On the silence from Bobby Valentine

17 Comments

Buster Olney makes the following observation about the post-firing Bobby Valentine:

Rival officials believe that Bobby Valentine’s relatively muted response to his firing may be tied to some kind of financial incentive, which is not uncommon in the sport. In other words, people are sometimes paid to not criticize.

Yes, non-disparagement clauses are common. Of course, given that Valentine is under contract through next year already, the Sox would have had to give him something else in exchange for a gag order. Unless of course the non-disparagement clause was in his original deal in the first place. Or maybe Valentine is just taking the high road here.

And, actually, given how most of the disparagement surrounding Boston managers in the past couple of years has been about them and from anonymous front office sources, one hopes that Valentine gets a little financial kicker whenever the inevitable Boston Globe story comes out this fall airing all of the dirty laundry from the 2012 season in a manner that reflects poorly on everyone except ownership.

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.