Tag: Matt Kemp

Braves’ Kemp Continues Hot Streak with 1,500th Hit of Career

Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp recorded the 1,500th hit of his career in Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, doing the honors with his first of two hits for the night, a lead-off double in the bottom of the second inning, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Kemp quickly came around to score the Braves’ first run of the game when the next batter, catcher Tyler Flowers, hit an RBI single to center field to cut Washington’s early lead to 5-1

The 31-year-old outfielder later added a single in the bottom of the sixth, pushing fellow outfielder Nick Markakis into scoring position, which later allowed Atlanta to chop the lead to 5-2.

Ultimately unable to get anything else going against Nationals ace Max Scherzer, the Braves lost 7-2 to drop to 56-91 for the season.

While he hasn’t been able to stop the bleeding from a team perspective, Kemp has been highly productive since coming over from the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline. Since that time, Kemp is boasting a .286 batting average, .335 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage in 42 games for Atlanta, with eight home runs, 30 RBI and 26 runs over 168 at-bats.

He enters Saturday’s game as the owner of an eight-game hitting streak, with 14 hits over that span, including three doubles and three home runs.

Combining his production from San Diego and Atlanta, the veteran outfielder has 31 home runs and 99 RBI, marking just the second time in his career he’s reached the 30-homer plateau.

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San Diego Padres Co-Owner Ron Fowler Comments on Matt Kemp Trade

Just before the trade deadline, the San Diego Padres dealt the big contract of 31-year-old veteran outfielder Matt Kemp to the Atlanta Braves, ending his short stint with the club. 

On Wednesday, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler didn’t hold much back when speaking about Kemp’s tenure in San Diego, according to Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

We made a conscious decision to ship them out because we want people that are prepared to improve,” Fowler said. “If you’re making a lot of money and you think you’re already there, you’re not going to get better.”

In 254 games with the Padres, Kemp batted .264 with 46 home runs and 169 RBI. He was in the fourth and fifth years of the eight-year, $160 million deal he initially signed as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, via Spotrac.

He hit 23 home runs in 2015 and 23 in 2016 with the Padres and was on pace for a second-straight 100-RBI campaign before they dealt him.

But it wasn’t enough for Fowler, who commented on the letter that Kemp penned for The Players’ Tribune after the trade to Atlanta. He described himself as building “a reputation for being selfish, lazy and a bad teammate.” He did promise his new team’s fanbase that it wouldn’t happen with the Braves, though.

“You saw Kemp’s letter,” Fowler said, per Miller. “Talk about a bunch of b.s.”

Kemp wasn’t the only casualty of the trade market as the team wallowed near the basement of the National League West. The Padres have been the biggest sellers in baseball over the past few months, dealing pitchers James Shields, Fernando Rodney and Drew Pomeranz, along with outfielder Melvin Upton Jr.

In return for Kemp and his former teammates, the Padres largely got prospects, as San Diego looks to be in full rebuild mode. Fowler was frank in explaining why he broke the team up:

I’ll be damned if we’re going to pay high-priced talent to sit on their butts and not perform…I’d like to tell you we’re breaking up the ’98 Yankees, but we’re not. This was a team that underachieved. Let’s get some younger, hungry players in here that you can be proud of that lay it on the line. 

Shields responded to Fowler’s claims about former players, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago:

(Fowler and Kemp) have their own deal and he has his own thoughts about him, so I’m not going to comment on that. But one thing I do know is, I hope he’s not putting me in that category as far as not trying. You can ask anybody around the league, let alone in the San Diego organization — I worked my butt off every single day. I prepared myself the way I needed to prepare myself on a daily basis. And I pour my heart out every time I pitch on the mound.

For Padres fans, though, pride could be hard to come by if the winning column remains barren over the next few years, even if the players show an adequate effort that meets Fowler’s standards. 

It’s not like Kemp will have the last laugh with his new team in terms of winning. Entering Thursday night, Atlanta has the worst record in baseball at 38-69. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Matt Kemp Compares Braves’ Baseball Culture with That of Dodgers, Padres

Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres on Saturday in exchange for Hector Olivera, complimented his new city while simultaneously taking a shot at Los Angeles and San Diego on Tuesday.

“I’ve never really played in a baseball town before,” Kemp said, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com. “So, I am excited about that.”

Before spending the last season-and-a-half with the Padres, Kemp played for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first nine years of his career.

His praise of Atlanta shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he grew up a fan of the Braves, which he revealed in an article for The Players’ Tribune on Monday:

Very few people know this, but as a kid growing up in Oklahoma, I was a huge Atlanta Braves fan. See, I come from humble beginnings, and although me and my mom didn’t have a lot of money, I never knew the difference. Our little old TV picked up TBS, which meant I got to watch my Braves, so I was happy. That was my team! I used to rush home from school to finish my homework so I could turn on the TV and watch Chipper Jones, Ron Gant, David Justice, Fred McGriff, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz play their hearts out for the Braves.

