When the Dodgers recently pulled off a big-contract swap with the Braves that improved the team’s luxury tax accounting, they ended up with former star outfielder Matt Kemp. It remains difficult to see Kemp ending up on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, but the team is also finding little interest in the veteran from other organizations, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag.
Indeed, per Heyman, “the trade market for Kemp is believed to be virtually nonexistent at the moment.” That’s hardly surprising, of course. Atlanta no doubt would have moved Kemp previously if there had been an opportunity. He’s worth nothing close to what’s left on his contract, which has been traded three times already.
Still, we heard recently about the possibility of the Dodgers including prospects as an inducement to another organization to take over a portion of the Kemp deal. Just how much cash might move off the L.A. books would surely depend upon the quality of the prospect(s) up for the bidding, with any such deal potentially representing an interesting look at the market valuation of some young talent.
Whether that sort of scenario might yet be in play is not yet clear, but it seems the Dodgers won’t be able to get much of a credit for the rights to Kemp himself. But that’s not to say that there’s no potential value left in the veteran slugger, who only just turned 33 years of year.
Kemp, after all, is still a significant power threat who has managed slightly above-average offensive production over the past three seasons. While health, defense, and on-base questions persist, he could well be worthy of a MLB roster spot — particularly for an American League team that is in need of a slugger that can mash against opposing lefties (against whom Kemp carries a lifetime .921 OPS).
In any event, the Dodgers likely aren’t in much of a rush at present. Even with Kemp on the 40-man, the club has three open roster spots to work with. Unless and until pressure is created in that realm, the Los Angeles front office can explore any number creative ways to shed some of the obligations to Kemp while maximizing the organization’s resources in addressing other needs.