Someway, somehow the Atlanta Braves were going to trade veteran home run slugging left fielder Matt Kemp. So they did.
In last week’s trade the Braves received four Major League players. The Los Angeles Dodgers in return got one player, Kemp, from the Braves. All in all it looks like the Dodgers got the best of the deal.
What the Dodgers got was a still effective big bat in the lineup with Kemp, a player with career numbers that include a .285 batting average, 259 home runs, 920 RBI’s, and 1,634 hits.
Just last season, Kemp gave the Braves some productivity with a .273 batting average, 19 home runs, 23 doubles, and 121 base hits. The Braves are looking toward the future, and they most likely want one of their phenoms from their Minor League system to replace Kemp in left field.
The Braves also wanted to unload Kemp’s hefty salary. In return, the Braves asked for a seasoned first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez, that Atlanta has already designated for reassignment. The Braves made it clear they have no plans for Gonzalez next season other than to get out of town. One other compelling figure in the trade for Atlanta is 28-year-old shortstop Charlie Culberson.
This is a guy who had 13 at-bats last season for the Dodgers with a .154 batting average with one RBI. Culberson does have Major League experience with three teams – the Rockies, the Giants and the Dodgers.
Culberson does have some ability, and he is expected to make the Braves 40man opening day roster next spring. But the two other players that Atlanta got in the trade with the Dodgers are journeymen pitchers, 34-year-old Brandon McCarthy and 33year-old Scott Kazmir. McCarthy has a career pitching record of 63-72. He did, however, register a 6-4 record with a 3.98 earned run average and 72 strikeouts for the Dodgers last season.
The 6-foot-7, 235-pound McCarthy, a right-hander, pitched 92 innings for Los Angeles in the 2017 campaign. He has played for six teams in his Major League career – the Dodgers, the Yankees, the Diamondbacks, the A’s, the Rangers and the Chicago White Sox.
Scott Kazmir could be the true diamond in the rough for the Braves. Kazmir has a career record of 10896 with an earned run average of 4.01. He has yet to reach his potential, but he has good arm speed and a wide array of pitches.
Kazmir has played in the big leagues with the Dodgers, the Astros, the A’s, the Cleveland Indians, the Angels, and the Tampa Bay Rays. The 6-foot, 195-pounder is a veteran hurler.
He very well could win a spot in the Braves starting pitching rotation next year. Atlanta needs for that to happen. The Braves are desperate for quality starting pitching.