Matt Kemp homered Friday in the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Rockies to become the 55th player in big-league history to turn in a 30-homer, 30-steal season.
Kemp took Matt Reynolds deep in the seventh inning to reach 30 homers for the first time. His previous high was last year’s 28.
Kemp, who entered the game with 33 steals, is the first player to go 30/30 since the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler in 2009 and the first National Leaguer since Brandon Phillips, Jimmy Rollins and David Wright all got there in 2007.
He’s the first Dodger to pull off the feat since Raul Mondesi in 1999.
Kemp has an outside chance of joining Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano in the 40-40 club. The seven steals shouldn’t be all that difficult, but he will need 10 homers in 32 games, which means he’ll have to get hot.
35/35 is more realistic, and while those aren’t magic numbers, he’d be the first player to get there since Soriano had his 46-homer, 41-steal season in 2006.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.