As the Matt Kemp trade to the San Diego Padres oddly hangs in the balance nearly one week after it was agreed to, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfield figures to look different than it has in recent years.
During an interview with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian on MLB Network’s Hot Stove, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly discussed Kemp’s resurgence last year and the need to trade talent in order to acquire it:
I look at Matt as a guy that had a tremendous second half last year and it’s like oh my God, he’s back. So we all see what he can be, but I think also as we look at our organization and you see our payroll and you see our age, we had to make a move in my mind and I think Andrew’s mind, too. To get younger, to get more athletic, and sometimes you’re giving up something to get something.”
After a slow start to the season, which appeared to be tied to not being fully recovered from his various injuries, Kemp turned the corner after the All-Star break. While the speed never came back, Kemp’s power returned as he slugged .606 with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs in the second half of the season.
Along with agreeing in principle to acquire Kemp, the Padres reportedly agreed to a three-team trade with the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals, to land Wil Myers among others. The moves could pay big dividends for the Padres if Kemp and Myers are able to produce.
As for the Dodgers, they may still look to move another outfielder given the recent addition of Chris Heisey and expectations of a larger role for Joc Pederson.
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