Mariners’ interest in Matt Kemp is “very real”

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The Mariners re-acquired Kendrys Morales from the Twins on Thursday for right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor, and they’re not done trying to beef up their offense. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo

Kemp owns an underwhelming .273/.339/.429 batting line in 369 plate appearances this season for the Dodgers, but Seattle outfielders have combined to hit .252/.291/.357 and so he’d be a pretty significant upgrade. The 29-year-old is making $21 million in 2014 and owed $107 million between 2015-2019.

Los Angeles has a crowded (and expensive) outfield at the moment between Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and Scott Van Slyke. And top prospect Joc Pederson is knocking on the door.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves