The Colorado Rockies have signed former All-Star Matt Kemp to a minor league contract, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The Colorado #Rockies have signed slugger Matt Kemp to a minor-league contract to replace Ian Desmond on the roster.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 30, 2020
Kemp was with the Miami Marlins during the spring, but he did not make the 60-man roster, so he was cut loose and picked up by Colorado.
The news comes after Rockies’ outfielder Ian Desmond announced his decision to forgo the 2020 season to spend time with his wife and kids, while also helping with the youth baseball scene in his hometown of Sarasota, Florida.
The Rockies now have an extra roster spot and an opening in the outfield. Kemp could compete for playing time in the outfield, or serve as a designated hitter in the lineup.
At 35 years old, Kemp is a shell of his former self, and played under 30 games in the big leagues last season, although he did make the All-Star team in 2018 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kemp has posted stellar career numbers at Coors Field, owning a lifetime .327 batting average to pair with 21 home runs and 77 RBI. He is a career .285 hitter, and he has always had power in his swing.
This a textbook low-risk, high-reward signing for the Rockies. Many fans were clamoring for the team to sign free agent Yasiel Puig, but he would have cost significantly more than Kemp and demand consistent playing time. Kemp, in a way, is like a poor man’s Puig for the Rockies.
By adding Kemp, skipper Bud Black has yet another veteran bat at his disposal, much like Mark Reynolds in years past.