It could be said that Matt Kemp’s final days as a Los Angeles Dodger were the stuff of legends. Undeniably, the moment of the summer may have been when he walked off the Colorado Rockies with a home run. Then, there was the Fenway Park home run in the 2018 World Series. Perhaps these are the lasting images we hold of Kemp in Dodger blue. If it is so, it was an incredible final ride.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers will look to move Kemp – and this is hardly a surprising development. Weeks ago, MLB.com listed Kemp as the Dodgers most likely trade chip.
The semantics are simple: the Dodgers have a surplus of outfielders. Kemp served a great purpose; at times putting the team on his back when the offense sputtered. However now the Dodgers are in a different state.
Max Muncy emerged and David Freese arrived. When Cody Bellinger slid to the outfield, Kemp’s opportunities became more irregular. An All-Star in the season’s first half, he logged just 182 plate appearances in the second half compared to 324 in the first.
In all, Kemp was a .290 hitter with an .818 OPS for the Dodgers. Equally important, he was voted 2018 Comeback Player of the Year in the NL by his fellow players.
Gurnick theorizes that Kemp is likely to go due to the one year remaining on his contract. He also mentions the diminished value of Yasiel Puig with a year left on his deal.
It is unlikely that Kemp is wearing a Dodgers uniform when the 2019 season kicks off. Nevertheless, the same was said before 2018 began. Crazier things have happened in the game of baseball.
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