Braves Find a Taker for Matt Kemp

Braves Find a Taker for Matt Kemp

Not to say “I told you guys” but, well, “I told you guys.”

In a deal that was shocking at first glance and downright bizarre, Alex Anthopoulos worked with his old friends in Los Angeles to pull off a mega-deal between the Braves and Dodgers. On one hand, the Dodgers get under the luxury-tax threshold and open up some spots on their roster. On the other hand, the Braves get rid of Matt Kemp.

So, let’s break this one down.

The Atlanta Braves have moved Kemp back to the Dodgers in exchange for pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, utility option Charlie Culberson, $4.5M in cash considerations (according to Jon Heyman), and Adrian Gonzalez‘s $22,357,143 salary. Much like the trade that acquired Carlos Quentin a few years ago, the Braves immediately designated Gonzalez for assignment. As you might imagine, there are many sides to this deal and it helps to explain why the Braves were so quiet the last week. Such a trade takes a lot of work to develop.

This trade was not made for 2018. That’s the first thing that stands out, though that’s not entirely true. After all, there is now an open spot for Ronald Acuna and I hear he’s pretty good. However, this trade’s goal is 2019. Gonzalez, who waived his no-trade clause to make this trade happen, was a free agent after 2018. Kazmir will also be a free agent after earning $16 million in 2018. Brandon McCarthy is owed $10M next season with a possible club option should he stay healthy in 2018. Atlanta went from a roughly $18M hit (including the money coming from San Diego) in 2018 to a $48M hit. Currently, that leaves maybe $15M in available funds if next year’s payroll is between $120-$130M as it is expected to be when you include the cash considerations.

Of course, Atlanta could try to open up space by dealing Kazmir or McCarthy, along with Nick Markakis. In each case, they may have to absorb some salary to facilitate a trade. This trade, by the way, is a much bigger and more complicated version of the Nick Swisher/Michael Bourn for Chris Johnson deal. In that trade, Atlanta sacrificed current payroll in order to open up space down the road.

The financials are fascinating about this deal. Still, let’s look at who Atlanta actually acquired in this deal because there is some value here. Brandon McCarthy, a 34-year-old righthander, has rarely been healthy enough to put up big numbers, but last year did have a 2.4 fWAR over 92.2 innings based on a 3.28 FIP. Now, his xFIP and SIERA were higher, but one thing that stands out about McCarthy is an increased weakly-hit rate of contact. Last season, McCarthy brought back his cutter and sinker – two pitches he has used less since his Athletics’ days. By throwing fewer four-seamers, he seemed to get softer contact. Softer contact leads to increased outs. That will be one thing to watch. Conversely, his hard-hit rate went from over 33% the previous four years to 28% in 2017.

However, as I said before, it comes down to health for McCarthy. He stayed healthy in 2014 and reached 200 innings. In the three years that have followed, he has thrown just over 150. You may also see a strikeout rate that declined notably. However, it was well within the range of his better A’s days when he did use more sinkers/cutters. Fewer four-seamers mean fewer strikeouts, but weaker contact for McCarthy. Whatever works, right?

Kazmir will turn 34 in just over a month and like McCarthy, injuries have been a common theme during his career. He missed nearly all of last year before making some rehab appearances in High-A toward the end of the season. Once capable of three consecutive seasons with at least a 3.6 fWAR each year, Kazmir has been all over the map since. One thing that does stand out about 2016 was that he shelved his sinker for the most part despite it being one of his best pitches. In its place, he threw more four-seam fastballs. It’ll be interesting to see if the Braves try to revert Kazmir away from that approach. He’s adopted a cutter and curveball to add to his four-seamer, sinker, changeup, and slider mix.

Both pitchers will get more grounders than flyballs, though neither are true groundball guys. They’ll be happy to come to a Braves team that doesn’t entertain the idea of using Kemp in left field.

Though he’s the one guy in this trade not making eight figures – or even seven – Culberson has the strongest chance of playing with his new team. Out of options, Culberson isn’t a very talented player. He’s managed a triple slash of .229/.269/.321 over 443 major league plate appearances since 2012. In fact, it’s arguable whether he presents any sort of improvement over Jace Peterson. However, as the only current backup option on the 40-man roster for the middle infield, Culberson has the inside track for a spot on next year’s team. Of course, that is subject to change.

Over the next few days, we will tackle more about what this trade means for the Braves this season, the options that are now available, and what this means for 2019 and beyond. Until then, include your thoughts below as to what you think about the trade.


First, you need to update the part about Kazmir. Didn’t play at all last year. Took me a couple of doubletakes to catch that. He will be a good option if he’s healthy

Part of what makes this trade work is the positional differences – Kemp being and OF and getting two SP back. Both McCarthy and Kazmir are perfect options for next year to soak up a few innings while easing prospects into the rotation. Even if they’re injured at times, they will take the burden off the prospects. It gives you the option of considering Folty for the bullpen and Fried/Sims as middle relief. Plus now it might make sense to think about trading Teheran or Folty or Sims. I don’t think Culberson moves the needle any. I would keep AGon in the minors as Freddie insurance, if no one picks up his salary off waivers. Since the 1B depth is lousy and we’re paying him anyway, why not stash him in the minors? Of course, there may be something behind the scenes where the Braves told him they’d release him if he waived his no-trade clause.

This trade absolutely opens the door for Folty to go to the pen, where I think he’d thrive. He’d be Atlanta’s version of Andrew Miller, potentially.

I don’t know if I’d want to see them trade any major league SP just yet or not, if only to have some insurance on hand. However, if they go that direction, I’d much rather see Tehran dealt over the other two you mentioned. Granted, I think it’s a lose-lose with him, because he’ll either flounder here or flourish somewhere else. If you get something decent in return, however, it’s palatable.

We’ve finally got some action this off-season that moves the needle a bit, and I love this trade for the Braves!

First reason- the Braves were able to unload Matt Kemp without eating more than half of the money. I think that’s fantastic, because while I do agree with practically everyone that Kemp’s not an OF anymore; I’ve always hated the idea of just DFA’ing him, or eating all but a million or two of the contract in a trade. I just hate the idea of seeing a guy not get paid to play for a team, when he was still a warm body that could’ve been used in a platoon, off the bench, or as an excuse to delay Acuna’s service clock. That has some value.

