Well, that took long enough. For days, I’ve been reminding people that it really hasn’t been that long since Matt Kemp took his physical (48 hours or so), but after today’s revelation about the Padres claiming they’d found issues with his hips, I have to admit that even I started worrying about whether this thing was going to happen. Not only is it now official, but the Dodgers didn’t even have to give up anything more to make it happen — which, honestly, is somewhat stunning from the San Diego side, unless Kemp’s hips aren’t a worry, in which case, what was all of today about? Insurance issues, maybe. Apparently, the Padres also asked for more money, the Dodgers said no, and the Padres then said ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Finally, officially, the deal:
- Kemp, Tim Federowicz, and $32 million head to San Diego
- Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, and Zach Eflin go to Los Angeles (for the moment)
And even then, nothing is easy, because the Jimmy Rollins deal wasn’t announced simultaneously, and so I had to rewrite this part. We’ve been over the implications of this a lot already, I think, and I’ve already said my farewell to Kemp, which I encourage you to read if you haven’t already. Without rehashing it, I can easily understand that people don’t like it, and there’s danger that you just sent off a guy who might have regained his swing, but you’ve improved your defense in the outfield, found a shortstop and a catcher, and offloaded a ton of financial risk for a guy entering his 30s. It doesn’t have to be the best deal you ever saw, because with Kemp’s value being what it was, it couldn’t be.
If anything, I’m ready to move on. I’ve come to accept the sense behind the deal, and that was before the arthritis news. I don’t think it’s likely that they were going to do better anywhere else. (I especially don’t care about the “in the division” thing, as though Grandal can’t homer off of Tyson Ross or Kemp can’t misplay a ball off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.) It seems like it was either this or keep Kemp, retain the risk, and figure out how to upgrade catcher and shortstop somewhere else. That seems unlikely. Maybe things would be different if they’d signed Russell Martin, but I don’t think anyone wanted to top the 5/$82m he got in Toronto, and it probably would have just meant Kemp was going in another trade.
Anyway, it’s done. We move forward. We have no other choice. Wieland’s excited, anyway:
Big thank you to the @Padres . It was a blessing to play for a great organization. I’m excited for the next stop in my career! @Dodgers
— Joe Wieland (@JWieland108) December 19, 2014