Matt Kemp nearly won a Most Valuable Player award with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011, but with a crowded outfield and needing help in other areas on the diamond, the team has decided to move on, trading him to the San Diego Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and a prospect.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported the news:
The official spoke only on the condition of anonymity since the trade has yet to be announced. The official announcement has been delayed because the Commissioner’s office must approve the trade, and the players must pass their physicals.
Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz will be sent to the Padres in a package deal for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and at least one prospect.
The Dodgers will also send about $31 million to San Diego to cover part of Kemp’s remaining $107 million salary, reports say.
The trade helps alleviate a logjam of outfielders in the organization. Andre Either and prospect Joc Pederson will vie for playing time, with Yasiel Puig holding the starting job in right field and Carl Crawford in left. The Dodgers could also use role player Scott Van Slyke in the rotation.
The agreement is the latest in a flurry of moves for the Dodgers, who, in a busy Wednesday, acquired second baseman Howie Kendrick, infielder Enrique Hernandez, reliever Chris Hatcher and minor leaguer Austin Barnes. Los Angeles also Jimmy Rollins and agreed to a 4-year deal with pitcher Brandon McCarthy.
Kemp hit .287 last season with 25 home runs and 89 RBIs. The 30-year-old, who missed 145 games with multiple injuries between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, finished second for the MVP award in 2011 after collecting 39 homers, 126 RBIs and 40 stolen bases.
The fear for Kemp will always be that injury concerns resurface, or that he’ll never quite live up to his MVP-deserving season in 2011, a major issue considering his huge contract. Kemp undoubtedly heads to San Diego with some questions surrounding his future.
[Information via USA Today, Associated Press]