Reds announce unceremonious release of Matt KempBy Amber Lee
Last year in the first half, he was in the midst of a career renaissance. This year, he’s been released by a last-place team while sitting on the injured list.
What a difference a year makes when it comes to Matt Kemp.
The Reds made the official announcement Saturday afternoon:
The #Reds have released OF Matt Kemp.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 4, 2019
Kemp, 34, hit .200/.210/.283 in 62 plate appearances for the Reds this season with 19 strikeouts and one walk. He posted negative-0.9 WAR in just 20 games, and that’s awfully tough to pull off. Impressive futility, one might say.
Last season, Kemp hit .310/.352/.522 with 15 homers and 60 RBI in the first half, making the All-Star team for the first time since 2012.
Though Kemp has been pretty bad since that stretch, especially so in 2019, the decision to cut him couldn’t have come easily for the Reds, given his salary.
Kemp is making $21.75 million this season. The Dodgers are picking up $3.5 million with the Padres getting $2.5 million. The Reds are on the hook for the rest.
Kemp is now free to sign with another team. And, if that happens, he’ll be getting paid by four different teams.