Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers were not originally expected to keep Matt Kemp after they reacquired him as part of a salary dump earlier in the offseason, but perhaps the veteran outfielder’s new commitment to fitness has led to a change of heart.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that he expects to see improvements in Kemp’s defense in 2018 because he’s in better shape.

How much better shape? As Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk notes, Harold Reynolds said on MLB Network that Kemp has lost 41 pounds. The 33-year-old has set his weight loss goal at 50 pounds, which leads one to believe he was very overweight at some point.

Kemp is 6-foot-4 and was listed at 210 pounds last season. There’s absolutely no way his optimal playing weight is 160 pounds, so he had to have weighed a lot more than 210 during his time with the Atlanta Braves.

The Dodgers don’t expect Kemp to be an MVP finalist like he was in 2011, but he did hit 35 homers and drive in 108 runs with the Braves and San Diego Padres two seasons ago. Perhaps Kemp can prove that the reason the Dodgers brought him back was more in-depth than we all originally thought.

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This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Matt Kemp
TEAMS: Los Angeles Dodgers
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