This is all in the realm of sportswriter speculation, not news or rumors, but twice in the last week I’ve seen people wondering if David Ortiz might join the Rangers if he can’t get a deal done in Boston. First was Nick Cafardo, who considered a bunch of landing spots:
David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox — Word is, he might accept a two-year deal for $26 million-$28 million if offered. The sides are talking and hope to have a deal before free agency. But if the Sox can’t go two years, Ortiz may very well roll the dice and see if the Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays, or Rangers bite.
Today the Dallas Morning News talks about it:
On the outside, Ortiz could make sense. He, like Hamilton, is a left-handed power hitter that can slot into the No. 3 or 4 spots in a batting order on virtually any day. He might not be quite the hitter he was when he was mashing behind Manny Ramirez in the mid-2000s, but Ortiz is still among the most feared sluggers in baseball, hitting .318/.415/.611 with 23 homers and 65 RBI despite missing nearly half the season with a strained Achilles.
It’s all just time-killer talk right now. And I sort of doubt that Ortiz leaves Boston because it’s the one place where, however much back and forth happens during the season, he knows he can be comfortable.
But how fun (and by fun I mean chaotic) would it be if the Rangers signed Ortiz, leading to a giant “where does Michael Young play?” crisis?
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.