Bill Shaikin of the LA Times wrote Wednesday morning that the Angels “long have known they do not have the elite prospects necessary to acquire” ace left-hander David Price from the Rays. And that weak farm system could also mean that another known Angels target will slip through the cracks.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is hearing from sources that the Angels and Padres “do not match up” on a trade for right-handed starter Ian Kennedy, whom Anaheim was linked to by Rosenthal two days ago.
Rosenthal says the Halos remain interested in acquiring San Diego closer Huston Street, who would require less of a haul. Kennedy boasts a 3.47 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 133/34 K/BB ratio in 124 1/3 innings (20 starts) this season and is making just $6.1 million with another year of arbitration eligibility in 2015. Kennedy’s 3.17 xFIP ranks better than guys like Max Scherzer, Jeff Samardzija, and Adam Wainwright.
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.