Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers acquire Kemp in five-player trade, including former Giants infielder


Dodgers acquire Kemp in five-player trade, including former Giants infielder

Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that creates more financial flexibility for the reigning NL champions.

The Dodgers sent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp.

Gonzalez agreed to waive his no-trade clause after receiving assurance from the Braves that he would be designated for assignment since they are already set at first base with Freddie Freeman.

"This allows him the opportunity to go and find some playing time," new Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.

After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons.

Los Angeles was looking to reduce baseball's highest payroll of $240 million last season as a way of lowering exposure to higher luxury taxes.

The deal made sense for the Braves, too, since the players they acquired all have expiring contracts.

"It puts us in an even greater financial position going forward and going into next offseason as well," said Anthopoulos, who was hired from the Dodgers.

Kemp played for the Dodgers from 2006-14, hitting 182 home runs, fourth-most in Los Angeles history. The outfielder hit .276 with 19 homers, 64 RBIs and 23 doubles in 115 games last season with the Braves.

Moving Kemp opens up a potential roster spot for top Braves prospect Ronald Acuna, who turns 20 on Monday. He was the most valuable player of the Arizona Fall League and Baseball America's minor league player of the year.

"We expect Ronald Acuna to be a very good player for a very long time," Anthopoulos said. "When he's ready to go, we're going to look to make room for him and certainly a deal like this won't hurt."

The 35-year-old Gonzalez helped the Dodgers win five straight NL West division titles after being acquired from the Red Sox in August 2012. He was an All-Star in 2015 and led the NL in RBIs in 2014, but went on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back last season for the first time in his career. He was usurped at first base by NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger.

Gonzalez is owed $21.5 million in the final year of a $154 million, seven-year contract that the Dodgers absorbed in the 2012 trade with Boston.

Kazmir didn't pitch last season because of a hip injury, one of many in his career. The 33-year-old left-hander went 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts in 2016, his first with the Dodgers. He is owed $15 million in 2018.

"I spoke to him and he's pretty encouraged and excited about the work he's been able to do in the offseason, so we're excited to get a look at him in camp," Anthopoulos said. "If we can get him back and he can bounce back, there's certainly some upside there."

McCarthy was 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 29 starts over three seasons with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old right-hander missed most of 2015 and 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He went on the DL three times last season, when he was limited to 19 appearances and went 6-4 with a 3.98 ERA.

McCarthy was added to the Dodgers' World Series roster after missing the first two rounds. He gave up a home run in extra innings of a Game 2 loss to Houston in his only appearance. He is owed $12 million in the last year of a $48 million, four-year deal.

Anthopoulos said he sees McCarthy being in the Braves' rotation, which needs a veteran arm after not re-signing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and releasing Bartolo Colon during last season.

"He came back at the end of the year and was on the World Series roster because of how good he looked, how good his stuff was, up to 94 (mph) and he started throwing a slider that h

Stanton cold on Giants, Cardinals


Stanton cold on Giants, Cardinals

SAN FRANCISCO — It has been a week since the Giants met with Giancarlo Stanton, and there is still no resolution in sight. That alone tells you much of what you need to know about Stanton’s preferences, and a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Thursday night confirmed that Stanton has not yet warmed to the Giants or Cardinals. 

Rosenthal wrote that, according to multiple major league sources, “Stanton does not want the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals.” Both front offices met with Stanton and his representatives last week in Los Angeles and both teams have reached tentative trade agreements with the Marlins. Stanton, though, controls the process.  

The National League MVP has a full no-trade clause and it has long been believed that he would prefer to spend his prime years playing for the Dodgers, who are located a few miles from where Stanton grew up. Sources told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier this week that while the Giants are confident head-to-head against the Cardinals, they continue to view the rival Dodgers as their biggest competition for Stanton. 

Rosenthal echoed those sentiments and added that Stanton is also open to joining the New York Yankees. To this point, the Dodgers and Yankees have not gotten seriously involved in the chase for Stanton, but at some point the superstar could force the Marlins’ hand. 

Despite a situation that seemingly gets cloudier with every day Stanton continues to wait, the Giants have not indicated that they’ll put a timetable on the discussions and force Stanton to choose a team. Sources said this week that the Giants believe Stanton will inform them of a decision one way or the other by the start of the Winter Meetings, but as of Thursday, there had been no word from Stanton’s camp. The annual event starts Monday in Orlando, and at some point the Giants will feel pressure to move on to other business and try to fill other holes. 

For now, they haven’t reached that point, and Rosenthal’s report did include one note that should allow for continued optimism. “Stanton’s thinking is fluid, other sources say,” Rosenthal wrote, “he does not deal in absolutes.” 

Report: One possible reason for no Giancarlo Stanton trade yet is...

Report: One possible reason for no Giancarlo Stanton trade yet is...

Deep down, Giancarlo Stanton wants to be a Dodger. He grew up 15 miles from Dodger Stadium in Sherman Oaks. All reports indicate the Giants' bitter rival is his first choice.

But for luxury tax reasons, the Dodgers are unable to dive completely into trade talks with the Marlins this winter. They can't take on a large portion of the $295 million remaining on Stanton's deal.

Yet Stanton might be waiting for a resolution with the Dodgers before deciding between the Giants and Cardinals.

According to Fox Sports, if Stanton isn't dealt to either the Giants or the Cardinals over the next few days, the reason could be that the Dodgers have gotten involved in trade talks with the Marlins. The two sides have had talks, according to Jon Morosi.

Earlier on Sunday, SiriusXM's Craig Mish reported that the Giants and Cardinals are "in the dark" as to whether Stanton would waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to either team.