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Heyman | Kemp could stick with Dodgers after all

Jon Heyman

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Feb 23, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (27) points to the sky after hitting a home run against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There is a growing belief that the Los Angeles Dodgers may carry Matt Kemp into the season after all.

No one with the organization envisioned carrying him into spring training, and yet here he is, and they are dealing with it. While no one certainly thought there was much of a chance he’d be on the team when it counted, there are a few factors that make it possible:

  • 1. The market for Kemp never was particularly good.
  • 2. The market for Kemp is even worse in light of the fact that the outfield/DH/slugger market is a disaster, with several other players still available as free agents.
  • 3. No one likes to cut someone with $43 million to go, even the Dodgers, who picked him up as an accounting trick to save money.
  • 4. He is playing great.
  • 5. He is in shape.
  • 6. He is more cooperative than back when he was a star, taking flyballs when asked (in the old says, sources say there were times he’d decline).
  • 7. He is still there.

The White Sox were mentioned here as a team that would make sense at least in a speculative sense, since they don’t currently have an obvious DH, but someone with the White Sox was pretty emphatic that that wasn’t something worth writing (critiques like that happen sometimes).

Meanwhile, people with the Dodgers are talking about the possibility that Kemp could be with them to start the year, possibly as part of a platoon with Joc Pederson in left field. They also have Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles, Trayce Thompson and others. But unless someone from that group plays so well that it becomes obvious they should play – or some surprise suitor comes through for Kemp (unlikely at this point) – the idea he could start the year with the team seems to be gaining steam.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on FanRagSports.com every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from CBSSports.com, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.

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