I will never forget watching [Tom] Glavine shut down the Indians in Game 6 of the ’95 World Series! For years after that game, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t David Justice. I ran the bases with him around our living room when he led off the sixth inning with that homer to right center.

I was a Braves fan through and through.

Folks in Los Angeles and San Diego may not be so enthused by Kemp’s comments. And his designation of Atlanta as a baseball town—or at least as more of a baseball town than either L.A. or San Diego—doesn’t ring true.

As Chris Cwik of Big League Stew wrote: “To add insult to injury, the Dodgers actually lead baseball in average attendance per game, according to ESPN. The Padres rank 16th on that list, while the Braves sit 25th. The Dodgers have topped ESPN’s list since 2013.”

That’s something Kemp might not have considered.

Regardless, Kemp and the Braves feel like a good fit. The 31-year-old will get to play out his childhood dream, and Atlanta will get a boost in the middle of its lineup. Kemp is hitting .262 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI this season and was slotted into the cleanup spot behind first baseman Freddie Freeman for his Braves debut Tuesday night.

“I’ve had a smile on my face for two days,” Freeman told Bowman of having Kemp hit behind him.

Kemp has probably had a similar smile on his face. Baseball fans in Los Angeles and San Diego, however, likely aren’t grinning about Kemp’s comments.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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Matt Kemp to Braves: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The San Diego Padres traded outfielder Matt Kemp to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday in exchange for Hector Olivera, the Braves announced on Saturday. 

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the news. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the Padres would send between $10 million and $12 million to Atlanta to help offset the remainder of Kemp’s salary. 

It’s the second time Kemp’s team has traded him since late 2014. The Padres acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers as they attempted to bolster their roster for what ended up being a disappointing 2015 campaign.

The 31-year-old right fielder enjoyed a steady rise during his nine years with the Dodgers. He peaked in an outstanding 2011 season during which he racked up 40 stolen bases and 39 home runs while posting a career-high .399 on-base percentage.

He hasn’t replicated that success since, though. His power numbers were serviceable last season with 23 homers, but he had just 12 steals, and his OBP fell to .312, which marked a five-year low. That downward OBP trend continued in the first half this year, though his pop remained an asset.

Ultimately, after the Padres’ rapid-building approach failed, it didn’t come as much of a surprise when Kemp became available.

There were a couple of hurdles the front office had to jump to move him, however. The biggest one was the outfielder’s contract, which is slated to pay him $21.5 million per year in base salary through the 2019 season, per Spotrac, though the Dodgers are on the hook for $3.5 million a season through 2019.

Then there are the lingering injury concerns. While he played at least 150 games in 2014 and 2015, he missed 145 contests between 2012 and 2013. He revealed to Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated last May that his body doesn’t respond quite as well as it used to.

“I can still run, but I can’t run like I used to run,” Kemp said. “I got to do a lot more maintenance, making sure my body is right. When I was younger, I could just get out of bed, go play a game and be good. I’ve got to warm up, get those muscles loose to get ready for a game. It’s a process now.”

That said, he still has a lot of natural talent and should have a couple of strong seasons left, assuming he can stay healthy. 

He also adds a veteran presence to an Atlanta team that has struggled throughout the season. The Braves are 36-67 and aren’t a serious contender, but Kemp gives them an experienced option who can add some power to the lineup as the club moves into a new ballpark next year. Atlanta ranks dead last in baseball in total home runs. 

In return, the Padres get Olivera, who is set to finish an 82-game suspension Monday after he was charged on April 13 with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery. However, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported Olivera would be designated for assignment by the Padres upon completion of the deal. 

A Cuban defector, the 31-year-old Olivera has played 30 major league games since 2015 and batted .245 with two home runs and 13 RBI. Per Lin, he is due $28.5 million over the next four years.


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Matt Kemp Reportedly Traded to Braves

The San Diego Padres have reportedly traded outfielder Matt Kemp to the Atlanta Braves, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Left fielder Hector Olivera will be sent to the Padres pending physicals, per O’Brien. 

The Braves are Major League Baseball’s worst team this season with a record of 36-67, but after they tore down the bulk of the roster, acquiring Kemp is the first big step toward rebuilding it.

The 31-year-old two-time All-Star is enjoying a solid season with a .262 batting average, 23 home runs and 69 RBI. He has tallied at least 23 homers in seven of the past eight seasons and is five years removed from a runner-up finish in the NL MVP voting during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kemp is signed through the 2019 season at a salary of $21.5 million per year, according to Spotrac.

Atlanta is unlikely to develop into a playoff contender for at least a couple of more seasons as its top prospects continue to move up in the system, but acquiring Kemp now could be a proactive move meant to draw the timeline a bit closer.

The Braves have little to speak of offensively aside from cornerstone first baseman Freddie Freeman, so a middle-of-the-order bat like Kemp is much-needed.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Matt Kemp Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Padres Star

With the San Diego Padres already facing another lost season, Matt Kemp‘s future with the franchise is once again becoming a topic of conversation.   

Continue for updates. 

