Back in September Adam Rubin reported that the Mets were considering shopping Ike Davis. And you knew there was probably something to it given that, at the same time, the team floated stuff about his character and work ethic to give them cover. It’s like the Mets are the Red Sox’ padawan learner in this regard.
To the extent they were still considering that, however, it’s all over now, reports Joel Sherman:
The Mets are so determined to become a more power-oriented team that they have decided they will not trade Ike Davis, The Post has learned. “If we trade him, where do we find those 32 homers?” one team executive said.
That’s especially true now that Lucas Duda has a broken wrist, though Sherman says that the Mets came to this conclusion before Duda hurt himself. Probably because they remembered that, oh yeah, Davis is younger and better than Duda is.
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.