For a long time there were rumors about a Matt Kemp to the Padres deal and it finally came to fruition on December 18th. The Padres were in need of a superstar and they got one in Matt Kemp. The team was very high on Kemp after he had a fantastic second half of the 2014 season He finally looked healthy after battling knee, shoulder and ankle injuries. Kemp started the 2015 season decently but faded fast for a few months. Right when Padres fans were beginning to question if the team got ripped off by the Dodgers, Kemp exploded.
The Padres first team cycle in the history of the franchise will always endear him to the fans. His impressive second half offensive numbers have boosted him to a very decent year. In 147 games so far Kemp is hitting .265 with 23 home runs and 98 RBIs. He has also stolen 11 bases and scored 77 runs. His 2015 season started roughly, but he has produced some very nice numbers. Tim Fedrowicz was hurt in spring training and then was released after completing rehab. The team decided to stick with Austin Hedges as Norris’ backup catcher.
The Padres dealt Yasmani Grandal to the Dodgers and immediately Grandal caught fire. He made the 2014 All-Star game and the trade looked horrendous at one point. Grandal has since cooled and was in a horrible slump in early September. His overall numbers are decent as he is hitting .249 with 16 homers and 47 RBI in 107 games. At 26, Grandal could be a thorn in the Padres side for years to come.
The Dodgers also received Zach Eflin who they immediately flipped to the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins. Joe Wieland was also dealt in the Kemp deal and he even started two games for the Dodgers earlier this year. Eflin, at 21, went 8-6 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts for the Phillies AA team. Wieland was roughed up in his two major league starts to a tune of a 8.31 ERA. He did go 10-5 in AAA with a 4.59 ERA in 113.2 innings.
This a tough one to grade. At times this year it looked like a big fat F, but Kemp has turned it on and justified the deal a bit. The Padres had a need for a superstar, but with his age and defensive questions, this deal could eventually turn really bad for the Padres.