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Andrew Friedman On The Dodgers’ Plans For Matt Kemp

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t seen, the Dodgers made a 5-player trade on Saturday that brought back Matt Kemp. The main reason the Dodgers made the deal was to create financial flexibility. As we’ve heard all offseason, the Dodgers goal was to get under the luxury tax threshold during the winter.

It appears that they accomplished their goal with this trade.

The big question after the trade was the plan for Matt Kemp. Will he play for the Dodgers next season? Will he be flipped? Most people close to the situation expect the latter. Andrew Friedman was non-committal when asked about the plan.

If Matt Kemp were to play for the Dodgers in 2018, he would likely play part-time in left field. Kemp is a far cry from the center-fielder he was during his first run in Los Angeles. After gaining some bad weight, Kemp has become a defensive liability. The 33-year old still swings a good bat, but it’s nowhere near where it was during his near-MVP campaign in 2011.

Ken Rosenthal was first to report that the Dodgers will likely trade or release Matt Kemp. Ken Gurnick also noted that if the Dodgers could flip Kemp, it could open up the possibility of adding another outfielder with the money saved.

Lorenzo Cain or Andrew McCutchen could both be difference makers for the Dodgers if they could add one. Cain is coming off a season which saw him slash .300/.363/.440 with 15 homers and 26 stolen bases. Cain is also a true center fielder, something that the Dodgers lacked in 2017. The 31-year old would come at a high cost, but could be just the thing to push the Dodgers over the line next season.

McCutchen is also coming off a solid year in which he slashed .279/.363/.486 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs. McCutchen isn’t the Gold Glove center fielder that he used to be, but is less of a liability in the field than Kemp. Cain and McCutchen represent immediate options for the Dodgers, but I think it’s more likely that they’ll wait to use their savings until next season’s monster free agent class.

If the Dodgers have money to spend after the 2018 season, they could end up with with like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Josh Donaldson and Charlie Blackmon may be less talked about than the other two, but could also represent big upgrades for the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw can opt out next season, so the Dodgers will have to set aside money to re-sign him as well.

The plan for Kemp is still uncertain, but it’s more than likely that the Dodgers will try to move him. If they’re unable to do so, they could release him or put him in a left field platoon. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the former Dodgers star. For now, the Dodgers still walk away from the trade winners. The financial flexibility they gained could help them improve their team in a multitude of ways.

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Written by Hunter Thompson

Born in Pennsylvania but comes from a long line of Dodger fans from their Brooklyn days. Extremely passionate about the Dodgers and baseball in general. News writer and Twittercaster for Dodger games. Follow me on Twitter @Officialism27 for more Dodgers talk!

2 Comments

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  1. Let’s give the man a chance and some support if he comes back. Lesson to Matt: Never crap in your own bed, even when selling it. That same bed might be the next place you sleep.

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