Matt Kemp is returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the team traded four players plus cash to get him back.
Kemp, who last played for the Dodgers between 2006 and 2014, is returning for round two after the team traded Adrián González, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to acquire him from the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers announced Saturday.
Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.
After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons.
Los Angeles was looking to reduce baseball's highest payroll of $240 million last season as a way of lowering exposure to higher luxury taxes.
Kemp has hit 259 home runs in his career, 182 of those homers in Dodger blue. Last season, he hit 19 homers and batted in 64 runs in 115 games while amassing a .276 batting average for the Braves.”
The 35-year-old Gonzalez helped the Dodgers win five straight National League West division titles after being acquired from the Red Sox in August 2012. He was an All-Star in 2015 and led the NL in RBIs in 2014, but went on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back last season for the first time in his career. He was usurped at first base by NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers let go of Gonzales after the 35-year-old played only 71 games in 2017. Despite being liked by fans, his injury last season, coupled with his made him disposable to the Dodgers.
Gonzalez is owed $21.5 million in the final year of a $154 million, seven-year contract that the Dodgers absorbed in the 2012 trade with Boston.
Kazmir didn't pitch last season because of a hip injury, one of many in his career. The 33-year-old left-hander went 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts in 2016, his first with the Dodgers. He is owed $15 million in 2018.
McCarthy was 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 29 starts over three seasons with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old right-hander missed most of 2015 and 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He went on the DL three times last season. He is owed $12 million in the last year of a $48 million, four-year deal.
Culberson is known for a pair of memorable homers with the Dodgers. His game-ending drive against Colorado in the 2016 regular-season finale clinched the NL West title. He also went deep in Game 2 of the World Series last season.