Matt Kemp
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Reds release Matt Kemp

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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.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.