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Matt Kemp has lost over 40 pounds

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Harold Reynolds said on MLB Network on this morning that Matt Kemp lost 41 pounds during the offseason. Reynolds added that Kemp was pushing to lose 50 pounds. Kemp showed up at Dodgers camp today and people are saying he’s noticeably thinner.

In other news, Matt Kemp had 40-50 pounds to lose. I mean, I’ve watched him play a lot in the past couple of years and he is a beefier dude than he was back in his MVP candidate days, but 40-50 pounds is . . . alot.

Whatever it takes, I suppose. He ended up back on the Dodgers in a mutual salary dump situation involving Adrian Gonzalez and the Braves, so it’s not like the Dodgers need to play him. Indeed, they could simply release him, pay him and be no worse off. But if Kemp is in shape and does show some improvement on defense and at the plate, it’s not crazy to think that he could stay with the club as a backup outfielder. Wouldn’t bet the farm on it or anything, but stranger things have happened.

And for what it’s worth, I’m not going to put this in the Best Shape of His Life category. A judgment call, mostly, in that it didn’t seem calculated to improve Kemp’s stock as opposed to simply being an observation. BSOHL usually comes with some sort of propaganda angle. This seems more like a “dang, Kemp’s lost some weight” thing.

UPDATE: Showing up to camp in “great shape” is not new for Kemp, our Matthew Pouliot reminds us. This story was written about Kemp allegedly being in great shape . . . a year ago.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.