Brad Lidge came off the disabled list today, and as Aaron pointed out yesterday, there is an open question as to whether he jumps right back into his customary role as the Phillies’ mediocre closer or if, instead, Ryan Madson will retain the job of Phillies’ mediocre closer for the time being.
Or at least there was a question: MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Madson has been placed on the disabled list with a broken big toe* that he suffered after Wednesday’s game in San Francisco. Which he wouldn’t have been in in the first place if Brian Wilson hadn’t blown that save, so let’s just blame all this on Bruce Bochy, shall we?
Wait — he suffered the injury after Wednesday’s game? Yep! Which either means (a) somebody kicked something after blowing a save; or (b) Brad Lidge hired someone to go after Madson, Tonya Harding-style. Man, I really hope it’s (b). That would feed the maw of this blog for three months, easy. UPDATE: Madson kicked a chair. I guess there goes the dream of reporting on a juicy scandal.
Anyway, Antonio Bastardo gets called up to replace Madson on the roster. I think we can safely assume that Lidge is the man in the ninth inning now.
*Actually Zolecki says “great toe,” but I’m using the soda/pop rule of
grammar, which allows me to use phrases with which I feel more
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.