Report: Padres Have Made Kemp Available

Wednesday, May 18

Per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, the Padres have made Kemp available in potential trade talks for teams that are seeking offensive help in the outfield. 

The Padres acquired Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 2014 as part of the team’s plan to spend a lot of money with the hopes of making a return to the playoffs. 

Instead, the Padres struggled from the start, and general manager A.J. Preller decided not to start selling any of his assets at the trade deadline in July with the hopes players like Kemp, Justin Upton, James Shields and Craig Kimbrel would be enough to turn things around. 

Preller’s plan failed, as the Padres finished 74-88 last season and wound up dealing Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox and lost Upton to the Detroit Tigers in free agency. 

The Padres have attempted to move Kemp before with no success. Baseball Essential’s Robert Murray reported prior to spring training they tried to trade him to the Oakland Athletics, but the A’s were “not yet willing to pull the trigger.”

It’s hard to blame the A’s—or any team, for that matter—for not adding Kemp. He’s 31 years old, making $21.5 million in each of the next three years after 2016, per Spotrac, and is hitting .250/.264/.500 in 39 games this season. 

Kemp’s power certainly has value, but he’s being paid like a superstar and hasn’t played up to that level since 2014. Unless the Padres are going to kick in a lot of money to make something happen, it will be hard for them to find a team that is willing to pull the trigger on a deal. 

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Matt Kemp Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Padres OF

Sources told Baseball Essential’s Robert Murray on Friday that the San Diego Padres have tried to trade outfielder Matt Kemp

Continue for updates.


Kemp on the Block

Friday, Feb. 12

In the next four years, he is still owed $86 million. 

One source suggested to Murray that the Padres tried to deal Kemp to the Oakland Athletics, but the A’s were “not yet willing to pull the trigger.”

Kemp batted .265 last season with 23 home runs and 100 RBI. It was the first time since he led the National League in 2011 with 126 RBI that he hit the 100 RBI plateau. He also recorded the first cycle in franchise history against the Colorado Rockies.

However, his .265 average was his worst since his rookie season of 2006 when he played in just 52 games. 

More importantly, he’s shown over the past two seasons that he can stay healthy, as he’s played in over 150 games in each of those years. From 2012-13, he missed a total of 145 games due to injury. 

Kemp’s arrival, along with Justin and Melvin Upton and reliever Craig Kimbrel, didn’t do much to change the Padres’ fortunes in the National League West. For the ninth straight year, the Padres missed the playoffs. 

Because he managed to produce, the Padres might be thinking of selling Kemp while his value remains high before the possibility of injuries or struggles decreases his worth.

After losing Justin Upton to the Detroit Tigers, the Padres’ lineup doesn’t pack much of a punch in a strong NL West that includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and a newly loaded Arizona Diamondbacks team that added Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to their pitching rotation.

Dealing Kemp could bring in some young pieces in an attempt to revamp the team and build toward the future. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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Finding Trade Partners for MLB’s Bloated Superstar Contracts on the Block

Finding logical trade destinations for notorious underachievers like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp is no enviable task.

Once upon a time, Ramirez and Kemp were mashing together in the heart of the order for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, those guys headline the list of potential trade chips playing on bloated superstar contracts.

Fortunately for the executives who could be tasked with trying to move players like Ramirez and Kemp, there are strategies to help facilitate such deals. The first option is to attach the overpaid big leaguer to an intriguing prospect. The second is to eat some (or potentially a lot of) cash.

After digging through the stats, examining all the contracts and surveying the markets for bats and arms, there’s no question some of these players will be easier to move than others. It’s a race to the bottom, but ultimately it looks like Kemp wins the regrettable distinction of most untradeable of all.

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Bloated MLB Contracts Who Can Actually Be Trade Assets This Winter

Without a doubt, Major League Baseball teams hand their players the most ridiculous contracts—in money and length—in all of North American professional sports. 

It is a reason to scoff at cynics who claim baseball is a dying sport, but it is also ammunition for heated debates about just how bad some deals might be, in terms of dollars, duration or both. There are plenty to choose from thanks to owners and front offices willing to pay players greatly for past production while crossing their fingers for some of that production to happen in the future.

While certain players may be grossly and obviously overpaid, and for long periods of time, it does not mean they are bad players. And if some of them are considered in decline, it does not mean they are without value to their current teams or possibly new ones via offseason trade.

That is what this list of players is all about—those with bloated contracts who can still have some decent-to-high value on the trade market. Some of the players seem close to being completely washed up, while others still have the potential to be heavy contributors or even MVP candidates.

Trades for some of them might seem unlikely, but never say never when teams have more than three months of cold weather to negotiate.

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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Best MLB DraftKings Picks, Advice for September 2

Wednesday’s plethora of MLB games allows DraftKings participants to make the most out of low-value offensive options. Pitching aces such as Max Scherzer, Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw are a few of the upper-tier pitchers set to take the mound on Wednesday.

With a focus set on bargain positional players in order to make room for high-quality pitching options, here are the best DraftKings fantasy baseball picks for Wednesday.

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