The Dodger’s front office is working feverishly to try and dump outfielder Matt Kemp. But as I have written previously nobody wants him. The situation currently appears to look as if Kemp will suit up with the Dodgers in spring training. His age, high salary, and defensive shortcomings are making it very hard for the Dodgers to move him. And they don’t want to have to include prospects in a deal just to get rid of him.
Kemp is due to make 21.75 million dollars over the final two seasons of his contract, although part of that will be paid by the Padres. The Dodgers are on the hook for 33 million of it I believe. Of course Kemp’s defensive metrics would scare off any potential suitor. Don’t even look at those numbers because they might make you faint.
So to recap, Kemp is owed far too much money. He can’t play defense. He can’t get on base consistently anymore and he strikes out way too much. That is probably the reason nobody wants him. However there is one thing he can still do and that’s hit for power. Kemp has slugged 77 home runs and driven in 272 runs since 2015. The guy can still hit home runs despite not doing anything else well anymore.
The Dodgers may as well let him suit up for spring training and see what he has. It can’t hurt to let him play some exhibition games and give him a look. If he shows up to camp and is overweight and or he sucks then the Dodgers will have to just bite the bullet and release him. Even if they designate him for assignment there is no way they’re going to pay Kemp 33 million plus dollars to play for Oklahoma City if nobody claims him and he accepts a minor league assignment. There’s also little chance they pay him 30 million plus to sit on the bench and be the fifth outfielder.
So you let him break camp with the big club and see what he’s got. It probably won’t be much, but you never know. He’s 33-years old, not 43-years old. Again, it doesn’t hurt to give him a look. Of course you don’t want him blocking younger players like Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, or Andrew Toles. Those are the main guys competing for the left field position. The younger players will have the advantage.
There are rumors that the White Sox may be interested in Kemp as a DH, but there hasn’t been anything substantial from those. Maybe the Dodgers catch lightning in a bottle with Kemp and his power? There is also a certain sick bent appeal of Kemp returning to the Dodgers. Barring a last minute deal, the Dodgers are almost out of time to get a trade done. Matt Kemp might suck, but it can’t hurt to give him a look.