I’ve gotten a lot of crap over the past week or so for daring to suggest that Michael Young may be less than Hall-of-Fame-worthy and may be less of the leader that his fan club down in the Metroplex make him out to be. Saying you want to work someplace else every time someone asks you to change your workflow kind of keeps you out the leadership conversation.
So it was great to see Joe Posnanski hit ’em up in his blog post this morning. The post itself is about Tim McCarver and Joe Buck — good to see Posnanski hitting them up too — but Young gets a four-paragraph Postersisk up front in the article wondering why on Earth, despite all of his flaws as a player and less-than-leaderly traits, he’s described as the be-all, end-all in those categories by a pliant press.
I’m sure Posnanski will not get a stern talking-to by Evan Grant and others. Something tells me it will bother him even less than it bothered me.
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.