Bill Madden hinted at this over the weekend — and of course, we always knew this –but Buster Olney is now reporting that Bud Selig is not going to retire at the end of 2012 as promised. Instead, he’s going to get a two-year extension to stay on as Commissioner. The vote should happen this week at the owners’ meetings in Arizona.
Good for Bud. And for as much as he irks me on occasion, good for baseball. You may not like a lot of how he rolls, but he has been a huge part of growing baseball’s popularity, bolstering its financial health and in helping bring in an unprecedented era of labor peace.
Now all that’s left is for the cloning and/or fitting him with cybernetic organs and limbs to begin and we will never have to look for another commissioner again.
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.