I and everyone else around here figured this was dead, but Rosenthal says that the Cubs and
Marlins Rays (man, scotch is a helluva drug) are still trying to figure out how to do a Milton Bradley-Pat Burrell deal, having talked about it into the wee hours this morning. Everyone else was drinking and having a good time. These guys are talking about two of the more highly annoying players in baseball. Priorites, dudes, priorities.
Basically, the Rays are the only team left with any interest in the guy and they know it, So they’re asking for more than just the money the Cubs want to kick into the deal (oh, and they want the Cubs to kick more into the deal too). Sounds sensible to me. I’d make Jim Hendry come over to my house and reseal my deck if I was going to take Bradley off of his hands.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.