The Dodgers took a major step towards resolving their logjam of outfielders and relieving themselves of at least one long-term, big-money contract Thursday, trading away center fielder Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres.
Along with Kemp, the Padres get catcher Tim Federowicz and send catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland, and a prospect, reported to be pitcher Zach Eflin, to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will also reportedly send $32 million to cushion some of the $107 Kemp is owed over the next five seasons.
The Dodgers outfield options, before trading Kemp, consisted of him, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke, Yasiel Puig, and top prospect Joc Pederson. With Kemp now out of the picture, the outfield situation becomes less cluttered.
Kemp, 30, is a two-time All-Star, who has won two Gold Glove awards and two Silver Slugger awards, displaying his all-around talent, both on defense and offense.
In 2014, he appeared in 150 games and hit .287 with 25 home runs and 89 RBI. In nine major league seasons, Kemp has a career batting average of .292.
As an addition to the Padres, Kemp brings five seasons of 20+ home run power, three seasons of 20+ stolen bases, and a resume strong in both offensive and defensive accolades. His high level of offensive production should be a major asset to a Padres team who hit just 109 home runs last season and finished dead last in the majors in runs scored.
To acquire Kemp, the Padres did have to part with one of their up-and-coming talents in Yasmani Grandal.
The 26 year-old Grandal, a former first round pick of the Cincinnati Reds, offers offensive production and strong defensive abilities at the catcher position- a hard combination to come by in today’s game. Grandal will likely take over starting duties in Los Angeles, relegating A.J. Ellis to backup duties.
Last season, Grandal hit .225 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI. He scattered a total of 35 extra-base hits and scored 47 runs in 128 games.
Joe Wieland, 24, the next player on his way to Los Angeles, has appeared in nine major league games, including seven starts. He has a record of 1-4 with a 5.31 ERA in his brief time at the big league level.
Eflin, 20, went 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA and 93 strikeouts for the Single-A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm in 2014.
Federowicz, 27, played in 23 games for the Dodgers last season, hitting .113 with one homer and five RBI.