Second reason- Atlanta got back two useful pitchers, in Kazmir and McCarthy. McCarthy, in particular, is a guy I’ve always liked, dating back to his days in Oakland. He’s a quality pitcher, when healthy. Between him, and Kazmir, that should give Atlanta at least one stabilizing, veteran presence in the rotation all year long. What I also like about this is even if both of these guys do end up hurt for the majority of the year, they’re still going to bring valuable experience to share with a young staff. Say what you will about Dickey, but I felt his departure had left a real void there.

Third reason- acquiring Culberson strengthens the Braves bench, affordably. I’ve been surfing some boards since this trade was announced, and there’s a large contingent of Dodger fans more distraught about losing this guy in the trade than anything else. It’s a little odd, based on his numbers, but hey… Lol.

The only downside to this trade, to me, is with all the money the club just took on this season, we’re probably going to get a year of RuMargo at 3B. I absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, hate, despise and thoroughly detest the idea of RuMargo manning 3B. I badly want the Braves to bring in another source of power to the lineup, because there’s one thing worse than watching a losing team- and that’s watching a team lose boringly. Seventy-eight wins feels a whole lot more fun when you’re coming up on the short end of those 7-5 type games, instead of losing 4-0.

I’m still holding out hope we’ll see Yelich, or Moose in a Braves uni this season. I’m just happy they did SOMETHING.

Now since the DFA isn’t official yet, anybody want to discuss the possibility of using AGon at 3B? Could be fun? 😉

In all fairness, the reason why I bashed any proposed Kemp trades that involved The Dodgers..was because I did not feel that Adrian Gonzalez would wave his no-trade clause to go to The Braves. Kudos for AA in convincing Gonzalez to waive it.

I just got home from taking my dog to Fort Funston Beach today and just found out about this trade…let’s just say that there is A LOT to digest…and I’ll be posting later on (I’m in the middle of doing something right now) my take on the trade. SHOCKED is the word, lol!

Mmm, yeah. I’m not going to let this fib go without a fact check.

You pooped on salary dump trade proposals, specifically the ones where the Braves take on the entire $43M owed to Kemp (don’t argue the numbers at this point, it’s just semantics) in 2018 to not have to pay anything in 2019, because all you would get for a $43M 2018 payment was a package of players who would be nothing more than salary offsets and roster fodder. You simply did not feel it was worth it to the Braves to take on the salary upfront to be rid of the 2019 salary, which is and was a fine opinion to have.

Before the denial comes. Let’s find an applicable quote.

On December 8th, in the 25-Man Payroll topic posted by Stephen Tolbert, Bryce S proposed a, first-hand admittedly, complicated trade in which the Braves took on $43M worth of 2018 payroll to send Kemp away to ensure they were not paying a single cent in 2019. While more complicated than the real trade, the basis remains the same ($4.5M cash, Gonzalez at $21.5M, Kazmir at $16M, McCarthy at $10M and Culberson maybe as a Super-Two at $800K?) as the Braves take on just about $43M in 2018 salaries in exchange for Kemp, effectively paying it upfront instead of paying it across 2018 and 2019.

Paul Lentz, in reply to Bryce S’s proposal:
“Under your scenario…we’re basically paying $43 mil for Logan Forsythe in 2018 ($18 mil cash to Minnesota/releasing Kazmir/paying Forsythe $9 mil..all in 2018, lol). And we’d still need to pay to have someone play left field (Lane Adams simply does not have the pop in his bat to be an everyday left fielder)….whereas we already have Rio Ruiz/Adonis Garcia/Johan Carmago slotted to play 3rd. While Forsythe would be projected to provide more for The Braves playing 3rd than those three….I doubt that Forsythe has $43 mil worth of production in him for 2018, lol.”

Replace Forsythe with Culberson/McCarthy. We’re not much further from what you argued against.

Anyway. When you to post about this trade later, I sure hope you’ll be sticking to your stated opinion and crapping all over AA’s work. Otherwise, any praise for this trade….well, I’ll just sit back and enjoy your hypocrisy at it’s best.

For what it’s worth, I hope your dog enjoyed the beach. And in the off-chance that Fort Funston Beach is some kind of code/slang for your dog making the trip to doggy heaven, then I am sorry.

Good day.

Bryce S…The December 8th post that you referred to about the hypothetical Dodgers trade involving different pieces…was TOTALLY DIFFERENT! This Trade made on Saturday….actually had pieces of VALUE that The Braves can move/do something with! Sure, they basically DUMPED Adrian Gonzalez’s $21.5 mil…however not only did we get back $4.5 mil…but also a utility player in Culberson…AS WELL as two starting pitchers in McCarthy and Kazmir (I explained in two posts THOROUGHLY…please scroll to read)….who I feel are assets that can be traded (lessening the salary obligations).

When all is said and done…The Braves will come out WAY AHEAD (in other words, The Braves WILL NOT be eating $43 mil in contracts that we took back in this trade). At most, we’ll be eating approximately $23 mil in 2018 (instead of $18 mil in 2018 and $18 mil in 2019 had we kept Kemp and not made this trade with The Dodgers)! Not only do we clear the books for 2019…but we also will end up saving approximately $13 mil in actual salary! Not bad AA!

Bryce S….this kind of move…is what I was TALKING ABOUT a SHREWD GM making! Kudos to AA!

They’re not very different at all, Paul. Let me draw this out as clearly as I can for you since you don’t seem to see it.

—Adrian Gonzalez, $21.5M and -1.1 fWar = Victor Martinez, $18M and -1.1 fWar
—Brandon McCarthy, $10M and 2.4 fWar = Logan Forsythe, $9M and 1.7 fWar
—Scott Kazmir = Scott Kazmir. We don’t need to hash out that there’s no difference there.
—Charlie Culberson. Well…he’s simply there because we probably wanted a utility infielder in place of Forsythe in the deal.
—$4.5M or so from the Dodgers to bring the money back down to around $43M where my deal was at to begin with. Regardless of how you do your payroll of out of pocket or actual savings or whatever kind of schtick it is, the numbers are almost exactly the same. We could discuss this further, but I feel like that’s where you get lost on a tangent and contradict yourself, so I’m stopping here.

As illustrated. In numbers and facts. There is no real or measurable difference. The sole difference is my deal had the inclusion of other teams to take the -1.1 fWar instead of straight releasing them. In fact. It’s more or less the same deal. Nevermind all your excuses about value and positions. When all is said and done, the base of this deal is exactly the same as the base of the one I presented.

