During his press conference this afternoon All-Star manager Joe Girardi announced that Michael Young was picked to replace the injured Adrian Beltre on the AL roster, which was fine except … well, apparently no one told Beltre.
Girardi was under the impression that Beltre was unavailable after injuring his hamstring yesterday, but the Red Sox’s third baseman is still hoping to play in tomorrow’s game. Which means Young is in limbo and, for now at least, “only” 82 players can say they’re All-Stars.
I’ll let MLB spokesperson Phyllis Merhige explain:
Clearly it was a communication misunderstanding. Michael Young is the next guy on the player voting, so if Adrian Beltre can’t play it’s Michael Young. But Adrian had said all along he was going to make a decision about how he felt. I don’t know where Joe got it from. Maybe I miscommunicated it.
Last year Chone Figgins was added to the AL roster very late, arriving at the ballpark just hours before the game, so keeping Young on call is nothing new. It does seem kind of weird that when people look back at his career whether Young is a six-time All-Star or a seven-time All-Star is dependent upon how Beltre’s hamstring feels in the next few hours.
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.