Last month the Indians released Johnson, choosing to simply eat the $17 million left on his deal rather than keep him around in a part-time role. And now Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves “are trying to trade at least one of” Swisher and Bourn “with the understanding the team would have to eat a significant portion of the salary.”
In other words, the Braves have decided it’s not worth having Swisher and Bourn around as part-time veterans on a team likely to be pretty awful in 2016. However, actually trading them may prove difficult even if Atlanta eats a bunch of money because both Swisher and Bourn have declined significantly in recent years.
Swisher hit just .204 with a .617 OPS in 173 games between 2014 and 2015, and at age 35 he’s owed $15 million. Bourn is owed $14 million, hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2012, and no longer makes up for the lack of hitting with great speed or defense. It’s possible the Braves will end up releasing them just as the Indians did with Johnson and swapping them for a different bad contract is also an option.