David Ortiz “finalizing” two-year contract with Red Sox

20 Comments

David Ortiz was optimistic about his chances of re-signing with the Red Sox and sure enough Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that the two sides are “finalizing” a two-year contract.

No word yet on the money involved, but a mulit-year deal is a win for Ortiz considering he’s a 36-year-old designated hitter coming off an Achilles’ tendon injury that cost him essentially the entire second half. He played last season on a one-year, $14.58 million deal and hit .318 with 23 homers and 26 doubles in 90 games for his first OPS above 1.000 since 2007.

According to Edes the Red Sox hope to announce the deal by the end of this week and Ortiz is “believed to be seeking” around $25 million.

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.