Someone paid $103,579 for A-Rod's 500th homer

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Yesterday at an auction in California an anonymous bidder paid $103,579 for the ball Alex Rodriguez hit for his 500th career homer. Rodriguez hit the homer off Kyle Davies of the Royals at the old Yankee Stadium in August of 2007, and has since hit another 83 bombs.
Generally speaking the 500-homer club has lost quite a bit of its luster in recent years, so I’m not sure how much the 500th-homer ball of a guy who’ll probably end up with 750 or 800 homers will ultimately be worth. I’m willing to guess that the answer will be “less than $103,579.”
Comic book mogul Todd McFarlane once spent $3 million on Mark McGwire’s record-setting 70th-homer ball and then dropped another $450,000 to get the ball Barry Bonds hit for No. 73 a few years later, but those have probably held their value about as well as my collection of Ruben Mateo rookie cards.

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.