Atlanta Braves trade Matt Kemp in five player deal

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 25: Matt Kemp
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 25: Matt Kemp /
1 of 3
Matt Kemp Headed back to Los Angeles in a five player deal
Matt Kemp Headed back to Los Angeles in a five player deal /

The Atlanta Braves made their first significant move under new GM Alex Anthopoulos, a five player deal that solves multiple problems for Atlanta.

On the surface the Atlanta Braves New GM didn’t do much at the winter meetings; Mark Bowman wrote on Thursday that mostly he developed camaraderie. Two days later Anthopoulus completed a five player deal with the Dodgers that fans should love. Here’s how the deal break down.

Atlanta Braves trade facts and figures

By now you probably know the obvious details. The Atlanta Braves pick up pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, infielder Charlie Culberson, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and according to John Heyman $4.5M in cash.

According to Bob Nightengale (Twitter link), Gonzalez had to waive his 5/10 rights so this could happen. His agreed to do it in order to become a free agent and have a chance to play every day. Bowman’s tweet indicates the Braves already DFA’d Gonzalez so he can begin his job hunt.

Ken Rosenthal Tweets that the trade is essentially cash neutral, though at first blush it doesn’t appear that way. The deal could in fact be a lot better than that for the Braves.

Noisy money stuff

The contracts are all one year deals;  Kazmir makes $17.67M this season, McCarthy $11.5M, Gonzalez earns $23.35M and pre-arb eligible Culberson makes the league minimum ($540K.)

Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves /

Atlanta Braves

Kemp’s contract called for $21.5M a year, but the Dodgers were already paying $2.5M of that leaving the Braves with a commitment of $39M.

The Braves assumed Gonzalez’ $23.35M for 2018 and the Dodgers sent $4.5M to make this year’s expenditure for Kemp exactly the same as if he had he stayed. They do however clear $19M of payroll space in 2019.

The 2019 savings moved to the 2018 payroll in the form of Kazmir’s contract, Culberson’s contract and about $1M of McCarthy’s deal. That effectively makes McCarthy a one year $10.5M signing

The Braves were looking for veteran pitching and Anthoploulos told Bowman (Twitter link) that McCarthy filled this void.  The righty’s contract is certainly an overpay based on recent performance and injury history, but he started 2017 pitching pretty well.