Cardinals turn to Matt Carpenter at second base, where he hasn’t played since age 13

9 Comments

Earlier this week I wondered if the Cardinals might use Allen Craig at second base once Lance Berkman returns from knee surgery, but Berkman isn’t even back yet and manager Mike Matheny is doing something even more surprising.

Matt Carpenter is starting at second base tonight despite the fact that he’s never played the position as a professional. In fact, Carpenter told FOX Sports Midwest that he can’t remember playing second base since he was 13 years old.

Carpenter’s bat is also definitely worth getting into the lineup and while most of his big-league action has come as a first baseman or corner outfielder he does have tons of minor-league experience at third base. Still, it’ll be very interesting to say the least.

Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp in five-player trade with Braves

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.