Reply as you I know you must, because I know you always need to have the last word (or you could prove me wrong by accepting/realizing your err in that these deals are really not that different). I’ve provided hard facts and the smoking gun. I’ll see you on another topic some day.

Bryce S…regardless of our differences in interpretation regarding how a hypothetical trade like this could/should have gone down PRIOR to today’s trade (for instance, AD had a NO TRADE CLAUSE, NO ONE could foresee that he would wave it to go to The Braves)….this was a good trade for The Braves (I’m not arguing with you on this specific trade being ‘bad’ for The Braves)….for the simple fact that we have NO BAD CONTRACTS going into 2019…AND we gave up ZERO PROSPECTS in this trade. Virtually everyone on this blog (and others) felt that we had to give up prospects in order to get rid of Kemp’s contract. I felt that we DID NOT need to.

I pondered (awhile back) the possibility of The Braves doing an Adrian Gonzalez type swap (with other pieces obviously) with The Dodgers. However when i read that AD had a no trade clause, I dismissed it (because I felt that there was NO WAY that AD would wave it (who would want to leave a championship contending Dodgers team…for a Rebuilding Braves Team?). That’s why I also dismissed any talk of swapping Kemp with The Yankees for Jacoby Ellsbury (who also has a no-trade clause. He IS NOT going to go from The Yankees to a Rebuilding Braves Team) and other prospects.

So you can talk whatever you want about AD’s ‘math’ adding up (to make your other hypothetical proposals look right). However this trade WOULD NOT have happened IF AD had not waved his no-trade (no sane fan in his right mind would have been able to predict that AA would have been able to convince him to do it). For you to ‘take credit’ for ‘predicting’ a trade like this happening…..whatever dude, lol! Me feeling the need to have ‘the last word’…..comes from a need to remind you ‘what time it is’…not out of some ‘insatiable need’ to ‘have the last word’.


I agree with you and I’m gonna help Paul. This is what I believe Paul could/should have said—this is my opinion and has nothing to do with Paul or his dog—his dog is especially blameless in all of this—as well as mine. Bryce if you have a dog…I’m simply not sure. (As Paul)


I’M HELLA SORRY FOR PISSING ON YOUR TRADE AND LOL’ing OVER AND OVER. FOR DISMISSING IT OUT OF HAND. (I can’t take anymore ….I think you get the caps lock thing by now and how it measures my emphasis in my words…I hope) I was laughably dismissive of your idea—even though my ideas are for the most part—just as laughable. You were correct in the concept of loading the braves salary in 2018 to free up space for 2019. You were also correct about not dfa’ing kemp but using that ‘dead’ in a way to free up the dodgers from their tax bill—and free us from kemp in 2019. Bryce I am sorry I was adamantly dismissive of your idea and it pretty much came to reality exactly as you said it. Way to go Bryce—Good call. It’s a pleasure getting to discuss things with you. Thanks again. (Oh and please no shade sending towards my dog even in indirect ways—cause that would be shitty.)

You have a great day Bryce and I’ll see you on the next one when our young HELLA cheap players who ARE gonna BLOW MINDS…….

After finishing 5 overdue loads of laundry (I’m a single guy/live alone….several weeks worth, lol), I took my phone with me and turned it on The XMRadio App while I took my dog Stella for her ‘end of the night walk’. I wanted to listen to how the guys on The MLB Radio cast felt about The Matt Kemp Trade.

Let’s just say that I came away wondering why I DO NOT HAVE A JOB working for The MLB Radio XM App? These MORONS simply do not know that they are talking about/have done NO HOMEWORK whatsoever on any of the non-big market teams, lol! The BOZOs I listened to had NO IDEA why The Braves would make this trade..and instead lauded The Dodgers efforts, making them look like that they came out like GANGBUSTERS, lol!

“Candidates for Mensa…….The MOFOs dissing The Braves Management Saturday Night on The MLB Radio XM App…ARE NOT!”

1. Let’s start with the ABSOLUTE worst case scenario for The Braves regarding this trade: Instead of paying Kemp $36 mil ($18 mil each in 2018-19)….The Braves end up paying AD $21.5 mil for The Last Year of his contract (designated for assignment…he is not playing for us. Whatever team signs him, will sign him for The MLB minimum…meaning that our financial obligation to AD would be approximately $21 mil). Brandon McCarthy ($10 mil) and Scott Kazmir ($16 mil) both turn out to be too hurt/injured to be counted for anything in 2018….leaving The Braves with a price tag of $43 mil COMBINED ($47.5 mil TOTAL for ZERO PRODUCTION, in theory, from AD, McCarthy and Kazmir…minus the $4.5 mil that The Dodgers kicked in to make this deal ‘work’..equals $43 mil that The Braves would be obligated to pay those players in The 2018 Season). If we had kept Kemp…we’d be paying him $36 mil over the next two seasons (meaning that, ‘worst case scenario’, it cost us approximately $7 mil for the ‘privilege’ of doing this trade (to absorb The Dodgers bad contracts…so we can pay it off early…and have a clear payroll STACKED with A PLETHORA of cheap/cost controlled/pre-arbitration players (in important positions) for a number of years to come! Not having to worrying about getting rid of Kemp by the beginning of The 2018 Free Agent Offseason….is worth paying that extra $7 mil. However, as I delve into this, I’m going to make an argument that when all is said and done…The Braves are going to be the ones SMELLING LIKE ROSES…(please bear with me for a bit, lol, I’ll get there in a bit, lol).

As I listened to those TWO DOUCHES on The MLB Channel lament/rip The Braves for making this trade…I’d like to point out that for the life of me…The Dodgers FOOLISHLY made this trade! Sure, they accomplished their goal of getting under The $197 mil cap (to reset the tax penalities in future years). However, they could have done this WITHOUT having to eat so much money in future years. Here’s how:

1.I get that Brandon McCarthy has had injury issues. However, he pitched some in this Past Post Season…he’s healthy (as of now). If McCarthy was a Free Agent RIGHT NOW….some team in need of Starting Pitching…would offer McCarthy AT LEAST 1-year/$10 mil contract (last year on his contract…is for $10 mil)! NO DOUBT! Which would any SANE GM rather have: McCarthy at $10 mil/1-year…OR….Tyler Chatwood at 3 years/38 mil (almost $13 mil a year for 3 years)? I’d rather take the $10 mil flyer on McCarthy..and see how he holds up/does over one season! If I’m correct in my assessment of McCarthy having current teams interested in him, then The Braves have OPTIONS when it comes to trading him (if they wanted to). If I’m right…they could easily dump McCarthy for a ‘bag of balls’ type prospect.

