Before the July trade deadline, it was said the Los Angeles Dodgers front office would ‘kill’ to trade then struggling outfielder Matt Kemp.
Who could blame them? Kemp was nothing short of awful both offensively and defensively, was sulking and had an albatross of a contract. But unhappy with alleged trade offers sent their way, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to keep Matt Kemp who unexpectedly went on a tear that vaulted the Dodgers to the top of the National League West.
Looking much like the player who nearly beat out Ryan Braun for the NL MVP award in 2011, Matt Kemp has seemingly solidified his spot on the Dodgers roster moving forward as Peter Gammons notes his return next year seems likely.
If Ramirez leaves, it makes Matt Kemp’s return to LA in 2015 all the more certain. The Dodgers are already heavily lefthanded—yes, when Joc Pederson comes up this next week they will have one more lefthanded-hitting outfielder—and Kemp’s .553 slugging and .921 OPS numbers since the All-Star Break have re-enforced his importance to the lineup.
At this point, the Dodgers don’t have a ton of options regarding Kemp. They can trade him if they so inclined, though the return would be painfully woeful and it’s likely the Dodgers would still be on the hook for a decent chunk of his salary. Given that, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Los Angeles to make a move, especially given how well Matt Kemp has played over the past two months.
He may never be the player he once was, but he’s still more than serviceable.