The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off one of the more surprising trades of the past offseason by reacquiring Matt Kemp from the Atlanta Braves — just three years after initially shipping him to the San Diego Padres in a deal that centered around Yasmani Grandal.
On Monday, the pair returned to Petco Park for the first time as teammates with the Dodgers. Both Grandal and Kemp enjoyed success at the plate against their former team, combining for four hits — two of them for home runs — and eight RBI.
After the game, Grandal admitted that he never thought he would eventually team up with Kemp, but is happy with the way things played out, via SportsNet LA:
“The last thing I expected was to be playing with Kemp again. Definitely the last thing that we expected was to be playing in L.A. against San Diego. It’s great for him. He set the tone tonight. It’s always great to have a veteran presence in the dugout. Obviously, he can still swing it with the best of them.”
Kemp is also thrilled to be on the same team as Grandal despite their unusual prior connection, per Michael Duarte of NBC LA:
“I just thought about that. Definitely weird, but definitely good to be on the same team and doing what we’re doing.”
Adding to the irony is the fact that Grandal and Kemp have been the Dodgers’ leading hitters in the early going.
Grandal ranks first in the National League with a .372 batting average, and has additionally posted a 1.111 on-base plus slugging percentage, behind three doubles and three home runs in 50 plate appearances.
Kemp, meanwhile, is hitting .333/.391/.548 with three doubles and two homers across 46 trips to the plate. He was especially happy to silence the Padres fans in attendance on Friday by clubbing a three-run home run in the third inning.