The Los Angeles Dodgers continued to make moves on Thursday with the team agreeing to deal outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland, and prospect right-hander Zach Eflin, according to ESPN.com.
Los Angeles will also send $32 million to the Padres in order to help cover the remaining $107 million on Kemp’s contract.
It was long expected that the Dodgers would move one of their four outfielders in with either Kemp, Andre Ethier, or Carl Crawford as they likely candidates.. The logjam in the outfield had created much of a problem trying to give each player significant playing time.
Ethier was the odd man out last season in terms of playing time, but Kemp went through his fair share of disagreements such as manager Don Mattingly’s decision to move him from center field to left field. Despite that, the 30-year-old began to look like his former self prior to the slew of injuries as he hit 17 of his 25 home runs and lead the major leagues in slugging percentage after the All-Star break.
Kemp had signed a eight-year, $160 million contract with the Dodgers following his MVP caliber 2011 season, where he batted .324 with 39 home runs and 126 RBIs. Following that breakout year, he struggled to stay healthy due to dealing with an assortment of injuries.
He underwent major shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and some minor damage to his rotator cuff after playing in just 106 games in 2012. He had also he dealt with lingering hamstring issues in that same season. In 2013, the injuries continued to pile up for Kemp as hamstring and ankle problems that limited him to just 73 games played.
Along with undergoing ankle surgery, the two-time All-Star also went minor surgery to clean up his left shoulder following the completion of the 2013 season.
The Dodgers in the trade received more depth at the catcher position with the addition of Grandal, who batted .225 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 128 games played. The 26-year-old is expected to compete for the starting catcher spot with veteran catcher A.J. Ellis.
The 24-year-old Wieland has limited experience at the major-league level over the last two seasons playing in just nine games with seven starts with a 5.31 ERA in 39.0 inning with 32 strikeouts.
Los Angeles has been quite a busy team at the Winter meetings having already traded second baseman Dee Gordon, pitcher Dan Haren, and infielder Miguel Rojas to the Miami Marlins for 23-year-old left hander Andrew Heaney on Wednesday. Then later that day flipped Heaney to the Los Angeles Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick.
The team also acquired shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Philadelphia Phillies to replace the void at the position that Hanley Ramirez created with his departure. Finally the team signed veteran pitcher Brandon McCarthy to sure up the back end of the starting rotation with Haren now a member of the Marlins.
That said, much change could still be on the horizon for the Dodgers prior to the start of the 2015 season.
Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY Sports
Bob Garcia IV
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