T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times published an incredibly revealing article on Saturday night about the relationship between the Dodgers, their fans, Matt Kemp and agent Dave Stewart.
In it you’ll find Stewart as an overbearing and overly self-conscious agent and Kemp as a talented but confused 25-year-old. Simers’ headline says it best: “Matt Kemp’s agent is an albatross around his neck.” And here’s your quote of the day:
“Do you think for one moment I care about the town of L.A. or the fans there?” Stewart wrote in an e-mail. [Kemp is] going to be a great major league player. It
doesn’t have to be [in L.A.]. …The big picture is he doesn’t have to
play [in L.A.]. There are 29 teams out there.”
That kind of talk is fine for an impending free agent, but Kemp is under contract with the Dodgers for at least two more seasons. Given the outfielder’s age and extraordinary level of talent, any sort of trade would be of the blockbuster variety. And we don’t see many of those these days.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.