Braves may trade Kenshin Kawakami back to Japan

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It looks like the Braves may cut ties this winter with one of their 2010 season-opening starters.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, a Japanese club has expressed interest in acquiring right-hander Kenshin Kawakami from Atlanta and may be willing to eat around $3 million of the $6.67 million that remaining on his contract.

If those numbers are correct, Atlanta should pull the trigger now.

Kawakami, 35, turned in a disappointing 5.15 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 59/32 K/BB ratio over 87.1 innings this past season, working as both a starter and reliever, and a major improvement doesn’t seem likely in 2011.  Win-loss records don’t mean a whole lot, but it should also be noted that he finished 1-10.

Opening an extra $3 million before the start of the hot stove season would go a long way toward helping Atlanta improve other areas of the ballclub.

Adrian Gonzalez plans to play next season

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Bob Nightengale reports that Adrian Gonzalez plans to play in 2019 and the Diamondbacks are “one of the teams who may have interest.”

Well, now that they’ve traded way Paul Goldschmidt I suppose they have an opening, though there was a report yesterday that they intend to play Jake Lamb at first base in 2019.

The Mets released Gonzalez on June 10, after he completed a 54-game tenure with a batting line of .237/.299/.373 and only six homers. No one else showed interest in the five-time All-Star after the Mets cast him off and, as such, one might have felt comfortable saying that his playing days were over. He thinks differently, however, and apparently the Dbacks are at least willing to listen. He will turn 37 in May and will almost certainly have to settle for a minor league contract, but if the man wants to play, that will not be an obstacle.