What are the Los Angeles Dodgers up to this offseason?

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Charlie Culberson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Charlie Culberson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

With Saturday’s reacquisition of  Matt Kemp, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office has begun what looks to be the most thrilling offseason in years.

There are two ways to make a statement during the offseason. The first way is to trade, sign, and then trade some more. The Angels, for example, have signed Shohei Ohtani and Zack Cozart, traded for Ian Kinsler and signed Justin Upton to an extension.

It’s not even Christmas yet.

The Angels made their intentions for 2018 known, and they said it loud; they plan to contend next season. The Yankees, who came one win away from the World Series this past fall, followed the Angels lead by trading for Giancarlo Stanton and re-signing CC Sabathia.

The Yankee’s will be contending in 2018, and the Angels are close, extremely close, to being the team that stands between the Astros and another AL West title.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, are taking a more subtle approach. And sometimes, subtlety can make the strongest impact.

On Saturday, the Dodgers made a move that echoed throughout baseball. They traded veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, starters Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, utility infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to the Atlanta Braves for former Dodger, and outfielder, Matt Kemp.

Don’t expect Kemp to be in the starting lineup come Opening Day. The front office has something clever in mind.

The reason Gonzalez, McCarthy and Kazmir got traded was that the Dodgers wanted to get under the luxury tax, and they can afford to trade those players. Culberson was most likely included in the deal because the Dodgers wanted a big name and a solid player in return while the Braves wanted a young infielder in addition to the three veterans.

The loss of Culberson won’t break the team, but he has been at the center of some iconic plays over the past two years; his walk-off home run to clinch the division in 2016, for example.

Culberson will no longer be making history in a Dodgers’ uniform. But you can be sure that somebody will.

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Now that the Dodgers have Kemp, and a lighter payroll, they can trade for another starter, or sign another slugger. The Dodgers have set forth to fulfill a complex plan that might just lead them back to the World Series.

Wade Davis should be a free-agent target for the Dodgers. He would fill the setup man role left empty by Brandon Morrow and would answer virtually every question concerning the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Usually, when a team trades for a player, it’s because they believe they are the answer to a specific question.


Matt Kemp may not be the answer the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking for, but he is part of the solution. As to what exactly the front office has planned is still unknown, and will continue to be unknown until it starts to work, but the Dodgers are being subtle, and they are being smart.

Next: Three Possible Trade Suitors for Matt Kemp

And sometimes, when the subtlety grows louder, champions emerge.