The Cards plan to bring back DeRosa

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that the Cardinals have “significant interest” in retaining Mark De Rosa and that they’ll likely have something done with him before talks with Matt Holliday get going.

I know he’s versatile and everything, but DeRosa has a torn tendon sheath in his wrist that is going to need surgery, and that can be a major injury for a baseball player.  It basically ended Ken Caminiti’s career. Well, the crack and the ‘roids and all of that had something to do with it, but the tendon sheath thing didn’t help.  David Ortiz had it too, and while he’s had his moments lately, many people think that it has contributed to his erratic performance since last year.

However that plays out, I can’t see how Mark DeRosa — who is essentially a utlity guy — can be a priority for a team with a limited resources, one key free agent to be in Holliday and one once-in-a-lifetime player who creeps closer to free agency every day.  At least not in September.  He’s a guy you do a quick deal with in December.

Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp in five-player trade with Braves

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The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.

Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.

Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.