Henry Schulman of the Chronicle reports that Bruce Bochy is going to skip Todd Wellemeyer’s next turn in the Giants’ rotation thanks to an off-day on Monday. Schulman has a source, however, who is telling him that Wellemeyer might be on the outs permanently, and that the Giants are considering bringing up Erick Hacker to take his place.
Hacker is having a great year in Fresno, but he’s got very little track record in the major leagues. This is all about Wellemeyer stinking up the joint to the tune of 5.71 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 29/27. Sure, he’s the fifth starter, but when your 1-4 guys are as awesome as Lincecum, Cain, Zito and Sanchez have been, that kind of sticks out.
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.