Jacob Turner has been a well-known name in the baseball world for so long that it’s almost difficult to believe he is only 22 years old. And yet here we are.
The young righty was ranked a Top-30 prospect by Baseball America three offseasons in a row (2010-2012) and is rounding into a pretty nice major league pitcher here in 2013 with the Marlins. He threw the first complete game of his career on Saturday evening against the Padres, allowing just one run while fanning seven as Miami picked up a 7-1 victory.
Turner is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in six starts since his promotion to the major leagues on May 31.
He has only 27 strikeouts in 41 innings, but that’s just the kind of pitcher he is.
“I’ve always been able to pound the strike zone; that’s been my biggest strength,” Turner said late Saturday night. And making half his starts at the cavernous Marlins Park should help keep that a sound strategy.
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.