Carlos Marmol blows another one

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If there’s a safe save situation in baseball, it’s the three-run lead over the Houston Astros to start the ninth inning.  Just don’t tell that to Carlos Marmol, because he blew that exact situation in spectacular fashion last night.

After getting the first out, he gave up a single to J.B. Shuck and then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Shuck to take second.  Clint Barmes then came up and singled and Marmol walked Matt Downs to load the bases. Marmol then got Brian Bogusevic into an 0-2 hole before serving up a pitch that was deposited deep to left center for the walkoff grand slam.

Marmol has blown eight saves this year, but he had been 10 for 10 since his demotion and subsequent reinstatement to the closer’s role.

Sean Marshall anyone?

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.