The 2013 season keeps on getting worse for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. Having already missed time this season due to a strained right hamstring, inflammation of the AC joint in his right hsoulder, and a sprained left ankle, Kemp has now been ruled out of the playoffs, per Dylan Hernandez.
Hernandez tweeted that Kemp was on crutches and later said that his ankle could break if he continues playing. With the time off, Kemp will also have minor surgery to fix his ailing shoulder.
Kemp ends the season with a career-worst .723 OPS in 290 plate appearances. He is through the second year of an eight-year, $160 million contract. The Dodgers still owe him $128 million. With a logjam in the outfield — including Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and Andre Ethier — the Dodgers will have to decide who stays and who goes during the off-season. It is quite possible that the Dodgers explore a trade involving Kemp, though they would certainly be selling low.
The Dodgers will go on the road to face the Braves in the first two games of the National League Division Series, which starts on Thursday.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.