The Reds decided to release outfielder Matt Kemp during a flurry of roster moves on Saturday. Kemp was working his way through a stint on the injured list after fracturing his left rib on an attempted outfield catch several weeks ago.
Kemp, 34, came over to Cincinnati as part of a trade for the Dodgers’ Homer Bailey, Jeter Downs, and Josiah Gray last December. He had a terrific year with Los Angeles in 2018, slashing .290/.338/.481 with 21 home runs and 1.6 fWAR through 506 plate appearances, but struggled to replicate those results during his first month with the Reds. Over 20 major-league games in 2019, he batted .200/.210/.283 with three extra bases and five RBI before landing on the injured list.
Still, given his relatively recent productivity at the plate, it’s something of a surprise to see him dropped from the team so soon into the season. Once he makes a full recovery — something the Reds never gave a firm timetable for — he’s almost certain to find a backup opportunity or minors deal somewhere in the league.