2. Scott Kazmir has the same injury issues as McCarthy…however he also shares McCarthy’s track record of success. If Kazmir was also a Free Agent…there would be teams out there lining up to offer him a 1 year/$10 mil type deal (with incentives, of course, for more money to be added to the $10 mil base salary). However, there’s the issue of the other $6 mil that Kazmir is due in 2018 ($16 mil salary). I would solve that, by including $6 mil cash in the deal (unless Kazmir were to meet certain incentives based on innings pitched/staying off the DL/making a certain number of starts/etc….if Kazmir meets those incentives, then his new team would be responsible for his whole $16 mil salary. If he doesnt…then The Braves would gladly send over the $6 mil to satisfy Kazmir’s $16 mil 2018 salary).

If I’m right about both McCarthy and Kazmir having ‘value’ (starting pitching IS NOT an easy thing to find..especially when BUMS are getting paid in this Free Agent Market, as well as in the recent past). Chatwood 3/$38…Ian Kennedy 5/70 (didnt KC learn from Gil Meche?)..are just two to start with, lol!)……then The Braves should have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER dumping Either/both McCarthy/Kazmir WITHOUT eating very much of their contract ($6 mil, at most).

So subtract $20 mil from the what The Braves will end up being obligated financially in this trade…..and you’re down to $23 mil (we paid AD $21.5 mil to ‘go away’….and $1.5 mil after we dumped both McCarthy and Kazmir onto teams who need starting pitching, meaning that we ended up eating $6 mil to trade Kazmir, however when you subtract the $4.5 mil that The Dodgers sent as cash for being ‘nice guys’….what you have left is a financial obligation of $23 mil for ONE YEAR…whereas if we had not made this trade…we’d pay Kemp $18 mil in 2018 and another $18 mil in 2019).

So in essence, Atlanta paid an extra $5 mil in 2018…to avoid paying Kemp $18 mil in 2019? If my math is correct, we come out $13 mil AHEAD in this deal!

This is just assuming that The Braves CAN get rid of BOTH McCarthy AND Kazmir prior to Opening Day 2018.

In my next post, I’ll get into the potential pros/cons of keeping BOTH McCarthy AND Kazmir on Opening Day 2018….with the idea of building up their trade value/hoping that both have recovered and can pitching well the 1st couple months of 2018.

Regardless, I made a compelling case (based on facts) that The Dodgers basically gave The Braves two pitchers that have value (sure, neither McCarthy NOR Kazmir are ‘studs’, lol…however in this day and age of teams having A SHORTAGE of starting pitching…..McCarthy and Kazmir, if healthy, have VALUE). Getting rid of Kemp’s salary/clearing up 2019’s payroll to be what I PROPOSED is YEAR 1 of our YEARLY/LONG TERM FIGHT FOR THE PLAYOFFS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS!

I’m still wrapping my head around this Matt Kemp Trade by AA. Kudos, dude! It is SO NICE to not have to worry about how to get rid of him NOR having to worrying about Kemp staying healthy! Sure, it sucks to blow $21.5 mil down the drain (by releasing Adrian Gonzalez)…but it’s better than blowing $18 mil in 2019 on Kemp! We’re going to need EVERY DIME available when The 2018 Free Agent Offseason begins!

The Braves have A PLETHORA of options regarding what to do with McCarthy and Kazmir! Do we keep them/start them the 1st few months….showcasing them to other teams? Do we try one/both in the bullpen….showcasing them to other teams? Do we keep them AND INSTEAD trade one/both Julio Teheran/Mike Folty? Or do we package/mix and match a veteran/prospects proposed trade in an effort to acquire AN ACE?

Slow your roll, lol! Stay in your lane, lol! Hold your horses! As I’ve stated ALL ALONG….we simply have TOO MANY QUESTIONS that need answering in 2018…BEFORE we start making moves designed for a playoff push starting in 2019!

This about giving our PLETHORA of talented pitching prospects (along with Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna) PLENTY of playing time in 2018… show us what they have! Kind of hard to fit either/both McCarthy AND Kazmir into a proposed rotation of Teheran, Folty, Gohara, Newcomb and Fried (with Sims as the long relief man/spot starter if someone gets hurt/needs rest in the 1st half of the season….while Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard will be doing their thing in Triple A, gearing up for a possible promotion to Atlanta in the 2nd half IF their Triple A performance warrants it. And of course, we have the likes of Kyle Wright and Tooki Tousiant in Double A….and Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Bryce Wilson and Kyle Muller in High Class A. In addition, Patrick Weigel will be coming back from his ACL injury in Triple A by the end of 2018, gearing to be in full force by Opening Day 2019).

Unless AA changes course, I see him dealing at least one of McCarthy/Kazmir by Opening Day (giving them some starts in Spring Training…to showcase them being able to stay healthy, lol). However, I’d love to see both of them gone by Opening Day! If someone gets hurt, we’ll still have the likes of Kris Medlen, Aaron Blair and Matt Wisler in Triple A to plug in until Soroka and Allard are ready later in 2018. No need to waste a roster spot for veteran pitchers whose only purpose is to take away spots in the rotation from the youngsters!

As far as The Bullpen….we’re set (no need to find a true closer for 2018…..we’ll get one in The 2018 Free Agent Offseason, when we’ll be positioned to offer Craig Kimbrel $18 mil a year to return to The Braves). In the meantime, we’ll have PLENTY of youngsters to pick from to build a bullpen in 2018 (with an eye on who can excel long term starting in 2019!).

One idea that AA may be pondering….is to wait until after Spring Training is over (you know, every year, someone/someones always gets hurt pitching-wise. Maybe it would be would be wise to hold onto McCarthy and Kazmir….and see who is healthy on Opening Day 2018. If everyone is…then we trade both of them (shouldnt be that hard). If some are hurt…then the next step depends on who is hurt. If McCarthy and Kazmir both excel, then our return in a trade could be nice.

