The National League All-Star outfield is looking pretty strong at the moment. The three guys on pace to start per the latest vote happen to be the three best-hitting outfielders in the league at the moment. Put Carlos Gomez on the team too — he’s fourth in balloting — and it’s looking like one of the more solid outfields you’ll ever see.
Beyond them? Goldschmidt, Utley, Wright, Tulowitzki and Molina lead their respective positions. While one may quibble with any of those choices on the merits of their half-season stats — Jonthan Lucroy and Todd Frazier fans are weeping at the moment — there is no question that NL voters know who the stars in the senior circuit truly are.
The results as of today:
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.