Reds part ways with injured outfielder Matt Kemp despite hefty salary still owed in 2019

What a difference a year makes when it comes to Matt Kemp. 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. The Reds made the official announcement Saturday afternoon. 

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 for the league minimum while still making everything noted above. He'd be getting paid by four different teams. 

Kemp's eight-year, $160 million deal -- during which he's played for four teams so far -- is up after this season, when he's scheduled to hit free agency. 

As for the Reds, Kemp was already on the injured list so things don't really change much on the field. Nick Senzel debuted Friday in center field and will stay there, flanked by Jesse Winker and Yasiel Puig. Derek Dietrich can serve as the fourth outfielder. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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