This time two years ago Rob Brantly was a 22-year-old coming off a strong rookie showing in which he hit .290 with an .832 OPS in 31 games for the Marlins.
That earned him a bigger role and Brantly struggled, hitting .211 in 67 games before being even worse at Triple-A this past season. And now the White Sox have claimed him off waivers from the Marlins.
It’s odd to see a 24-year-old catcher with any sort of decent offensive track record lost on the waiver wire for nothing, but Brantly projects as a backup long term.
Toronto has claimed first baseman Chris Colabello off waivers from Minnesota.
Colabello signed with the Twins after being an independent league MVP and put up big numbers at Triple-A in 2013. He got a shot in the majors this year and responded with a great April, but then slumped horribly before getting demoted back to the minors.
Colabello later revealed that he played much of the season with a thumb injury. He’s a 31-year-old career .214 hitter with 13 homers and a .649 OPS in 114 games for the Twins, but the Blue Jays might be able to squeeze some production out of Colabello in a part-time role.
Marc Krauss, who logged 354 plate appearances for the Astros during the past two seasons, has been claimed off waivers by the Angels.
Krauss hit just .200 with 10 homers and a .615 OPS in 119 games for the Astros and as a 27-year-old corner outfielder/first baseman his upside is limited, but his Triple-A numbers are pretty solid with decent power and lots of walks.
He could work his way into a part-time role/bench role with the Angels, perhaps platooning with C.J. Cron.
Now that Matt Kemp trade rumors are swirling (click here to see all of them collected in one place) I’ve seen lots of people acting as if his contract is an albatross.
That may have been true at one point thanks to a combination of the contract’s length and Kemp’s performance slipping, but the former MVP runner-up is coming off a bounceback season and the remaining contract simply isn’t all that crazy.
Kemp is owed $107 million for five seasons. He is 30 years old and hit .287 with 25 homers and an .852 OPS in 150 games this year. Here’s a list of all the MLB outfielders with higher adjusted OPS+ than Kemp this year: Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista, Michael Brantley, Yasiel Puig. That’s it. That’s the whole list. (And he was even better in 2011 and 2012).
His adjusted OPS+ of 140 was the exact same mark posted by Nelson Cruz, a 34-year-old best suited for designated hitter duties. Whatever you think of Kemp’s defense it’s certainly better than Cruz’s defense, and as a free agent with plenty of baggage Cruz just signed a four-year, $57 million contract. You don’t think Kemp would top that deal if he were a free agent? I’ll bet he would, perhaps by a sizable amount.
If the Dodgers think trading Kemp would fetch a worthwhile return while also freeing up a bunch of money to spend elsewhere that certainly could make sense, but purely in terms of evaluating Kemp and his remaining contract it’s probably time to stop acting like it’s some disastrous deal to be unloaded at all costs.