In the wake of Ian Desmond’s decision to opt out of the 2020 season, the Rockies have agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran slugger Matt Kemp, The Denver Post has confirmed.
The Rockies have not officially announced the signing. Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported the news.
Kemp spent spring training with the Miami Marlins but was left off Miami’s 60-man player pool. If Kemp makes Colorado’s roster, he could be utilized as a designated hitter in a shortened season that will include the designated hitter in all games.
Kemp, 35, had a disappointing, injury-plagued season with Cincinnati in 2019, appearing in just 20 games and hitting .200 with one home run. Kemp also struggled during the shortened 2020 Grapefruit League, slashing .143/.200/.143 with 11 strikeouts in 30 plate appearances.
However, the three-time all-star was still a force with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018, hitting 25 home runs and slashing .290/.338/.481.
Kemp has typically punished Rockies pitching during his career, batting .314 with 46 home runs in 663 at-bats. He’s raked at Coors Field, hitting .327 with a 1.005 OPS and 21 home runs in 333 at-bats.
In his 14-year career, Kemp has hit .285 with 281 home runs and a .822 OPS.
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