In addition to the previously reported Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, James Shields and Scott Kazmir, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe adds Braves outfielder Matt Kemp and Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland to the list of veterans who have cleared waivers. Like the other four players, Kemp and Moreland are now eligible to be traded anywhere.
[RELATED: Players Who Have Cleared Revocable Waivers]
Kemp is only a few weeks into his stint with the Braves, who acquired him from the Padres in exchange for Hector Olivera on July 30. In doing so, the Braves got rid of an on- and off-field disappointment in Olivera and added Kemp on a $21.5MM salary through 2019. The Braves are on the hook for $18MM of that sum, while the Padres will pay $3.5MM of it for the duration of the deal. Undoubtedly, Atlanta would have to eat quite a bit of money to move Kemp, who hasn’t provided much all-around value since the 2012 season.
Kemp’s best asset is his bat, but he has only produced a league-average line (.259/.291/.475) despite 24 home runs in 505 plate appearances this year. At .265/.312/.443 in 648 PAs last season, Kemp wasn’t overly effective then, either. Even if the former MVP candidate and ex-Dodger experiences an offensive revival, which looks unlikely for a player whose walk rate is at a career-worst 4.8 percent, his defensive woes will continue limiting his value. Long a negative in the field, Kemp currently ranks toward the bottom of the majors in Defensive Runs Saved (minus-6), Ultimate Zone Rating (minus-7.9) and UZR/150 (minus-12.3). Thus, Kemp is likely better off as a designated hitter than an outfielder, yet the 31-year-old has played his entire career in the National League. Given his likely low to nonexistent trade value, Kemp looks primed to continue in the Senior Circuit.
While Kemp is on a last-place team that has no hope of contention in 2016, Moreland is a member of a club with World Series aspirations. In 376 trips to the plate, Moreland has mimicked Kemp in swatting plenty of homers (21) while recording a batting line that’s only slightly better than league average (.251/.316/.481). Those numbers are essentially right in line with Moreland’s career, as the 30-year-old has hit .258/.319/.449 in 2,635 PAs. He’s also amid his third straight 20-plus-HR season, making him one of four Rangers who have achieved the feat this year (excluding midseason pickups Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy).
Moreland, who’s on a $5.7MM salary, is due to hit free agency in the offseason. While he could leave the Rangers then and perhaps pave the way for the Joey Gallo era, it seems unlikely to happen during a season in which first-place Texas is 73-51 and aiming for a championship.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Kemp really ??/ But Moreland more importantly wtf ?
Are you shocked he cleared waivers?
Well I guess Connor Byrne isn’t a fan of Matt Kemp.
Seems that way.
I think he’s just reporting the consensus, which is backed up by the numbers. He’s a league average bat who’s declining, owed money, putting up some career worsts, and continuing to be one of the worst defensive outfielders in recent history, if not longer.
And for years, he was my favorite player.
neither is any person (outside of braves fantasy land) who values actual players
I really get tired of u Arthur…
Come on chieftoto, just laugh him off and move on.
Chieftoto ,your living a fans Bubble !
who wants them !
Atlanta Braves Fan 4 Life
As much as I like a power guy like Kemp, in the Braves line up an AL team would make more sense. Our offense is inept but if an AL team will bite why not flip him for someone younger. Granted that means eating salary but Olivera would have returned zilch.
Markakis has increased his value with 7 Hr’s in just the last 35 games (maybe 39) according to the game broadcast.
We are dead last in the majors let’s get some young talent and continue the rebuild. Then free agency and possible big trades in the offseason could net a more competitive team next year. It takes all facets (draft included) to succeed. We need Coppy to work some phone lines to continue his good progress.
cuz hes bad and no one wants him
You really need a life.
Chief, consider the source buddy.
Not true. Nobody wants him at sticker price. If the braves ate the entire contract there would be multiple players in on him. You good sir are the one in fantasy land. Quit trolling everyone chesterarthur nobody of any baseball relevance let people enjoy whatever scenario they want to imagine for there team. No one likes trolls
There isnt anything in the FA class worth spending money on this year. The only way to get better would be through trades.
will braves fans stop thinking he’s an asset?
Power is an asset. Kemp may not be a big asset but it’s value. Don’t diminish that.
Kemp has zero value, which has been the case for a couple years now, and the fact that no team even claimed him is proof. RBIs aren’t a skill. Teams are wising up to this
producing runs is very much a skill. not many do it well. Kemp drove in 100 runs for a terrible offensive team and was on his way to another 100 rbi year for a team near the bottom in runs scored. now he’s on an even worse offensive team and may not get to 100 this year. obviously, no one will want that contract. i suspect he would be a good target for an AL contender. Maybe Toronto or Houston. Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore, Texas really don’t need a DH right now. But I suspect with both Kemp and Moreland, the Rangers and Braves are just kicking the tires to see what kind of interest people might have. Moreland has been hitting very well the last six weeks.
a players ability to produce runs and a players rbi total are not the same thing.
the bottom line is getting runners across the plate…and Kemp did that for the Padres in spite of a lousy offense around him both in SD and now in ATL.
