Hours after the Washington Nationals made a move, it appears the Atlanta Braves are following suit with a trade of their own for an outfield bat
In one of the stranger moves baseball fans will see at the trade deadline will come out of the National League East.
According to multiple reports, the Atlanta Braves are close to trading for former Dodgers outfielder and current San Diego Padre Matt Kemp. He could become either a power bat in a rebuilding lineup, or a trade chip Atlanta can use in their rebuild.
The deal would reportedly be a swap of Kemp and Braves outfielder Hector Olivera. The Braves acquired Olivera in the following three-team deal last year, as listed by Baseball Reference:
- July 30, 2015: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Zachary Bird (minors) and Paco Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves. The Atlanta Braves sent Bronson Arroyo, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson, Jose Peraza and Alex Wood to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent Victor Araujo (minors), Jeff Brigham (minors) and Kevin Guzman (minors) to the Miami Marlins. The Miami Marlins sent Mat Latos and Mike Morse to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Miami Marlins sent 2016 competitive balance round A pick to the Atlanta Braves.
MLB Trade Rumors laid out the San Diego Padres situation with Matt Kemp:
"Kemp, 31, is owed $21.5MM in each of the next three seasons, and the Padres are on the hook for $18MM of that sum on an annual basis. (The Dodgers are picking up the other $3.5MM in each of those seasons.)"
With multiple teams paying Kemp and his contract expected to be diminished, the Braves could potentially make a move with him during the waiver-trade period.
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Matt Kemp has somewhat fallen from grace since losing the MVP vote to Ryan Braun in 2011. He has rebounded as of late, hitting .262 with 23 home runs in 2016.
Kemp has more home runs than all of Atlanta’s outfield combined. They are currently sending out Nick Markasis, Ender Inciarte, and former Phillie Jeff Francouer. The Braves won’t be losing anything by playing Kemp in the outfield, as Francouer is hitting .251 and Inciarte is hitting .242.
Kemp’s main position throughout his career is in center field, but he’s made the transition to right late in his career. Markasis is a Gold Glove right fielder who has played sparingly in left field in his 11 major league seasons. Inciarte has made nine starts in left field, but primarily plays center.
Unless the Braves are ready to swap Kemp right away, this trade makes little sense for a team going nowhere.