Jon Morosi reports that Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada has been claimed on revocable trade waivers by an unknown team. The Jays will have 48 hours to work out a trade with the mystery team. If no deal is worked out, the Jays can either allow that team to assume the remainder of Estrada’s $14.5 million salary or pull him back from waivers.
Estrada, 34, has a 4.85 ERA with a 140/56 K/BB ratio in 135 1/3 innings this season. While he’s been inconsistent throughout the year, he has been particularly effective lately, putting up a 2.08 ERA over his last four starts.
The Jays, despite being in last place in the AL East, are still in the playoff hunt, entering Tuesday’s action 3.5 games behind the Angels for the second Wild Card slot. However, the Jays are one of seven teams within 3.5 games of the Angels (and within 5.5 games of the Yankees), which muddies up their playoff odds. Still, the Jays don’t appear to be very motivated to help Estrada change addresses, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
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.