Braves Make 5 Player Trade to Dodgers, Sending Matt Kemp Back to LA

Written by ESPN News Staff at ESPN.com

The Atlanta Braves traded outfielder Matt Kemp to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Charlie Culberson, the teams announced Saturday.

The Braves, who also received cash considerations in the deal, immediately designated Gonzalez for assignment after the veteran waived his no-trade clause since Atlanta already is set at first base with Freddie Freeman.

“This allows him the opportunity to go and find some playing time,” new Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said of Gonzalez.

There also is the question of whether Kemp, who is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons, will even play for the Dodgers. He could again be traded as Los Angeles tries to further lower payroll after moving quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018.

“I was very open and honest with him about what the future might hold,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters in a conference call Saturday. “It’s just too difficult to say, definitively, at this point.”

With the deal, Los Angeles, which had baseball’s highest payroll last season at $240 million, has gotten below the luxury tax threshold of $197 million. After five seasons on the wrong side of the threshold, the Dodgers were penalized 50 percent on every dollar spent above the luxury tax figure last season.

“This deal is a little more subtle than most,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in a conference call Saturday. “Obviously, one of the main considerations in this deal was economic. But they’re part of the bigger picture, the longer-term plan. It’s a necessary, strategic part of moves yet to come.”

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Braves Trade for Matt Kemp

Written by David O’Brien at The Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Braves managed to rid themselves of Hector Olivera, trading the troubled outfielder to the San Diego Padres for two-time former All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp in a swap of bad contracts. And in the Braves’ case, a creative means of getting some right-handed power while cutting ties with a player they no longer wanted to be associated with.

Olivera, 31, is serving an 82-game suspension through Aug. 1 for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy after being arrested April 13 and charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery for allegedly beating a female acquaintance in an incident at the team hotel in Arlington, Va. She was treated a local hospital.

Kemp, 31, has hit .262 with 23 home runs — five more than Braves team leader Freddie Freeman — and 69 RBIs in 100 games this season, with 100 strikeouts, 16 walks and a career-worst .285 OBP and .489 slugging percentage. He’s hit .313 (30-for-94) with runners in scoring position and .333 against left-handers.

“He’s someone who can help us out,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We need to get back to winning games here. We think this guy can hit right behind Freddie Freeman, can give us some power that we sorely lack, and that he’ll be a really good help to our team on the field and off the field as we try to get back to being a playoff-caliber team.”

The Braves expect to have Kemp in uniform for Tuesday’s series opener against the Pirates at Turner Field, after an off day in the schedule Monday. He’s expected to bat cleanup and play left field unless the Braves trade right fielder Nick Markakis.

Kemp has played only right field the past two seasons, after playing 41 games in center and 44 games in left in 2014.

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Potential Deadline Deals for MLB Trade Deadline


Written by Matt Snyder at CBS Sports.com

As we surge toward the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline (Aug. 1 this year), we’ll continue to hear all about which players might be traded. For fun, because that’s what we’re all about here, let’s go in the opposite direction and check out some of the most untradeable players in baseball.

Caveats? We have caveats.

Bad players with low contracts won’t make the cut

Those type of players aren’t tradeable, but they are immensely releasable. Thus, there’s no reason to discuss their tradeability (lots of invented words here, which is fun).

No player is truly 100 percent untradeable

Look at James Shields, for instance. He would have made this list, but he’s already been traded. Being on the most untradeable list doesn’t mean a player is untradeable. How does that make sense, one might ask? Just use common sense. We’re all smart here. Being the fastest sloth doesn’t make said sloth fast, right? Apply similar logic here.

Just being past prime with big deal not enough

Yeah, that’s not going to cut it here, either. Justin Verlander is 33 years old and making $28 million per season through 2019, but I don’t think it would be overly difficult for the Tigers to deal him if they decided to take that route.

Similar sentiment goes for Joey Votto, who is due $172 million from 2017-23 with a team option ($7 million buyout) for 2024, when he’s 40. There’s no doubt in mind something could be worked out if the Reds tried to deal him.

This isn’t a highest-contract list, either

Giancarlo Stanton has that deal and it wouldn’t even be remotely shocking to see the Marlins find a huge list of suitors should be be made available. I also shied about from including Elvis Andrus (six years, $88M left) and Troy Tulowitzki (three years, $60M) due to playing shortstop. Someone would jump.

Onto the list!

The 10 most untradeable players:

10. Joe Mauer 1B / Minnesota Twins

He’d be higher on this list, but his $23 million annual salary only runs through 2018. Still, with a pretty extensive history of injury issues and having a first baseman with so little power that his on-base percentage rivals his slugging percentage, there is virtually no trade value here at all. If the Twins were willing to eat almost all the remaining money on the deal, maybe it would work, but it’s hard to see that happening.

9. Jacoby Ellsbury CF / New York Yankees

There’s always value in a center fielder on defense, but Ellsbury costs $89.56 million through 2020 to provide below-average offense and he’s not even a great base-stealer anymore, as he’s been caught seven times in 24 tries this season. He hasn’t exactly been a poster child for durability in his career either.

8. Matt Kemp RF / San Diego Padres

Kemp’s home run and RBI totals are gaudy, but he provides no value outside of power. He is a poor defender, hasn’t even attempted a stolen base, has a terrible .280 on-base percentage and has struck out 93 times compared to 13 walks. That’s a worthwhile six-hole hitter — preferably a DH — for a contending team that gets on base frequently in front of him, provided the salary isn’t big. Instead Kemp is playing right field and will make $62.25 million total from 2017-19.

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