Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After essentially using the first half of the 2014 season to work his way back from offseason ankle surgery and round into form, Matt Kemp emerged as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ best player not named Clayton Kershaw in the second half of the season.

Post All-Star break, Kemp hit .309/.365/.606 with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs. Despite his production and value to the Dodgers, Kemp was deemed expendable as a result of the crowded outfield situation with pieces that didn’t, perhaps still don’t, completely fit well together.

In a recent interview on “Larry King Now,” Kemp was asked for his assessment of the trade, which he views as a win-win for both the Dodgers and San Diego Padres:

Honestly, you don’t know what the front office thinks they need. Maybe they felt like they needed another catcher, maybe they felt like they needed another arm. I guess it was good for both sides. The Dodgers got what they want and the Padres got what they want.”

As for his string of injuries over the last few seasons, Kemp doesn’t believe he’s deserving of an “injury prone” label:

Definitely not injury prone. I did a lot. I put my body on the line for the Dodgers, I did a lot for them. Stealing bases, running into the walls and sometimes I think that stuff catches up to you. And it was well worth it, it was a good ride. I enjoyed all my moments with the Dodgers and I would never regret anything.”

Since coming in second place to Ryan Braun in the infamous 2011 NL MVP race, Kemp had yet to play more than 106 games in a season prior to 2014. Although Kemp heads to San Diego with arthritic hips, he has momentum on his side and the Padres have a security blanket of sorts with the Dodgers being on the hook for a substantial amount of Kemp’s remaining salary.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

9 Responses

  1. James Green

    It’s gonna be weird seeing Kemp in a different uniform.

    Reply
    • James

      Too weird, similar to my day when Steve Garvey left the Dodgers to the Padres. I refused to watch Dodgers and Padres games. I will probably miss 17 Dodger’s games this year, you can bet which ones.

      Reply
  2. John C.

    I agree with you both that it’s going to be weird without Kemp. When Garvey went to the Padres, I left the Dodgers and cheered them on until he quit in ’87… I came back in ’88 and cheered for them until after the ’93 season when they traded Pedro away. And we all know the rest of that story. If the Dodgers had kept Pedro, I think they may have had a few more WS rings.

    This is definitely the worst trade the Dodgers have made since the Pedro trade. I don’t think I’ll be boycotting them this time, however, since we still have Kershaw, Greinke, A-Gon, and Puig…

    Reply
    • James Green

      I’m a Dodger fan to the core. I’ll miss Kemp but I am always behind the team first. We’ll see how it plays out. If LA wins they’ll be called genius. If LA loses they’ll be called idiots. I like the idea of a more complete team… Well rounded.

      Reply
  3. Tony Melendez

    I hope Matt plays his heart out ,against the Dodgers ,just as Don Sutton, Steve Garvey, Jayson Werth, Cody Ross,Shane Victorino,Bill Buckner,to mention a few Ex-Dodgers ,all did when they returned to face Dodger Blue. I’ll be pulling for Matt all the way.He didn’t choose to join the Padres and the Dodgers are still on the hook for a chunk of his salary Move is still definitely a head scratcher,even to knowledgeable Baseball people !

    Reply
    • Keith Brown

      don’t tell that to the homer’s, they think every move these guys make is pure gold and those of us who question it are stupid and don’t know anything.

      Reply
    • James

      I agree, Dodgers are paying Matt Kemp to beat us. If fact we help buy James Shields.

      Reply
  4. Teddy Trueblood

    iKemp blew his knee out lollygagging down the third base line and then realized he could score and stepped on home plate and slipped. Had he been “in the game” he would have scored easily and not injured himself

    Reply
  5. theguywhoknowswhatawhoreis

    kemp was a wonderful player for the dodgers. now hes gone, thats baseball. if youre a dodger fan your loyalty is to the team. players come and go. anybody seen pee wee reese playing shortstop lately? matt kemp will be fine with the padres. hes a good player and a good guy. i wish him nothing but good things. but hes gone now. go blue.

    Reply

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