Former Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp believes he’s part of the best outfield in baseball in San Diego. (Associated Press)
Is Matt Kemp
trolling the Dodgers, or just being himself? Or both?
Kemp told MLB.com that the Padres have the best outfield in baseball: “You can write it down — and print it.”
Writes Lyle Spencer:
Judging by the clubhouse crowd gathered around him, with animated conversation flowing around the comparative talents of NBA superstars Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Stephen Curry and LeBron James, Kemp has swiftly won over his new teammates with his vibrant personality.
This is not the Matt Kemp often seen alone with his thoughts the past few years at Dodger Stadium, frustrated by multiple injuries and a shifting role in the midst of an array of outfielders.
This Kemp is fully engaged, eyes alive, sparkling. The best player in the game in 2011, finally healthy and coming off a huge second half last season, he is eager to get started with turning the remodeled Padres into a force in the National League.
The San Diego Padres won’t draft until 41st overall in June because they signed James Shields. (Getty Images)
When James Shields‘ contract with the San Diego Padres becomes official — he’s reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year contract — the Dodgers will hold the 35th overall pick in the June draft.
That’s in addition to the 24th overall pick that was theirs by virtue of their 2014 regular season record.
None of this became official until today, when the 2015 draft order was finally set. Why did it take so long?
Because Shields rejected a qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals before signing with the Padres, the Padres forfeited the 13th overall pick in the draft (and won’t draft until the 41st overall pick). And because Shields was the last unsigned free agent who’d rejected a qualifying offer, every team can confidently say where it will pick June 8.
That’s the short version of what went into setting the draft order; BaseballAmerica.com has a nice breakdown of the particulars.
San Diego Padres outfielder Matt Kemp will make $21.25 million in 2015, $18 million of which will be paid by the Dodgers. (David Crane/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers and San Diego Padres are scheduled to play each other 16 times in 2015. If Andrew Friedman handed Matt Kemp an oversized check for $1 million before every game, he would still owe Kemp money at the end of the season.