Dave O’Brien talked to Chipper Jones, who was standing on first base when Braves’ minor league manager Luis Salazar was hit by that foul ball earlier today. We already know that Salazar’s injuries are serious, but it was feared to be even worse as it happened:
I just … I wish I wouldn’t have looked. But I did. It was just hard to put into words. You don’t see it every day. I’ve seen it one other time in my career, where a guy took a 90-mph pitch square in the nose, Danny Bautista in Atlanta in, like, 1996. I thought that was the worst on-field injury that I’d ever seen, until today … I’m so glad to hear that he’s conscious and breathing on his own. But, yeah, there were some times where there were some worried looks on the some paramedics’ faces.
As reported earlier, Salazar has multiple facial fractures. Given that he was unconscious for 20 minutes, he likely suffered a concussion at the very least. An eye surgeon has been called in.
This is probably the worst incident of its kind involving on-field personnel since the Mike Coolbaugh tragedy.
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.