Maicer Izturis diagnosed with ligament tear in knee; expected to miss 4-6 months

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The Blue Jays were dealt a tough blow to their infield today, as John Lott of the National Post reports that Maicer Izturis was diagnosed with a complete tear of the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) in his left knee. Surgery is expected and includes a recovery time of 4-6 months, potentially ending his season.

It was a freak injury for Izturis, as he tripped on a step in the dugout while walking to the bat rack during yesterday’s win over the Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore. According to Jeff Seidel of MLB.com, he felt two pops in his knee.

Izturis was off to a solid start this season, hitting .286 (10-for-35) with one double, one RBI, and one stolen base over 11 games. Ryan Goins, who is hitting .107 (3-for-28) this season, figures to get most of the playing time at second base for now.

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.