Colorado Rockies sign former All-Star Matt Kemp to replace Ian Desmond

Matt Kemp during a Spring Training game for the Marlins.
Mar 9, 2020; Jupiter, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins first base coach Billy Hatcher (right) talks with Miami Marlins outfielder Matt Kemp (right) before a game against the New York Mets at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rockies star outfielder Ian Desmond shocked the baseball world late Monday night, opting out of the 2020 MLB season. The thee-time All-star pointed to the ongoing COVID-19 and racial tensions in the United States as two primary reasons for opting out.

Colorado has now done quick work replacing one of its best hitters.

Colorado Rockies sign former All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp

At the very least, signing Kemp gives Colorado the depth that it was lacking in the outfield following Desmond’s shocking announcement on Monday. Remember, multiple members of the team have already tested positive for COVID-19. That includes four-time All-Star Charlie Blackmon.

Matt Kemp stats

Starting with the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2010, Kemp was among the best hitters in the National League over a several year span. He hit .324 with 39 homers, 126 RBI And a .986 OPS en route to finishing second in the MVP voting back in 2011. A couple injury-plagued years forced the Dodgers to move on from Kemp, who would ultimately hit 35 homers and drive in 108 runs between Los Angeles and San Diego in 2016.

Kemp, 35, has fallen on hard times recently. He hit just .200 with one homer and five RBI in 20 games with the Cincinnati Reds last season. That came after the outfielder earned an All-Star appearance in a reunion with the Dodgers back in 2018. He spent Spring Training with the Marlins this year.

MLB season to start July 23

It’s expected that the season will start in less than a month. Each team will play a 60-game regular-season schedule. All of this is dependent on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Unite States. But for now, it seems all systems are a go.

If so, Kemp could have a rebound performance in the Mile High City.