Dodgers Acquire Matt Kemp from Braves


For all the fans who have been patiently waiting, the Dodgers have finally made their grand splash of the winter, acquiring outfielder Matt Kemp from the Braves on Saturday afternoon in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson and cash.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was first to report the deal.

Many things are happening in the trade for both clubs, which at face value, appears to benefit both sides.

First, the Dodgers free-up three spots on the club’s 40-man roster. One of those spots will be taken by newly acquired right-hander Tom Koehler, once the team makes the signing official. Second and perhaps most important, once the dust settles on all the salary ramifications, the deal allows the Dodgers to legitimately land under the $197 million luxury tax threshold for the coming season, something which many fans thought was unattainable. Lastly, bringing Kemp home conceivably adds a right-handed power bat to the Los Angeles outfield, although some early reports are saying that he could be a strong candidate to be traded or released.

For the Braves, the deal allows them to clear Kemp’s 2019 salary completely. McCarthy will almost certainly jump right into their starting rotation, while Culberson fills a void as a much-needed utility infielder. Kazmir will be given the chance to contribute if he proves to be healthy, and according to Rosenthal’s subsequent reports, Atlanta will immediately designate Gonzo for assignment, permitting him to become a free agent.

As the Braves’ primary left fielder last season, Kemp slashed .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI over 115 games. In 2016 for the Padres and Braves combined, he hit .268/.304/499 with 35 long balls and 108 RBI in 156 games. Kemp’s benchmark year came in 2010 for the Dodgers when he finished as the runner-up to NL MVP Ryan Braun, after he hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 homers, 40 stolen bases and 126 RBI.

Kemp was originally chosen by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 2003 draft out of Midwest City High School in Oklahoma. He stayed in Los Angeles through the 2014 season, until he was traded to the Padres along with catcher Tim Federowicz for Yasmani Grandal, Zach Eflin and Joe Wieland. Before the non-waiver trade deadline in 2016, the Padres sent Kemp to the Braves in exchange for Hector Olivera.

As there promises to be a ton of fallout from the deal, be sure to check back here frequently for any impending news or updates.



11 thoughts on “Dodgers Acquire Matt Kemp from Braves

  1. We should have known Agon was a goner when the guys said they expected him to play a lot of first base for us in 2018. I remember Farhan saying “Gordon is our 2nd baseman” about a day before trading him to the Marlins. I agree with you Dennis that this seems to be a win-win trade. I would be very surprised if Kemp is still with us come Christmas Day. He simply can’t play outfield anymore and I don’t think he’s all that good a pinch hitter. Someone would probably take a chance on him as a DH if the Dodgers eat most of the contract. I would be surprised if the front office doesn’t have one more big or very big move up its sleeve, either by trade or signing. I also think they won’t go into 2018 with a choice of Koehler, Yimi, etc. as the bridge to Kenley. We’re going to sign Davis or Holland or more likely trade for Hand, Britton, Herrera, Colome, Betances or same name I haven’t even thought of.

      1. We should know by now that it’s never dull with this front office. In particular, Farhan is the master of disinformation. Just listen to what he says and assume the opposite. I’m hoping to see a statement from him in the next couple of days that says something like “We’re probably done for this off season.”

  2. Holy crap, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. Do you guys think this was so they can add other players, or was this to get under the salary cap for this year?

    1. That’s the beauty of what they’ve done. They can actually accomplish both points you mentioned with one trade but I think the primary goal was to get under the luxury tax. Depending on what else they might have on the burner they can move Kemp and eat most of the salary or include a prospect or prospects to have the other team absorb more $. Remember, they also have Grandal’s 7-8 mil salary to play with if something really exciting comes together. Based on what the Angel’s have done in the last week, I think he’d be a great fit for them.

      1. Culberson absolutely deserves to have something good happen for him. And…………………………….this moves your man Locastro one step farther up the ladder.

  3. Agon posted a great parting message to Dodger fans. He’s a class act and I’m glad he left on good terms. If the Padres don’t wind up signing Hosmer I wonder if he would have a shot there, although I’m not sure anyone will offer him a major league contract at this point. Too many unknowns about his health. He might have to settle for a minor league contract and ST invite. If he doesn’t make someone’s opening day roster I’m guessing he retires.

  4. I’m glad to hear that this looks like it’s going to be a positive for Charlie, he deserves it. After this it’s pretty obvious that nobody can predict anything this FO is going to do, where does this put the payroll, I read we were estimated to be at around 208 mil before this trade.

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