The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a major overhaul, one that included a trade that shipped centerfielder Matt Kemp and most of the $107.5 million left on his contract to the San Diego Padres. The deal was one of four the Dodgers made with six different teams during the annual Winter Meetings, but now the deal is in serious limbo.
After Kemp’s physical revealed he has “severe” arthritis in both of his hips, USA Today reported Thursday, San Diego is weighing the options of either nixing the deal or going through with it.
Originally, the Padres were supposed to acquire Kemp to help their burgeoning lineup, as well as catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million to alleviate some of the sting of Kemp’s massive contract. In exchange, L.A. would receive catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitchers Joe Wieland and Zach Elfin.
If the deal is cancelled, it could impact other moves made by both teams.
Kemp was actually surprised by the diagnosis, according to the report, and if the Padres decide to void the deal then L.A. would also need to revamp its trade with Philadelphia that made shortstop Jimmie Rollins a Dodger and sent Elfin to the Phillies.
The Padres also participated in a three-team deal with the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays that involved 11 total players, and that may be held up as well.
Right now it’s unclear if the arthritis will affect Kemp, 30, for the rest of his career, but based off his injury history the Padres are right to exercise caution. After coming in second the National League MVP vote in 2011, Kemp’s missed a combined 162 games, technically a full season, over the last three years due to various injuries.
Before the start of the 2014 season, Kemp was recovering from shoulder and ankle surgeries, and he wound up playing 150 games. He batted .287 for 25 home runs, 89 RBIs and his 52 walks were his best total since his breakout 2011 season. What made Kemp such a special player was his combination of power and speed, and the latter has alluded him due to injury. He swiped 40 bases in 2011, and in the last three seasons he’s totaled just 26.