Giancarlo Stanton aiming to return from DL early next week

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Giancarlo Stanton is scheduled to begin a brief minor-league rehab assignment today at Single-A and, barring a setback with his surgically repaired knee, hopes to come off the disabled list as soon as Tuesday versus the Mets.

At the time of Stanton’s surgery on July 9 he was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, so he’s basically right on track for the low end of that estimate and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes that the Marlins think he’ll be able to return after just a few rehab outings.

Stanton briefly tried to play through the pain before shutting things down and having two loose cartilage chips removed from his right knee. Prior to being placed on the DL he hit .284 with 19 homers and a career-high .919 OPS in 80 games.

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.