The LA Angels aren’t the only SoCal team making moves, as the crosstown Dodgers dealt for former outfielder Matt Kemp on Saturday. However, the Dodgers are expected to either trade or release Kemp, making him available across the league.
The LA Angels have been making moves this offseason. They have arguably improved more than any other MLB team so far, and still have a lot of work to do. However, they are now looking towards building their depth and rounding out their bullpen.
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Matt Kemp could be a good option for the Halos should he hit free agency. The former All Star outfielder had a solid year for the Braves in 2017, hitting .276 with 19 big flies in 115 games. The Angels obviously have their starting outfield filled out, but with Ben Revere and Jared Hoying their backups at the moment, there is room for improvement.
Trading for Kemp is doubtful, as he is on the tail end of his eight year, $160 million contract. However, if he hits free agency, he could be signed for a significantly smaller contract, while also avoiding giving up any assets.
While Kemp would be an upgrade over both of the Halos’ backups, there are too many bad aspects of Kemp’s game for Billy Eppler to realistically offer him a contract. Kemp is not the Gold Glove outfielder he used to be. Kemp also had a lackluster on-base percentage in 2017.
As Halo fans everywhere know, Billy Eppler values defense and on-base percentage extremely high. The biggest proof of this is his signing the defensively sound, on-base machine who is Zack Cozart. In doing that, he passed on the younger slugger Mike Moustakas. For Kemp to struggle both on defense and at getting on base, it would be extremely unordinary for Eppler to pursue him.
The Angels avoiding Kemp would likely be best for both sides. He does not fit the Angels philosophy, and will probably seek a starting opportunity. For the Halos and Kemp, it should be a no go.