At the end of the day…the Matt Kemp Trade was ALL ABOUT giving our young players a chance to SHOW US what we have going into 2019. Also……it clears our payroll for us to be SERIOUS PLAYERS come The 2018 Free Agent Offseason! Dare I say MANNY MACHADO, BRYCE HARPER & Craig Kimbrel will be Braves Opening Day 2019?

To close…I assume that we’re keeping Nick Markakis and moving him to left field (Ronald Acuna will be playing Right Field..with his blazing speed and rifle arm)!

Projected 2018 Line-up:

1. Ozzie Albies…..2nd
2. Ronald Acuna…RF
3. Freddie Freeman…1st
4. Tyler Flowers/Kurt Suzuki…C (righty-lefty balance…DO NOT want Markakis hitting clean-up)
5. Ender Inciarte….Center
6. Rio Ruiz/Adonis Garcia…3rd (I’d rather see Johan Carmago be our everyday supersub)
7. Nick Markakis…..Left
8. Dansby Swanson….SS (he’s suited to hitting 8th, draws lots of walks/gets the occasional bloop hit….clearing the pitcher’s spot in The National League has value. I’d rather see Dansby focus on that…as well as being a leader who focuses on playing STELLA DEFENSE. The offense will come IF it’s meant to come for him).

While far from playoff worthy…’s somewhat respectable. What I’m more focused on…is how Albies and Acuna WRECK HAVOC at the top of the order/setting the table for Freddie! AA can work on the 4-5-6 spots (3rd base, Left Field and Catcher, long term, lol) in the order by Opening Day 2019! We’ll have THE MONEY…..will AA be able to convince Liberty to go “ALL-IN” in The 2018 Free Agent Offseason?

Do the math now….on whether $150 mil Braves payroll in 2019..can absorb paying Machado and Harper $35 mil a year long term contracts…as well as Craig Kimbrel $18 mil a year (either 4 or 5 year contract)….for a total of $88 mil combined starting in 2019 (which would, in theory, leave $62 for the other 22 roster spots). Well, when you factor in Freddie Freeman’s $21 mil and Ender Inciarte’s $5 mil 2019 salaries…then that leaves only $36 mil for 20 roster spots (after Machado, Harper, Kimbrel, Freeman and Inciarte).

However, the remaining non-minimum wage players left are Julio Teheran ($11 mil in 2019)….Mike Folty (3 years of arbitration left after 2018…expected to make around $5-$6 mil in 2019).. Adroys Vizcaino (approximately $5-$6 mil in 2019…Free Agent in 2020)..and Dan Winkler ($1.5-$2 mil in 2019…a FA after 2020). Depending on how those four perform in 2018 (and ESPECIALLY how our PLETHORA of high profile young pitching prospects performs in 2018)…all four could either return OR be traded by The End of The 2018 Season.

Albies, Acuna, Swanson, Minter, Soroka, Allard, Gohara, Fried, Wright, Newcomb, Lane Adams, Johan Carmago, Lucas Sims, Jose Ramirez and Anyelo Gomez (who we drafted from The Yankees in The Rule 5 Draft….if he stays with The Braves in 2018)….(that’s at least 15 players slated to make The MLB Minimum Opening Day 2019)…which leaves 5 spots to fill (15 times $550k MLB Minimum….equals approximately $8.25 mil)…out the remaining $27.75 mil in remaining salary to fill The approximate hypothetical $150 mil 2019 Team Payroll.

With Dan Winkler ($1.5-$2 mil in 2019)….along with one more year each (hypothetically speaking) of Tyler Flowers/Kurt Suzuki (same contracts as 2018 for 2019), a combined $7.5 mil. That’s 3 players at a combined cost of $9.5 mil. That’s a total of 23 players for a total of $132.75 mil.

If I had to make a decision today, I feel that either Teheran or Folty will rise up in 2018 and stake a claim to be THE ACE of this staff going into 2019. My guess…is that it will be Folty. Teheran could…but chances are Sun Trust Field is in his head….and even if he has a decent season, he will probably be traded. Folty’s stuff is simply TOO GOOD to be a mediocre pitcher. Add Folty’s projected $5-$6 mil 2019 salary to the mix…24 players/$138.75 mil total…leaving 1 player left/$11.25 mil left.

That would leave $11.25 mil to fill out the last reserve player (I’ll leave that up to AA to find…assuming we’d be going into 2019 with a 4 man bench like in 2018…..2019 bench would be Carmago, backup catcher-Flowers/Suzuki, Lane Adams, and AA’s choice).

Starting 8 would be:

1. Ozzie Albies…2nd…$550k
2. Ronald Acuna…RF…$550k
3. Freddie Freeman…1st…$21 mil
4. Manny Machado….3rd….$35 mil
5. Bryce Harper….LF….$35 mil
6. Flowers/Suzuki..C….combined $7.5 mil
7. Ender Inciarte…Center…$5 mil
8. Dansby Swanson…SS….$550k

Starting 5 Rotation:

1. Mike Folty….$6 mil
2. Luiz Gohara…..$550k
3. Mike Soroka…..$550k
4. Kolby Allard……$550k
5. Kyle Wright….$550k (to be honest, we’re going to have Tooki Tousiant, Joey Wentz, Bryce Wilson and Ian Anderson waiting in the wings to make a push by Opening Day 2020, lol…that is how SICK our depth is, lol. Not to mention Patrick Weigel and Kyle Muller, lol).


1. Johan Carmago….$550k
2. Suzuki/Flowers….$0.00 (already accounted for in the starting lineup)
3. Lane Adams……..$550k
4. AA’s choice………(he has $11.25 mil to play with).


1. Craig Kimbrel….$18 mil
2. Dan Winkler…..$2 mil
3. AJ Minter……..$550k
4. Sean Newcomb….$550k
5. Max Fried………$550k
6. Anyelo Gomez….$550k
7. Lucas Sims…….$550k
8.Jose Ramirez…..$550k

To be honest, a number of those bullpen arms will be interchangeable/rotated between Triple A/The Disabled List/Atlanta throughout the 2019 Season! We’ll have the likes of Akeel Mooris/Jacob Lindgren, Grant Dayton, Josh Ravin, Devan Watts, Corbin Clouse, Josh Graham, Mauricio Cabrera (if he ever gets his act together), Adam McCreery, etc. to slide in when needed!

