Stephen Strasburg is human, at least in Arizona

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Stephen Strasburg made his second Arizona Fall League appearance yesterday and got rocked for eight runs in 2.2 innings, serving up three homers.
Chico Harlan of the Washington Post notes that Strasburg served up a grand total of just four homers in 109 innings at San Diego State this year, but in addition to the obvious upgrade in competition the AFL also boasts an incredibly hitter-friendly environment where the league as a whole is batting .302.
A few ugly AFL outings may take some of the air out of Strasburg’s incredible hype, but as Matt Wieters showed this season that’s not such a bad thing and history is littered with great pitching prospects who’ve gone to Arizona to get shelled. He still throws in the high-90s regularly, still has big-time breaking stuff, and still has a very good chance of being a very good pitcher. He’s just not a fully formed Cy Young winner at the age of 21.

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.