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Dodgers Bring Back Matt Kemp In Blockbuster Deal

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have acquired Matt Kemp from the Atlanta Braves in a deal that will send Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Charlie Culberson, and cash to Atlanta.

Matt Kemp was a fan favorite during his time in Los Angeles, and was runner-up for MVP in 2011. Kemp’s inability to stay healthy was ultimately his downfall with the Dodgers, as he never had another season that productive in LA. Kemp was eventually traded to the Padres after the 2014 season in a trade that brought back Yasmani Grandal, among others. Kemp had a couple of decent years in San Diego but was eventually dealt to Atlanta.

The best part of this trade for the Dodgers is dealing the bad contracts of Gonzalez, Kazmir, and McCarthy in the deal. Between the three of them, the Dodgers will clear nearly $50 million in salary for the 2018 season. Kemp is still making more than $21 million this season, but that’s a far cry from the $50 million the Dodgers were able to shed.

Adrian Gonzalez was part of a blockbuster trade when he came to Los Angeles and was a very productive player until this past season. In 2017, Gonzalez dealt with chronic back issues and spent a large portion of the season on the shelf.

Kazmir was signed by the Dodgers prior to the 2016 season. He had a decent first year in Los Angeles, but spent all of 2017 on the disabled list. McCarthy came to the Dodgers as a free agent prior to the 2015 season.

McCarthy struggled in his first two seasons in Los Angeles before finding success in 2017. This came crashing down when he had a bout of the infamous yips and lost his ability to throw strikes. He rebounded, but wasn’t the same for the rest of the year.

Charlie Culberson was signed as free agent prior to the 2016 season. He was good in his brief time on the Major League roster in 2016, and is probably best remembered for his walk-off home run to clinch the NL West. Culberson spent most of 2017 in the minor leagues, but made the roster during the NLCS with Corey Seager down with an injury. Culberson went on to have a very good postseason, going 8 for 16 with a home run, two doubles, and a triple between the NLCS and World Series. Culberson became a fan favorite for his playoff success and will be missed by Dodger fans.

All four of the Dodgers that were dealt will be missed, and we want to wish them the best of luck moving forward!

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!

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  1. The Padres are paying 2.5M/yr of Kemp’s contract. The Dodgers were already paying 3.5M/yr of the contract. This trade can’t be judged until the cash involved is announced, but it looks promising.

  2. IMO a bad move. Yes they reduced payroll but garnered a bunch of temper tantrums with Kemp. Remember his pouting in the dugout before being traded? Not much of a team player. I’m okay with losing Kazmir and McCarthy but not Culberson.

  3. This is a great trade! We get rid of players we were going to pay for not playing and in return get a guy to platoon with Toles in left field. Sure Kemp isn’t a 20mil per yr player but we are much much better off.

    • Trading him would dump money. Releasing him would be eating money. To trade him I’m sure we would have to pay part of his contract but at least if we could get a couple minor leaguers in the deal we’d be better off. Having said that I could see him platooning (if it’s determined he won’t hurt team chemistry.

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