A bit of news from the “obvious” stack this weekend.
As reported by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have no intention of trading outfielder Matt Kemp despite his down season.
“I’ve never floated his name,” Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said Saturday.
“He’s a gifted, five-tool player. He’s getting better and better. He’s
had a tough couple of months. It’s a baseball career. It’s not a
baseball two months. … I have no intention of moving him.”
And that’s how it should be. Kemp is batting just .258/.313/.463 this season, well off his career pace of .291/.340/.477, but he’s only 25 and even the greatest superstars (not named Albert Pujols) go through a disappointing season or two. He has a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in his trophy case and he hit 26 home runs, tallied 101 RBI and swiped 34 stolen bases last season for Los Angeles. Sure, the Dodgers could use a couple of starters, but selling low on potential greatness would be downright foolish.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.