Would Jon Daniels jump ship to the Mets?

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As Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reminded us last month, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has the ability to opt out of his contract after the season in the event of new ownership.

Now that Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan have landed the team, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com asked Daniels if he has any intention to use his out-clause. Predictably, he isn’t saying much.

Q: There’s been talk about your contract and the opportunity to opt out. Do you want to stay here?

Daniels: I’ve been pretty clear on that point. I
couldn’t imagine a better situation as far as quality of people that I
have the opportunity to work with on a daily basis and a community that
my family and I really like. I’m sure at some point I’ll get the
opportunity to talk about it, but that’s the farthest thing from my
mind.

The other day I was directed to a very interesting piece by Mike Hindman of Baseball Time in Arlington, a fantastic blog on all things Texas Rangers. This was posted before Ryan and Greenberg submitted the winning bid — so please take that into account — but Hindman presented a scenario where Daniels, who grew up as a Mets fan, would leave Texas, even if Ryan and Greenberg walked away with the team. The guys at BBTiA are bright and well-connected in the Rangers organization, so the possibility cannot be ignored.  

We’re hearing a lot about Fred Wilpon hinting that Omar Minaya will be back as general manager of the Mets next season, but he simply didn’t say that. In fact, I’m not sure what he said yesterday means anything whatsoever. If Daniels becomes available, the Mets should absolutely listen.   

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.