they’re going to have to take some sort of bad contract to go along with some money shuffling and moving of prospects. Think of a contract like Ziegler’s. One year left. He makes $9 million. I don’t necessarily think the Dodgers and Marlins are a match, but it would have to be along those lines of thinking.

    1. This trade makes absolutely no sense to me. The Giants are continuing to get older. Longoria will be 32 this year, and will cost the Giants at least $86M (or $94.5M) over the next six years when he will be 37. They are paying a luxury tax for 2017. This trade increased their AAV for 2018 by $6.3M, and $12.7M for 2019, and $16.7M for 2020, 2021, & 2022. And they have not addressed their biggest problem…CF. With the loss of Christian Arroyo, they now have ZERO top 100 MLB prospects and ZERO top ten position MLB prospects. They also lost their #25 and #29 prospect (I guess because somebody has to be #25 and #29). They have absolutely no catching prospect. Only two catchers on the 40 man (Posey & Hundley). They have to pray that neither gets hurt. This is a team that seems directionless right now. I am guessing that Steven Duggar will be competing with Gorkys Hernandez for CF. They are hoping that Duggar is fast enough to play in that canyon in CF. Austin Slater will probably be the LF, but could platoon with Chris Shaw.
      .
      Belt and Pence have rooms reserved at the local hospital, as neither can stay healthy. I do not know how many more concussion protocols Belt can go through. Their rotation is Bumgarner/Cueto/Samardzija/Blach/Stratton. Only Tyler Beede is available for the #6, and after that Joan Gregorio. That rotation is well behind the Dodgers, DBacks, and Rox. Their bullpen is still highly questionable, but could be decent with Smith, Melancon, Dyson, and Strickland.
      .
      They could have had the MLB #3 3B prospect (Arroyo) at third this year and worked something to get a legit ML CF. This team is beginning to look like the 2012-2017 Phillies…old and overpriced. Longoria is does not make the Giants 23 games better to get to 87 wins as the Rockies had in 2017. I love the demise of the Giants.

  9. To those of you who are so done with Matt Kemp and do not want him on the team: I totally get it and agree with you, but the Dodgers will keep him … at least until he shows ugliness. Here’s why:

    Do you play the Lottery and then throw away your ticket at the nearest trash can because the odd are 100,000,000 to 1 or some such astronomical number?

    Of course not! The Dodgers traded for Kemp to get below the Luxury Tax, but they still have to pay him $43 million. The odds are long… maybe longer than winning the lottery, but there is a chance, as long as he is breathing. They will keep that ticket until Kemp makes them a loser… or a winner!

    I did not think Puig’s knuckleheadery was fixable, but he’s made progress. Maybe Kemp can recover too!

    1. I think, Mark, you underestimate the value and import of a spot on the 40 man roster.

      Why waste it on a player who can’t play defense, can’t hit for the metrics the team values and can’t run?

      why waste it on an OF, when there already are too many?

      You simply can’t have 8 OF (which is 20% of the 40.) Verdugo, Joc, Toles, Taylor, Kike, Puig and Trace.)

      1. I know the value of a roster spot, but I think you are starting with a hypothesis which may or may not be true, or even partially true.

        I think that if it was true he could not run, play defense and hit for the metrics FAZ values, he would have been released like A-Gon.

        I think those things are to be decided… and you very well may be right!

  10. Would Charlie Finley sell Verdugo for $42,000,000? Would any team pay the Dodgers $42,000,000 for Verdugo. If so, Kemp and Verdugo for a prospect.

  11. The problem being…Kemp’s a liability on defense. And his offense isn’t what it used to be. Maybe some DH league team will want him. IDK. If that’s all we have to worry about this season I’ll consider that a good thing.

  12. No one has mentioned it, but Tom Koehler will make between $2 and $3 million next season. That is an excellent risk!

    1. It is more like $2.5M. I do not see Koehler starting many games much less 10 which would kick in the 1st $250K. He could get the full $500K of relief incentives if he pitches in 60 games. Blanton pitched in 75 games in 2016, and Morrow pitched in 45 games in his abbreviated 2017. If Koehler is a bust, a $2M loss is not a tough pill. But if he pitches in 60 games and earns $2.5M, that would indicate that he had a Joe Blanton type year. I’ll take that for $2.5M. Per Cot’s, they are still $14.6M under the luxury tax threshold, and have multiple high salaried players that can be moved. I have no idea what it would cost for Hirano, but that would be an intriguing addition. If they sign Hirano and Koehler, which two RHRP get passed by? Baez/Fields/Font/Garcia/Stewart/Stripling? It would make both Stewart and Stripling potentially available in a trade.

