Matt Kemp stated last February that he was hoping to add four or five more seasons onto his career, and with the 2020 campaign and Kemp’s 15th MLB season now in the books, nothing has changed about his future plans. “That’s always been one of my goals, is to at least play until I was 40 years old,” Kemp said in an interview on the Power Alley show on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM. Kemp is still focused on capturing that elusive World Series ring, and “as long as I can continue to help a team win and do some great things in the game of baseball, I’m going to continue to do this thing until I can’t do it any more.”
The 36-year-old Kemp was an All-Star as recently as 2018, though he endured an injury-shortened 2019 season that led to minor league deals in 2020 with both the Marlins and Rockies, the latter coming in June. Kemp hit .239/.326/.419 with six homers over 132 plate appearances for Colorado, working primarily as a DH and pinch-hitter and only playing left field in one of his 43 games. It remains to be seen if the Rockies or another team will give Kemp another chance at extending his career, though his prospects at another contract would definitely get a boost if the National League fully adopts the designated hitter.
More from around the NL…
- Shortstop was a big problem area for the Reds last season, and since Jose Garcia struggled badly during over 68 PA in his rookie season, he looks to still be a season or two away from being a big league contributor. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic (subscription required) looks at some of the possibilities available to the Reds on the offseason shortstop market, though it remains to be seen if Cincinnati will have the payroll flexibility to pursue top free agents like Didi Gregorius or Marcus Semien. Rosecrans also notes that the Reds have also scouted Ha-Seong Kim of the Korea Baseball Organization, who wouldn’t necessarily carry quite as large a price tag, though several teams are expected to check into Kim’s services when he is posted.
- Speaking of international talent, Dominican right-hander Jarlin Susana is an intriguing (and unattached) prospect heading into the January 15 international signing period. Baseball America’s Ben Badler has more on the 16-year-old Susana, who is 6’5″, 195 pounds, and hit 96mph during a showcase for scouts earlier this week. Susana also has “a sharp breaking ball” along with that fastball, which usually clocks in the “the low-to-mid 90s.” Many of the top prospects in the 2020-21 international class have already unofficially agreed to deals with teams, though Susana isn’t yet linked to anyone, making him an interesting option for clubs with available bonus pool space. The Mets and Dodgers were among the teams who had evaluators in attendance at Susana’s showcase.