Now doesnt that have the makings of A POTENTIAL DEEP PLAYOFF RUN type team? Unless AA went with a really PRICEY bench piece with the $11.25 mil left I ‘gave him’ to spend…..I think I did AN AMAZING JOB ‘spending’ $138.75 mil on this roster!

Depending on what we’d gotten back from trading Teheran (in this scenario)…as well as Kazmir and McCarthy….we could either have some more Lower Minor League Depth…OR a more valuable bench piece than Culberson, lol!

To all you who felt that there would be NO WAY for The Braves to spend $150 mil and field a competitive playoff team….NOT ONLY did I do so…but I did so with $11.25 mil LEFT (again, assuming AA didnt go for a PRICEY bench piece..he’s going to have around $10 mil left to ‘play with’ during the season IF a need arises…with the option of increasing the $150 mil payroll to $160 mil or so IF something happens). However, given our depth in The Minors…we’ll be fine pitching-wise. However if a Harper, Machado or Freeman got hurt…then yes, we’d need to make some sort of move to address that for the short team! Barring that….this team is STACKED/LOADED/and more importantly…HELLA YOUNG!

Your thoughts?

A few quick takes on your thoughts, Paul…

-I don’t feel the Braves should trade either of McCarthy or Kazmir. As often as they frequent the DL, there won’t be any shortage of opportunities to find some innings for the young pitching. To my delight, it doesn’t sound as if AA is intent on trading McCarthy, at least. He’s stated he envisions McCarthy filling Dickey’s vacated rotation spot.

-Having Medlen, Blair and Wisler isn’t really a back up plan anymore… it’s more like having an eyedropper full of water in the middle of the Sahara. You feel like you’re covered, but you’re not.

-I believe this trade squashes your dream of seeing Harper and Machado both in an Atlanta uniform, because it also helped the Dodgers reset their luxury tax status. They’ll be players for Harper, and the Phils will be in on both. I won’t say Atlanta couldn’t get one of them, but this adds another team to the fight.

King…The Dodgers will still have to pay a tax if they go over the $197 mil payroll threshold (20% vs. 50% previously).

Also, I’ve stated previously that A LOT has to happen in 2018..before it would be realistically for The Braves to make a push for BOTH Machado and Harper (in addition to Kimbrel, lol). HOWEVER, the 1st thing on the list..was trading Kemp/clearing payroll going into The 2018 Free Agent Offseason (which happened with this trade!).

The other things are: 2. Albies and Acuna developing in 2018 into Atlanta’s version of Altuve and Correa…3. Our PLETHORA of young pitching developing as expected (both in Atlanta and in The Minors)….4. Braves Management selling ownership on the wisdom of increasing The 2019 Payroll to the $150 mil range (increased revenues from Sun Trust/from the surrounding properties/potential playoff revenue…would justify increasing the payroll/going after the threesome of Machado/Harper/Kimbrel).

After 2018, The Braves will only have Freddie Freeman at a RELATIVE BARGAIN of $21 mil a year for three more seasons. In addition, Ender Inciarte is another bargain ($5 mil in 2019, $7 mil in 2020, $8 mil in 2021 and a team option $9 mil in 2022) that should be taken advantage of when factoring in increasing future payrolls! Now if Christian Pache develops as expected by 2020…The Braves may be able to trade Inciarte for an Adam Eaton-like prospect return (he’ll only be owed $24 mil over the final 3 years of his contract….salaries in the next few years will be escalating in MLB). Pache would have three years of pre-arbitration control (helping keep The Braves payroll down). However if Pache doesnt develop..then Inciarte is still payroll friendly for The Braves for the rest of his contract!

Also of note…is the development of Alex Jackson. As of now, I’m not totally sold on Jackson. I feel that he may be an AL type player (similar to Evan Gattis). However if he continues to rake at the plate in The Minors/works hard to develop his catching skills…he could provide a cheap/productive option at catcher for The Braves (probably starting around 2020). In the meantime, The Braves could extend both Flowers/Suzuki another year IF both play decent in 2018. Regardless, catcher may be a position that The Braves target using our surplus of pitching to address. However when it comes to other offensive players..I’d rather see The Braves use The Free Agent route…and keep our surplus pitching.

Finally, while I can understand your need to see The Braves competitive in 2018 (it isnt like I ‘want’ to see us lose in 2018)…I feel that it is more important that we give AS MANY of our young players a chance to play in 2018 as possible! When I listed Medlen, Blair and Wisler as ‘possible backup options’ should something happen in our rotation…I am WELL AWARE of neither of them being anything other than BUMS at this point in their careers (that all three will probably get shellacked, lol). I brought them up as options….to give Soroka and Allard time in The 1st Half in Triple A ‘should’ anything happen to our rotation of Teheran, Folty, Gohara, Newcomb and Fried (in addition, Sims will probably be the long man/spot starter…also, Whitley could be a fallback option if he makes the team). Giving McCarthy and Kazmir starts…would take away starts from someone!

Either way, our new GM has options. I’m not privy to the thought process of Braves Management…I can only go by their previous actions. Clearing payroll for 2019 (we’ll only have committed Freeman’s $21 mil, Inciarte’s $5 mil and Teheran’s $11 addition to arbitration eligible players of note in Folty, Vizcaino, Winkler…the others are fringe players, at best…and of course THE PLETHORA of pre-arbitration players FLOODING our roster in the coming years)…means that Atlanta will have approximately $100 mil (maybe more IF Teheran ends up being traded) to spend.

Our holes will be at 3rd, left field, closer, possibly catcher. If 2018 progresses as I expect…then our other field positions/rest of the pitching staff will be filled from WITHIN. How would you spend that $100 mil-plus…IF not on the likes of Machado, Harper and Kimbrel (with some left over to get the right catcher IF we decide to part ways with Flowers/Suzuki)? Would you not agree that acquiring those three players, to go with our young talent all over our roster…would make us serious playoff contenders FOR YEARS TO COME?

