Matt Kemp returns to the Dodgers

December 16, 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Matt Kemp from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for first baseman Adrián González, pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson, and cash considerations.

The Dodgers made this deal with financial considerations in mind, as the money owed to Kemp will be spread out over the remaining two years on his contract, providing Los Angeles with luxury tax relief.  As such, it will position the Dodgers to be a player in the 2018 free agent market.

Kemp also could be moved to another team for more financial relief.

A former MVP candidate at one point in his career, Kemp, 33, played for Los Angeles from 2006-2014, hitting 182 home runs, which is fourth in L.A. Dodger history.

Health has always been a big question with Kemp, but last season, he hit .276 with 19 homers, 64 RBI and 23 doubles in 115 games for the Braves. In his 1,541 career games, the Oklahoma native has collected 259 home runs, 920 RBI, 1,634 hits and 183 stolen bases while slashing .285/.338/.488.

González, 35, struggled last year with injuries and eventually lost his starting job.  He was acquired by the Dodgers from the Red Sox in August 2012 and has been a key cog in five consecutive National League West Division titles, making the NL All-Star team in 2015, leading the league in RBI in 2014 and winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award following the 2014 season.

Kazmir, 33, was signed to a three-year contract with Los Angeles prior to the 2016 season and went 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts during his first season with the Dodgers. He did not pitch last year due to a hip injury.

McCarthy, 34, signed a four-year deal with the Dodgers in December 2014 and in his three seasons with Los Angeles, went 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 29 starts. The right-hander missed most of 2015 and 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2015. In his 13-year career, the California native is 63-72 with a 4.15 ERA in 240 games (182 starts).

Culberson, 28, appeared in 49 regular season games over the last two seasons with the Dodgers and made Postseason rosters following each campaign. He hit .500 (8-for-16) in 10 Postseason games this year, including a homer in Game 2 of the World Series. His walk-off homer against the Rockies in the final regular season home game of 2016, clinched the NL West for Los Angeles.  

By Staff of and news services

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