If we really believe that’s a skill we’d expect Kemp to have some crazy numbers with RISP. That just isn’t the case. Last season, in his “awesome” 100 RBI season his numbers with RISP were worse than his overall numbers.
What Matt Kemp did well was to bat with huge numbers of runners on base for him. We think of the 2015 Padres as being a dreadful offensive team, but Kemp was batting with tremendous numbers of baserunners. He actually didn’t drive in a particularly impressive percentage of them. If he had been a really good hitter he’d have had 150 RBI
Even if we think RBI is a skill rather than an opportunity, we have to take the rest of his game too. He can’t field anymore, at all, even in left field. For a guy that used to be a decent centerfielder he apparently can no longer read the ball off the bat anymore. He runs some of the worst routes to baseballs I’ve ever seen, and I’ve had to watch Alexi Amarista in the outfield.
And this gets to the biggest issue: Kemp can’t run anymore. He has gotten thick in the torso, as most of us do as we get older, and maybe the hip problems are part of this. He hasn’t even attempted a stolen base this season, despite spending much of it managed by a guy who runs wild.
And Kemp was never a walk machine, but this season he’s drawn 17 walks and struck out 116. times. That’s really not so good. Kemp is turning into a very extreme player – he hits for power but can’t really do much else on a baseball field.
I’m not pushing Kemp for the Hall of Fame. Is he the player he once was? NO. Does he still have value as a ML hitter? YES. Is he a triple crown threat as he once was? NO. Is he a legitimate power threat? YES. Is he worth the money he’s getting? NO. Was he worth $400k in 2009 when he went 26-101-.297 with 36 steals and a gold glove? No. But that’s just a byproduct of the bizarre economics of baseball today. Guys like Pujols and Verlander were underpaid earlier in their careers as Mookie Beets is today. Kemp has turned into a Dave Kingman, Adam Dunn type. But those guys obviously had some value. So did Ralph Kiner and Harmon Killebrew.
Adam Dunn and Harmon Killebrew drew walks. Tons of them . So did Kiner. Kemp does one thing and it’s not even that special in this year of the home run.
Wrong. Power always has value that’s why the article states he could be a DH. That’s value, sober up expert
Players ‘clearing revocable waivers’ isn’t anything more than teams placing a ‘zero cost’ side bet at a black jack table (for the sellers). The best thing for any team placing a player on waivers now is for no team to claim them … Which opens the door to talk to any team about a deal
Good move from a business perspective. From a buyer perspective, if a playoff contending team has an injury or feels they can upgrade their playoff roster, the cost of an August 31 acquisition is (typically) much lower than a July 31 deal.
Most who clear waivers never get dealt anyway, this is just smart GMs (whose teams are out of it) trying to put some options on the table for GMs who are in it and might be willing to make moves on 8/31 with better information than on 7/31 ..
Honestly, if you look at the 9-10 clubs in each of the AL and NL who are either leading divisions or within 5(?) games of a wildcard, every player who clears will be assessed for potential to enhance a roster..
Glad to hear some of the names who have cleared, waiting for the article that might discuss potential landing spots for the initial round of players who have cleared …
Indians? Baltimore? Blue Jays? Royals? Astros? Could use Kemp
Every one of those teams has a better dh
Encarcion has been playing a lot of 1B for Toronto because Smoak just isn’t getting it done so Kemp could be the Jay’s DH. Houston has Gattis playing behind the plate, so Kemp would be valuable for an Astros team that needs someone to drive in runs. Beyond Altuve, Springer and Correra, that Houston offense is bad.
Foolish statement, smoak and EE are free agents at years end. And the Astros have plenty of hitters to shuffle into multiple positions before wasting a space for kemp. Why have two DH’s on your 25 man roster when your load with young big talent that can all use time off to DH so they stay healthy. Not to mention guierrl just got called up so you have an infield jam.
Agree with that statement. Plus Kemp won’t get the Astros any closer to the Wild Card game. Why give up young talent?
Jays re-signed Smoak to a 2 year option about a month and a half ago.
Jays have been using EE at 1st because Donaldson and Tulo have been banged up and need the DH spot. Adding Kemp limits the Jays flexibility and the team can’t afford to have Kemp and Bautista playing the OF, no matter how great Pillar’s D is.
My bad. I based my post on the Braves putting Kemp thru waivers and give him his release. I wouldn’t believe any team would give up young talent for him AND pay him that crazy amount of money. I would say the same thing about Jason Verlander, Albert Pujols and several other players with absurd large contracts. The Rangers were lucky with Prince Fielder in that insurance will pay off some of his contract and Texas can move on. IF Kemp were a FA I could see Toronto or Houston wanting his power numbers for minimum wage.
Please braves don’t…