Of course, I like the idea now of dabbling in next year’s FA market, but I think the best FA’s will almost universally choose a winner over a loser or a “potential” winner. The Braves either need to get into the WC this year or be at least .500 and looking ready for a breakout. Also, targeting Kershaw would be better than targeting Machado or Harper. Kershaw is the Maddux of this time. I’m not sure how many of you remember how big a surprise it was that Maddux chose the Braves in 1992. It was no coincidence that that was the year after the Braves rode into the WS on Bream’s slide (probably also didn’t hurt that Glavine had just thrown a 9 WAR season). I have said this before but FA don’t want to brought in to create a winner; they want to be brought in to augment an existing winner. No way Harper chooses the Braves over the Nats if the Nats are better in the standings. Kershaw would not choose the Braves unless the Dodgers collapse. To be real players in next year’s FA market, the Braves need to keep filling holes and be a winning team this year. Oh, and by the way, the biggest difference between 1990 and 1991 was bringing in Pendleton and Nixon and having a stellar bullpen (the 1990 bullpen was a shambles). If the Braves can pick up someone like Yelich, Moran or JD Davis from HOU, and a stopper reliever then they will be a .500+ team next year. If you really want to go after Kimbrel next year, trade for Britton this year. If you want to go after Machado next year (which I think is not necessary with Riley coming), then find someone to bridge the gap – especially with power. Not to mention that this shows the fans, you’re ready to run a real major league team. Even after the Kemp trade the Braves should still have $10M to spend this year. Spend it. If you can get rid of Markakis in a Yelich trade then do it.

I believe you nailed it. It’s hard to sell guys on promise alone. This trade opens a spot for Acuna, but no one knows how he’ll hit. He may bat .210 on the year as he tries to find his footing. You need some proven commodities, and a direction to sell guys on… unless you want to do what the Nats did back when they signed Werth, and go crazy on the contract. If the Braves settle here, I won’t knock them… but I’d prefer to see them do a bit more this off-season to keep building a foundation, beyond this trade.

King…I doubt that Acuna ends up hitting .210 against MLB pitching in 2018.

Regardless, I’ve always maintained that A LOT has to go right in 2018..for it to make sense for The Braves to go after the threesome of Machado, Harper and Kimbrel. However, if those things happen, it will show MLB that The Braves have the pieces in place to be a LONG TERM playoff success.

If our GM is as good as I think he is..he should be able to SELL the vision to those Free Agents. Using our surplus of pitching to make trades that end up being one year stop gaps (just to prove to potential Free Agents that we can chase a playoff spot in 2018…when THE SMART MOVE is to give our PLETHORA of young talent AS MUCH playing time as possible in 2018) not a smart use of resources!

Roger….given that we have holes at 3rd, left field, closer and possibly catcher going into The 2018 Free Agent Offseason….spending $35 mil a year on a front line ace…would not be wise! The point in drafting/developing our SURPLUS of pitching prospects…is to develop/build a staff of potential aces FROM WITHIN!

Paul, I guess that Maddux guy was a waste of money. What a shame. Why do you think the Braves are trying to get Archer or Fullmer or someone like that. There is not a single pitcher anywhere in the Braves system with the potential of becoming a Kershaw. Maddux, fresh off a Cy with the Cubs, won three more in a row with the Braves because the Braves were the Braves and had just been to two WS in a row and the Cubs hadn’t (nor anyone else). His dream was to play on the West Coast but he chose the Braves because they were already winners. Not one suggestion I made would strip the farm of anyone significant nor would it impede the ability to compete in next year’s FA market. But would only make the Braves better this year. You have to put a good product on the field this year to be able to put a better one on the field next year. Yelich would be a long term piece all by himself. Moran or JD Davis would be good options for this year and may turn into something more. Britton would be a one year commitment who might be convinced to stay if the team does well.

Roger…do you know what it would take to get Yelich, Britton and Moran/Davis? We’d be giving up SIGNIFICANT prospects to get those guys!

I never stated that Maddux was a waste. It’s just that this Braves team is NOWHERE NEAR where The Braves were after The 1992 Season.

The Braves are in a really UNIQUE situation right now. We have A PLETHORA of young/cheap/controllable pitching that will get EVERY OPPORTUNITY to show us in the next few years which ones should be kept in The Rotation/which ones better off in The Bullpen/which ones The Braves should trade down the line.

The payroll flexibility (all three contracts of Freeman, Inciarte and Teheran are team friendly/relative bargains) along with the vast number of of cheap/controllable players flooding the roster in the next few years..makes it ESSENTIAL that we use Free Agency to shore up 3rd, left field, closer and possibly catcher (areas that we are weak in the system).

Again, a lot has to happen in 2018 for my ‘plan’ to be viable regarding The 2018 Free Agent Offseason. Let’s revisit this come the end of the season.

TRad…The Braves will be in a position to offer LOTS of money to the likes of Machado, Harper and Kimbrel in The 2018 Free Agent Offseason!

$35 mil a year long term contracts to both Machado and Harper should get it well as $18 mil a year to Kimbrel! We’d still have some left over to address obtaining a catcher (whether Free Agent or via trade) if the right deal crosses our path.

More money and playoff contending works in Atlanta’s favor!

If you’re Braves you don’t spend 15% of your budget on closer. And you’re don’t spend half of your budget on two players. It won’t work.

Andrew Hamrick….the one thing that BOTH you and Bryce S CONVENIENTLY that NO ONE could have foreseen that Adrian Gonzalez would have waved his no trade clause! Without that…this trade DOES NOT happen! So to ‘take credit’ for predicting that this ‘type of trade’ was going to happen (when Bryce’s previous trade proposals DID NOT include Gonzalez..only what he deems to be ‘a Gonzalez-like player’)…is pathetic, lol!

Swapping Gonzalez (because of his similar ‘War-like numbers’) from the other players that he suggested The Braves target in his various Kemp Trade dump proposals….simply makes no sense (because of the no-trade clause). I said the same thing about the proposed Jacoby Ellsbury trades that floated through various online blogs!

If anything, I give HUGE KUDOS to our GM AA for being able to convince AD to waive his no-trade clause.

The only way it makes sense for either McCarthy/Kazmir to not be flipped before Opening Day…is if Max Fried is slated to open 2018 in Triple A (to give him more starts in The Minors, given that he basically skipped Triple A in 2017). Other than that…I see little sense in keeping either McCarthy/Kazmir for 2018.

Paul Lentz said: “Andrew Hamrick….the one thing that BOTH you and Bryce S CONVENIENTLY that NO ONE could have foreseen that Adrian Gonzalez would have waved his no trade clause! Without that…this trade DOES NOT happen! So to ‘take credit’ for predicting that this ‘type of trade’ was going to happen (when Bryce’s previous trade proposals DID NOT include Gonzalez..only what he deems to be ‘a Gonzalez-like player’)…is pathetic, lol!”
No one could’ve predicted it, eh? I’ve refrained from doing this to you, but…

Just going to drop this here.

