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MLB News: Mets Sign Former Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder Matt Kemp

Free agent outfielder, and long time Dodger inks a minor league deal.

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 24: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits an RBI sacrifice fly during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

On Friday, the New York Mets signed former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Matt Kemp to a minor league deal pending a medical evaluation.

Kemp Released By Reds, Signed By Mets

Matt Kemp, 34, was released by the Cincinnati Reds earlier this month after struggling offensively and not “fitting in”. Prior to his release, Kemp hit just 1 home run and 5 RBI while slashing .200/.210/.283 in 62 plate appearances. For the Mets, who currently have 4 outfielders on the IL, the acquisition of Matt Kemp is a low risk move that could pay large dividends. If Kemp can regain some semblance of the player he’s been over the past 13 years, he’ll offer relief to the the Mets injury woes. Over his career, Kemp has a .285 batting average and a 162 game average of 27 home runs and 96 RBI. 

Salary

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 17: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles and the American League and Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the National League pose for a selfie in the second inning during the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Kemp is in the final year of an 8 year contract he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2012 season.  Since that time Kemp has been traded to the Padres, the Braves, back to the Dodgers and most recently, to the Reds. This year he was already slated to earn $21.75M paid out by the Dodgers, Padres, and Reds. Therefore, should the Mets promote Kemp to the Majors they shall retain his services for a prorated amount of the $555,000 league minimum. Since the Dodgers were already covering $3.5M of Kemp’s $21.75M salary and had their “everyday” centerfielder indefinitely on the IL, it was thought that there could be a third reunion between the two. However, with the emergence of rookie sensation, Alex Verdugo, those odds quickly faded.

Kemp’s Resurgent 2018

Prior to being traded to the Reds, Matt Kemp enjoyed a resurgent 2018 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The LA fan favorite is credited with keeping the Dodgers in contention during their injury-plagued slow start in 2018.  Additionally, Kemp was voted to the 2018 National League All-Star team. It was his third All Star appearance, but his first since 2012. Although, his playing time diminished later in the season, Kemp went on to finish the season with 21 home runs, 85 RBI, a .290 batting average, and participated in his first World Series. 

Written by Jason McClure

Technically a Dodgers bandwagon fan. At 5 years old, I decided they were my favorite team after hearing they won the World Series on my mom’s car radio in 1988. My father (technically my stepfather) watered that seed, teaching me the game and introducing me to the beauty of Dodger Stadium. We got to know each other and bonded over games. Even when we couldn’t get along during my teenage years, we could come together over Vin Scully’s voice and a game. Dodger baseball is, and will always be, so much more than just a game.

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    • Hey Louis, thank you for reading! I hope so too, he’s a good player and I always liked him in Dodger blue. Want to see hime finish his career strong.

  1. Matt is now in the Met minor league system. Too bad because the Mets will be in LA tomorrow evening. Go Blue!!!

    • I’m sure we’ll see him at the stadium sometime down the road, Mets need outfield help and I think Matt will flourish in the Big City. Thanks for reading Lou!

  2. When he faltered with the Dodgers a few years ago, seemed he was afraid of hitting the wall and that made him look weak in the outfield. But when he came back he was a different player. he played really good for the most part. I liked him again. When with the Reds faltered again but he had an injury and probably had it for a while and didn’t say anything and couldn’t make the grade. Players need to speak up when they even have a slight injury. I know they’re afraid to lose their position to someone else but they’ll lose it for good if they don’t heal and perform well. I kind of wanted the Dodgers to pick him up, maybe start him in the minors and let him get healed. So let’s see how he does. I say good luck to him.

    • Hey Ruben, thanks for reading. I too hoped in some way they would pick him up, if for nothing else to let him finish his career the way it started, in Dodger blue. Mets blue will have to be close enough. Hope he plays well and finishes his career strong.

      Jason

    • Hi Matthew,

      I agree, but unfortunately I think he would’ve been picked up for that role already. I imagine 2019 is his final year.
      Thank you for reading!

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