Bob Brenly expects to re-sign as Cubs announcer despite Diamondbacks speculation

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Mark Grace taking an indefinite leave of absence as Arizona’s television analyst following a DUI arrest has led to some speculation that former Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly could take the job when his contract with the Cubs expires at the end of this season.

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune asked about that possibility and Brenly pretty clearly shot it down, calling it “rain delay filler” and adding that “I have every confidence that we’ll get something done” to remain with the Cubs.

Brenly and play-by-play man Len Kasper are among the best television duos in baseball and announcing Cubs games is certainly a much higher-profile (and presumably higher-paid) gig than doing the same for the Diamondbacks. Brenly has been the Cubs’ analyst since replacing Steve Stone in 2005 and is currently finishing up a four-year contract.

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.