It’s been a wild offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers thus far with the overhaul of their front office and now their roster.
Trying to clear the logjam in the outfield, the Dodgers made their outfielders except Yasiel Puig available for trade. While many thought Andre Ethier to be the odd man out, Matt Kemp gained the most traction in any trade talks. During a busy Wednesday in San Diego at the Winter Meetings, the team traded away Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas to the Miami Marlins, and flipped one of the prospects received for Howie Kendrick. Then it was rumored that the Dodgers had agreed to trade Kemp to the San Diego Padres.
The trade did not come easy, as the two sides first settled on the deal, then the cash that was to be sent to the Padres and ultimately, questions over Kemp’s physical. Speculation grew that the trade would not occur, and those talks gained traction when Kemp’s physical showed he had arthritis in both hips.
Despite all those things, the trade is official via the Dodgers Twitter account:
The Dodgers officially acquire Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin from @Padres for Matt Kemp, Tim Federowicz & cash considerations.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) December 19, 2014
Kemp came up through the Dodger organization and cemented his stardom in a 2011 season that saw him finish second in the hotly contested NL MVP race. He dealt with injuries the past few seasons, but recovered in the second half of 2014 and ended at .287 with 25 home runs and 89 RBIs. He heads to San Diego with Federowicz, who spent some time at catcher for the Dodgers, but never became more than a backup.
Grandal is the main piece of the trade, as the front office was looking to upgrade at the catcher position.
For more on the acquired players, here’s the Dodgers official press release:
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the acquisitions of catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland and right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin from San Diego in exchange for outfielder Matt Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and cash considerations.
Grandal, whose name is pronounced yas-MAH-nee gran-DAHL, has a .245 career batting average with 24 home runs and 94 RBI in 216 games with the Padres from 2012-14. The switch-hitter appeared in 128 games last year at catcher (76 games) and first base (37 games) and posted career-best marks in runs (47), hits (85), doubles (19), home runs (15) and RBI (49) in his third big league season.
Grandal was selected to the 2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game and posted a .310/.408/.487 slashline in four minor league seasons from 2010-13 in the Reds and Padres organizations. The native of Cuba was originally selected by the Reds in the first round (12th overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Miami and then acquired by San Diego from Cincinnati on Dec. 17, 2011 in a five-player deal.
Wieland, 24, has gone 35-22 with a 3.27 ERA in 95 games (86 starts) in seven minor league seasons in the Rangers and Padres organizations from 2008-14. As a minor leaguer, he posted a 5.16 strikeout-to-walk ratio and averaged nearly a strikeout per inning, with 444 Ks and only 86 walks in 476.2 innings. He made his Major League debut at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Padres on April 14, 2012 and has gone 1-4 with a 5.31 ERA in nine big league games (seven starts) in 2012 and 2014. He missed the second half of the 2012 season and all of the 2013 campaign due to Tommy John surgery.
Wieland, pronounced WEE-lend, was acquired by San Diego along with Robbie Erlin in exchange for Mike Adams at the trade deadline in 2011, his best professional season. He was selected as a Single-A Carolina League mid-season All-Star and a Double-A Texas League post-season All-Star that year after going a combined 13-4 with a 1.97 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) with Double-A Frisco, Double-A San Antonio and Single-A Myrtle Beach. The Reno, NV, native was originally selected by the Rangers in the fourth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Eflin, 20, has gone 17-14 with a 3.41 ERA in 50 career games (49 starts) in three minor league seasons in the San Diego organization after being selected by the club in the first round (33rd overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. The Florida native went 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts last year for Single-A Lake Elsinore, posting a 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio (93 SO/31 BB) in 128.0 innings.
Kemp, 30, has a .292 career batting average with 182 home runs and 648 RBI in 1,116 games in nine seasons with Los Angeles. The two-time All-Star and 2011 NL MVP runner up was originally selected by the club in the sixth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.
Federowicz, 27, appeared in 89 big league games with the Dodgers from 2011-14, batting .194 with five home runs and 22 RBI. He was originally acquired by Los Angeles from Boston at the 2011 trade deadline in a four-player minor league deal.
Lakers Guard Nick Young Doesn’t Agree With The Dodgers Trading Matt Kemp