It wasn’t all good news for the Cardinals yesterday.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, three different surgeons have independently offered a “unanimous recommendation” that Jaime Garcia undergo a debridement of his left shoulder.
After leaving his start in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Monday, Garcia sought advice from Dr. Robert Altchek, Dr. Lewis Yocum and Cardinals medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta. The southpaw may get a fourth opinion from Dr. James Andrews, but he is expected to make a decision soon because of the extended rehab time involved.
If Garcia goes ahead with the procedure, he will likely be shutdown for three months before beginning rehab, which puts him at risk for missing the early part of the 2013 season. If he ends up needing more extensive repair of his labrum or shoulder joint, it’s possible he could miss most or all of the 2013 season.
Garcia posted a 3.92 ERA over 20 starts this season and missed two months with a shoulder strain. The 26-year-old signed a long-term extension with the Cardinals last year and is owed $5.75 million next season, $7.75 million in 2014 and $9.25 million in 2015. His contract also includes club options for 2016 and 2017.
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.