  13. Kemp, Kemp, Kemp. He certainly is the center of attention. (Look at me !)
    For the past few weeks everyone was speculating about what FAZ needed to do or would to regarding Agon, Zazmir and MaCarthy . No one could imagine the deal they made. An incredible move that
    supports exactly water their goals are. And as everyone speculates about what they should or could or would do with Kemp, i’ll bet they already know and probably did last Saturday.
    These guys are creative and brilliant, I bet they make it work. (I’m hoping for a chicken dinner )

  14. Some think that after FAZ acquired Kemp, they found out there was no market for him.

    I guarantee they already knew that.

    I think he will get a chance.

    Ken Gurnick is a good guy and a smart guy but when his column intimates the Dodgers are considering McCutchen or Cain, well I am certain some hacker has hijacked his account. It ain’t happening!

    Hanley Ramirez is not happening either.. unless Santa Claus is real.

    Matt Kemp is here and not going away.

  15. Pretty sure Dodger FO knows the market value of Kemp. Currently he is worth around $30 million in salary savings plus more in luxury tax dollors to the Dodgers.
    He has already paid off. They can give him away or cut him loose and they still come out ahead.
    And if, just if they can somehow figure out a way to motivate him and put some fire in his belly, they might get a few dollors more for him down the line. At this point it’s sticky business.
    I doubt FAZ is particularly worried about it. I can almost see their smiles from here.

  16. I think you’re right bobo. Kemp is already a win no matter what happens with him. It’s all good. Release him or see if there is anything left in the tank. FAZ can’t lose on this one.

  17. This trade was good for both teams. We can say that regardless what the players involved do next year. If any of the players do anything, the trade will only get better. Two GM’s who knew what they are doing.

  18. Now that the Mariners traded for Span, a center fielder, they clearly do not have any need for Kiermaier 😉
    .
    Puig and Verdugo and Forsythe for Kiermaier.
    or
    Toles and Verdugo and Forsythe for Kiermaier.
    or
    Oaks and Forsythe and Verdugo for Kiermaier.

    1. Two problems:

      1. TB is not going to take on Forsythe’s or Puig’s salary.
      2. Toles and Verdugo would probably get it done, but I am not sure the team would be better.

      Kevin Kiermaier is an elite CF and he plays with reckless abandon, which he will have to curtail as he ages, or he will miss some significant time. He’s not a top-of-the-order hitter (unless he is a breakout candidate). I am not so sure Toles and Verdugo aren’t more valuable.

      1. I am merely trying to get one of AC’s favorites to the Dodgers. I’m a Pederson fan and hope he finds his way back to CF.

  19. I listened to the interview Friedman just did and he has no expectations for Matt Kemp. If someone steps up and offers him “something” for Kemp, he would take it (but that won’t happen). The Rule 5 draft is over, so roster spots are not currently a big deal. Kemp will likely be at Spring Training and there will be no expectations. I think the plan has to be “Find out if he can play or not.”

    That’s all there is to it. I have no expectations either.

  20. One thing I’ve noticed this last year. Roberts et al will play someone until it is crystal clear they can’t do it anymore. When the dodgers cut a player very few can say they weren’t given a chance.

  21. After the deal FAZ was just able to pull off, they must read all of our trade suggestions and simply laugh, calling us amateurs.

    1. Have to agree there, and after taking a spin through all the blogs I am laughing too:
      Grandal for Pollock (why would Az do anything for the Dodgers?)
      Sign Cain (he has a QO attached to him)
      Trade for Cole, or Archer or even resign Darvish (The team’s starting rotation is still full)
      Trade for McCutchen or Kiermaier (the outfield is even more full)
      Dump Ryu, or Grandal or Forsythe or Joc or Puig to save even more salary (they are under the tax threshold!)

