MATT KEMP, 30, outfielder.
Final 2014 stats: .287 batting average, 25 home runs, 89 RBI, 38 doubles, .345 on-base and .506 slugging percentages in 599 plate appearances.
Contract status: Has five years and $107.25 million remaining on contract.
The good: Was second on the team in homers, doubles and RBI. Had an excellent second half, batting .309 with 17 home runs, 54 RBI and a .606 slugging percentage. Played all three outfield positions, but flourished after being moved to right (.314/.367/.614). Went 6 for 17 in playoffs (.353) with a homer.
The bad: His defense was never as strong as most wanted to believe, and he was finally moved out of center. He did not like that and made it known. Of course, Kemp had a way of letting it be known when he wasn’t happy. He complained about sharing time in the outfield even before the season began.
Struck out a team-high 145 times. Tied for fourth on the club with seven errors. Started season slowly, hitting just .205 in his first 24 games.
What’s next: New career as the big man with the Padres.
The take: Kemp finally put the shoulder and foot surgeries -- and the hamstring injuries -- behind him in the second half and looked closer to the guy with the monster 2011 season, and his reward was to be sent south.
Still have trouble reconciling the Geek Squad trading my favorite player, but the new front office is doing things its own way. So Kemp and backup catcher Tim Federowicz are now Padres, and the Dodgers got back catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-hander Joe Wieland and pitching prospect Zach Eflin, who was flipped to Philadelphia for one year of shortstop Jimmy Rollins. And the Dodgers are picking up $32 million of Kemp’s remaining contract.
This could prove the most one-sided trade since Manhattan for a bag of beads. Apparently the new guys are of the Branch Rickey school and are gambling it’s better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late. Still, you’d think they could have received something more in return.
Kemp had his brain cramps on the bases and lousy jumps on fly balls, but there was never any denying that when he was healthy he could crush a baseball. Particularly if it was not low and away. The Dodgers will have a lot of solid bats in the lineup next season but lack the electric one provided by Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.
Kemp was drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round of 2003 and has played his entire career for Los Angeles. He ends his career as a Dodger with a .292 batting average and 182 home runs (eighth in team history). He was one remarkably talented player, and for all his ups and downs, he goes out on a definite high.