Matt Kemp makes a most triumphant return

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Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Matt Kemp!

Last night Matt Kemp got his first start since July 21. He made the most of it, going 4 for 4 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored and patrolled center without incident.

Kinda came out of nowhere given that his only plate appearance on Monday was a pinch hit strikeout and given that he had hit a mere.262/.317/.380 in 63 games before yesterday’s action. But if he’s back to full strength and abilities, he’ll definitely give the Dodgers a boost heading into the playoffs.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.