And just like that, all the drama about the Dodgers benching Matt Kemp is a moot point.
Carl Crawford left last night’s game with a sprained ankle and is likely headed to the disabled list, which means the Dodgers are down to three healthy big-name outfielders and Kemp–who sat out five straight games as a healthy scratch–is no longer relegated to bench duties.
Crawford hasn’t been very productive this season, hitting .267 with four homers and a .693 OPS in 44 games before the injury. By comparison Kemp has a .775 OPS in 43 games and while manager Don Mattingly has apparently soured on the idea of using Kemp as a regular center fielder at this point he’s certainly a quality defender in a corner outfield spot.
It took an injury for the Dodgers to start playing their $160 million former MVP runner-up again, but they might be a better team for it.
The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.
Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.
Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.
This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.