In a bit of a surprising move by the Cincinnati Reds front office, the team has parted ways with left fielder Matt Kemp who was on the injured list.
The Cincinnati Reds are wheeling and dealing this afternoon. Just one day after bringing their prized prospect Nick Senzel up from Triple-A, the team has decided to option Scott Schebler to Louisville and just moments ago announced the release of outfielder Matt Kemp.
If should come as no surprise in the fact that Kemp was not a long-term answer for the Cincinnati Reds. However, the timing of Schebler’s demotion coupled with release of Kemp sends a clear signal to the team about who the team’s outfield will center around going forward.
Yasiel Puig will man his spot in right, while Senzel will start just his 10th professional game in center field this evening. Jesse Winker has been coming on strong of late, and Derek Dietrich has the ability to play both corner outfield positions. I’d look for him to give Winker or Puig a day off on occasion if another move isn’t made in the coming days.
The Reds could eventually recall Phillip Ervin. The team recently sent Ervin back to Triple-A Louisville when Cincinnati brought Matt Bowman up to the big leagues for a cup of coffee. Bowman was then sent back to Louisville after Senzel was called up on Friday afternoon.
"“With our support, David is working hard to create a new environment in the clubhouse and on the field. After giving it time to develop, we didn’t see Matt fitting in. We wanted to give him the opportunity to help another team.”"
Matt Kemp was part of the blockbuster trade in December that brought Puig, Kyle Farmer, and Alex Wood from Los Angeles to the Queen City. In exchange, the Reds shipped a pair of prospects and Homer Bailey to the Dodgers. LA also included $7M in cash as part of the deal.
Moving on from Matt Kemp will cost the Cincinnati Reds a pretty penny. Kemp was owed $21.5M this season, however, if the Reds would’ve hung onto Bailey, they would’ve owed him $23M plus a $5M buyout if the team decided to release him. So, essentially, the Dodgers saved the $8.5M to get rid of a headache that was unlikely to be on this year’s team anyway.
Kemp was on the 10-day injured list with a broken rib. Having seen Jesse Winker take off offensively over the last several games, Kemp would’ve likely been reduced to a fourth outfielder on this team.