      Seeing Matt Adams sign for $4 M and even Koehler for $2 M (projected $6 M arbitration) shows there are some bargains still out there in free agency and deals to be made. However the Dodgers don’t need to do much and probably won’t but after what we have seen nothing would really surprise me.

      Matt Kemp: I think they could make a deal by taking back a contract, eating salary, throwing in prospects or a combination. If it costs $15 M for Matt to go away isn’t it only $6 M to keep him? I think they are weighing the options and are in no real hurry to make a decision.

      1. As usual, I agree with everything you just said. The Cain rumors are silly(now watch me be wrong). The Dodgers biggest MO is not giving multi-year deals to players on the wrong side of 30. Especially with a QO attached to him. The free-agent market will have to probably play itself out before the Dodgers know if they can dump Kemp somewhere else.

  22. 1 – I tend to think that Kemp doesn’t start the season on the roster but I could be wrong. Between his bad hips, bad attitude and bad defense, I could see the Dodgers standing pat with a LF platoon of Hernandez, Pederson/Toles. Bluto mentioned the value of a 40 man roster spot but I’m more concerned about the 25 man roster. If the Dodgers keep an 8 man bullpen that means a 4 man bench and they can’t all be OF.

    2 – Kevin Kiermaier is not a good offensive player. Yeah, he can field. Career split is .262/.319./.431 with 47 HR in 4 seasons.

    3 – The Dodgers do need to rebuild the ‘pen. Tom (the faucet) Koehler doesn’t fix the problem – getting the ball to Jansen. As of right now, the heir apparent to the 8th inning is El Gasolino himself. Cingrani looked good at times last year; Watson is gone. So are Dayton and Ravin. Can Avilan, Liberatore and Yimi Garcia stay healthy next year? Do the Dodgers have other pieces in the minors to send to the ‘pen? As of right now the 8 look to be: Jansen, Cingrani, Stewart, Stripling, Baez, Fields, Koehler, and either Liberatore, Garcia or Avilan. Not awe inspiring.

    4 – No way the Dodgers trade for Hanley Ramirez. Walk slowly away from the window and sit down carefully.

    5 – The Giants need to tear down to the studs like the Cubs and Astros did, but they won’t. Sure, Longoria will help and be a huge improvement, but he doesn’t solve their problems. Look at their payroll this year – Cueto – $21.8 MM (through 2021), Posey $21.4 MM (through 2021), Samardjzia $19.8 MM (2020), Melancon $19 MM (2020), Hunter Pence $18.5 MM (2018), Belt $17.2 MM (2021), Crawford $15 MM (2021), Longoria $13.5 MM (and escalating) (2022) and Bumgarner $12 MM (and a free agent after this year). It’s a mess, and they don’t have a good 5th starter, decent middle relief or a single outfielder – and their farm system is bare. THE GIANTS ARE A MESS AND SHOULD BE FOR SEVERAL YEARS!

    6 . – No matter what the Dodgers do with Kemp, they have won the offseason with their trade. It was a stroke of genius!

      1. Darvish called it “Fake News” which there is a whole lot of these days. In fact, we have very little “news” – It’s all journalistic opinion.

  23. I believe the dodgers could have a match with the White Sox. They could absorb Kemp’s salary with a could of bad contracts of their own. They have Shields which Friedman is very familiar with, Jones a reliever they don’t need, Garcia who the dodgers could flip. Friedman may know shields enough to know he don’t want him but who knows. To get rid of salary it might work. The Sox definitely could take on the salary if they want a power bat. As far as our bullpen I believe we are ok with what we have at this point. If Garcia, Cingrani, Baez etc. blow up we can look at the trade deadline. Stewart, Urias, and Buehler if not starting or if conserving their innings could be valuable bullpen pieces at some point.

  24. Quite frankly, I’m amazed at how often I see Puig’s name mentioned in proposed deals. Actually, I consider Puig to be one the Dodgers most valuable players. His defense in RF is stellar, and I consider his 28 HRs just a harbinger if things to come over the next several seasons. I even expect his average to improve signicantly. Not a player I would consider moving unless the return more than matched up to my expectations for Puig.

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