Josh Hamilton to make Cactus League debut Monday

1 Comment

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Monday afternoon and told reporters that a season-opening disabled list stint is “not even on the table.”

Hamilton suffered a calf strain in late February and has been easing his way back into baseball activities. He said he felt “totally different” — in a good way — after taking a round of live batting practice on Saturday in camp.

Hamilton is trying to bounce back from his disappointing 2013 season. He signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels last winter and then went on to post a career-low .739 OPS.

Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp in five-player trade with Braves

Getty Images
10 Comments

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.