UPDATE: Buster Olney says that a lot of teams have called the Marlins about Infante and that, at the moment, no one is really close, including Atlanta. Upshot: the Marlins may hang on to their All-Star.
8:50 AM: Hey, if you have a chance to add a former All-Star at the deadline, you take it, right? Don’t look at me like that. Omar Infante was an All-Star last year. You can look it up.
Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are talking to the Marlins about that very thing. And given that the Feesh are in Atlanta finishing up a series today, they may not even have to pay for a flight.
While the Braves are still looking to acquire an outfield bat a la B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn or Carlos Quentin, Infante could be a nice fallback option who could help the Braves get through their current outfield depth problems brought on by injuries to Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth. Most likely in taking over third base and allowing Martin Prado to move back to left field. Although it’s worth noting that Infante has played the same number of games in the outfield –101 — than he has played at third.
On the season Infante is hitting a paltry .264/.312/.328. But did I mention that he was an All-Star?
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2010 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.