BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Slugger Matt Kemp has joined the Padres after San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a five-player trade Thursday night.
The teams agreed to the trade last week during the winter meetings in San Diego. It was the first of three big deals by new Padres general manager A.J. Preller, who also has added outfielder Wil Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year, from Tampa Bay and All-Star catcher Derek Norris from Oakland.
The Padres, desperate to pump up the worst offense in the majors, also get $32 million from the Dodgers to help offset the $107 million remaining on Kemp’s contract. The Padres’ obligation of $75 million to Kemp over five years becomes the biggest deal in club history.
Kemp twice made the All-Star team during his time in L.A., as well as winning two Gold Glove and two Silver Slugger awards. His 182 homers rank fourth in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
San Diego also gets catcher Tim Federowicz. The Dodgers receive catcher Yasmani Grandal and right-handers Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.
Padres President Mike Dee declined to comment on reports that the team was concerned with certain aspects of Kemp’s physical.
“It was a process that played out in a way that was, I think, consistent with what we thought going into it,” Dee told The Associated Press. “We had a player that had some prior injures and we wanted to make sure we did a full exam. A.J. and his team did their due diligence, conferred with our medical team and ultimately were comfortable moving forward.”
Kemp has had shoulder and ankle operations in recent years. Last May, he was groomed to play left field because the Dodgers weren’t confident he could handle the defensive demands of playing center field after undergoing ankle surgery the previous offseason.
The Padres had a historically awful offense in the first half of 2014 before pulling out of it to finish third in the NL West. Still, they were at the bottom of the majors with a .226 average, .292 on-base percentage and 535 runs. Their 109 homers were the second-fewest in the bigs.
The 30-year-old Kemp had a strong second half in 2014 for the NL West champion Dodgers. He finished the season with a .287 average, 25 home runs and 89 RBIs.
Grandal, 26, led the Padres with 15 homers last season while hitting .225.
Grandal was suspended for the first 50 games of 2013 after testing positive for testosterone and then tore up his right knee in a collision at the plate that July. He’s also played first base.
An 11-player, three-team trade that will bring Myers to the Padres is expected to be finalized Friday morning.
On Thursday night, Preller made a deal with Oakland to obtain Norris and minor league right-hander Seth Streich for righties Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez along with an international signing bonus slot.
Norris, 25, batted .270 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 127 games for the A’s, who lost the wild-card game at Kansas City.
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