Chris Young to opt out of minor league contract with Nationals

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According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, right-hander Chris Young has filed the paperwork to opt out of his minor league contract with the Nationals. The team now has 24 hours to add him to the roster, but they are expected to let him hit the free agent market.

Young was solid in his latest Grapefruit League start earlier this evening against the Astros, allowing only an unearned run over four innings of work. He owns a 2.25 ERA and 9/7 K/BB ratio in 16 innings this spring.

Young, who turns 34 in May, posted a 4.15 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio in 115 innings over 20 starts with the Mets last season. He’s hoping to find a home in a major league rotation somewhere.

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.