That’s according to Ken Gurnick, who made a name for himself most recently by voting for only Jack Morris on his 2014 Hall of Fame ballot and then picking up his ball, storming home, and saying he won’t vote ever again.
Anyhow, back to the Dodgers:
Matt Kemp has begun hitting. Expected to play during spring. Beckett should be ready for start of spring.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) January 8, 2014
The Dodgers still stand to make a major move this off-season depending on what happens with Masahiro Tanaka. Regardless of their luck in that sweepstakes, the return of a healthy Kemp could potentially be the equivalent of adding a big-time player. The team enjoyed all of its success last season without him making significant contributions.
Kemp’s lack of power in 2013 remains the biggest concern moving forward. In 73 games he hit only six home runs after hitting 23 in 106 games in 2012 and 39 in his MVP-worthy 2011 campaign. Even without power Kemp is a good center fielder. If he does regain that power, though, he is among the elite and only makes that Dodgers lineup scarier.
As for Beckett, he isn’t even a shadow of the playoff hero he was in past seasons, but he still has reasonably good stuff and can go get outs. Let’s just say that not many teams can do better than Beckett in the back of their rotation. Such is the luxury of the Dodgers’ payroll.