Report: Dodgers, Padres agree to blockbuster trade involving Matt Kemp

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Update (6:15 AM EST): A source tells Kirk Kenney and Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego that it’s a done deal. The Dodgers are sending Tim Federowicz along with Kemp to San Diego for Grandal and Eflin, as well as Joe Wieland (Joe Ross, as previously reported below, does not appear to be involved). The Dodgers are kicking in around $30 million to help offset the $107 million over five years left on Kemp’s contract.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Dodgers and Padres are close to a deal to send superstar outfielder Matt Kemp to sunny San Diego in a blockbuster trade. Heyman writes that the two sides are exchanging final details. A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal is “closer but not done”.

On the Padres’ side, they appear to be giving up catcher Yasmani Grandal along with minor league pitchers Joe Ross and Zach Eflin. Per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers are looking for a catcher to pair with A.J. Ellis and Grandal certainly fits that bill. In 443 plate appearances for the Padres last season, Grandal hit .225/.327/.401 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI.

Kemp will earn $21 million in 2015 and $21.5 million in each season between 2016-19. The Dodgers would almost certainly be helping out with the finances. The Padres, of course, will get a big boost to their offense which ranked dead last in the National League, averaging 3.30 runs per game this past season. Kemp showed, by batting .287/.346/.506 for the Dodgers in 2014, that he can still be one of the game’s most fearsome hitters when he’s healthy.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has had a busy 24 hours, having also notched deals for shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Howie Kendrick,signing starter Brandon McCarthy to a four-year deal, and trading second baseman Dee Gordon.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

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The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.

Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.

There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.

That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.

The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.

One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.

Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.

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