Chris Rusin made 13 starts for the Cubs last season, but the 27-year-old left-hander has spent most of this season at Triple-A and yesterday he threw a no-hitter against the Marlins’ affiliate.
And not only did Rusin allow zero hits and just two walks for Iowa’s first no-hitter since 1984, he collected two hits at the plate and drove in two runs.
Rusin has spent parts of four seasons at Triple-A for the Cubs, logging a combined 362 innings with a 3.96 ERA. He’s too old to be a prospect and struggles to get strikeouts, but he should get another opportunity in the big leagues at some point this season after holding his own in the Cubs’ rotation for a while last year.
And this has been a rough stretch for the Marlins’ Triple-A team. In addition to being no-hit by Rusin they also get into bar fights in which they break each other’s jaws.
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.