Mariners’ interest in Matt Kemp is “very real”

29 Comments

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.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.