Bryce S said: “Speaking of insane. Here is the OTHER proposal I sent to Thomas. Here’s the one I’d fully endorse over just cutting Kemp and having him be a sunk cost on the 2018 and 2019 payrolls. I may need more than one reply to do this in. lol

— Matt Kemp, Hyun-Jin Ryu & $17M to the New York Yankees

— Jacoby Ellsbury & Jim Johnson to the Los Angeles Dodgers

— Adrian Gonzalez & $21.5M to the Cleveland Indians (Insert 1B needy team, if not Cleveland)

— Chase Headley, David Robertson, Scott Kazmir , Joc Pederson & Dylan Baker to Atlanta Braves”

If you missed it. Adrian Gonzalez is included in that quote. The no-trade clause, in my scenario, was predicted–nay, I even assumed it would be–waived because I felt Gonzo would approve a trade that allowed him to play everyday and/or for a contender.

I’ll forgive you for not knowing I predicted this, because you weren’t really around that early on in the discussions here….but….that’s about as damning as any evidence can be.

Again. Before you say this is a totally different trade, I’ll admit the names are almost entirely different. However, what you can’t try to shove down my throat is the fact that I developed this trade early on and the one I proposed later was built off the basis of this one, and this scenario was built around the basis of the Chris Johnson for Nick Swisher/Michael Bourn trade with sprinkles of the BJ Upton/Kimbrel deal concepts included. Don’t try to say it isn’t, because you weren’t here from the beginning of this wild ride that is this discussion of Kemp. Hell, Thomas knows all too well I’ve been all over the Dodgers since August as I pestered him with this stuff everyday towards the end of the season (apologies to Thomas, and as always the friendship and baseball discussions are always appreciated).

So. Yeah.

First it was because of value. Then when proven wrong, you back pedaled and now it was because of Adrian Gonzalez’s no-trade clause and how “no one could predict” the waiver of his no-trade rights. Well, it was predicted. Even assumed he would waive it for the right chance to win or play everyday. Can we now just end the discussion over anyone’s inability to accurately predict this? I wasn’t the only one right just as you weren’t the only one who was wrong. Just as you weren’t the only one right about the Rule 5 draft and I wasn’t the only one “wrong”, even though I never outright predicted Demeritte was going to get drafted (merely noted utility types get drafted often more so than one-position types like Peterson). And it won’t be the last time that you or myself are right or wrong about something. Just man up. Admit underneath it all we wanted the same thing, and let’s move on.

Paul it’s a lack of generosity that you simply don’t give Bryce the credit he is due—it’s bad form. To go along with the bad form or to continue to double down in it with the stance of trading McCarthy and Kazmir is essitential and keeping fried in the rotation. In my opinion is very very young. I want what I want when I want it—kind of behavior. (I am doing this for you so you won’t miss this very small word) IF Kazmir and IF McCarthy come back pitch well respectively—AA has already said he wants the young starters coming out of the pen to start the season—not named nuke or Gohara. If New York or Boston or whoever has a rash of starting pitching injuries (you know like someone does every year) then AA will decide if and when fried gets to start. It will be a great year. They will take care of this wonderful ‘problem’ to have. Go Bryce.

Andrew Hamrick…..I already gave our GM, AA, props for this trade. However AG waving his no-trade clause was FAR from a ‘guarantee’. So for Bryce S to ‘take credit’ for ‘semi-proposing’ a ‘similar’ trade….unreal, lol!

Unless their intention is to start Fried in Triple A (while I feel that Fried will ultimately end up in an Andrew Miller-like role, because of his history with injuries/blisters…..I feel that Braves Management still views Fried as having starting potential. Fried basically skipped Triple A in 2017….making him a candidate to start 2018 in Triple A)….I feel that having Fried in The Bullpen on Opening Day 2018, will stunt any prospects of him being a viable starting pitcher long term. He needs innings starting (whether in Atlanta or in Triple A).

Assuming Fried starts the year in Triple A (or The Braves’ bullpen, which I feel would be a mistake, but let’s assume that Braves Management makes that ‘mistake’)…….then The Opening Day Rotation would be 1. Teheran..2. Folty…3. Gohara…4. McCarthy…5. Newcomb (to split up the lefty-righty dynamic).

Assuming that Kazmir is healthy…having him start the year in the bullpen…makes it hard to get him enough innings to ‘stretch him out’. He’s never really done The Bullpen thing (298 career starts, 1 bullpen appearance…which was his rookie year in 2004)….with this being his Free Agent year..I seriously doubt Kazmir wants to come out of the bullpen.

Lucas Sims is already slated to be the spot starter/long relief specialist in the bullpen. If Fried starts the year in Triple A…then there will be at least 4 prime prospects starting for Gwinnett (Soroka, Allard, Tooki, Fried….with either Medlen, Blair, Wisler the ‘5th starter’, lol).

Unless someone gets hurt in Spring Training…I dont see how BOTH McCarthy AND Kazmir are on The Braves Opening Day Roster. A trade only makes sense.

Let’s revisit this on Opening Day….to see who is right! Simple as that!

By the way, wasnt I right about The Braves NOT losing anyone in The Rule 5 Draft? I recall virtually EVERYONE on this blog bitching about losing TD, DP and Pike! When I would try to rationally explain why NONE of those players were serious candidates to be taken….it was ignored, lol!

I’m right about McCarthy and Kazmir! If no one gets hurt in Spring Training (among the starting pitchers we have)…..I just dont see how it makes any sense to have both of them on the team (to be honest, I would like to see BOTH gone by Opening Day…because I want to see our rotation be Teheran, Folty, Gohara, Newcomb and Fried…..and if anyone falters/gets hurt within the first 2 months of the season, then I’d like to see Sims given some starts. If anyone else falters/gets hurt before The ASB, then Medlen/Blair are options. Now after The ASB and someone gets hurt/falters…then if Soroka and Allard are dominating in Triple A….then call them up! That…should be THE PLAN)!


There was over a 100 players available in the rule 5–17 or so were taken. You predicted that the braves would not be one of the losers of players…..oh yeah. Okay. Really seems silly to actually pay your own back for that…but okay. I even said good for you. Cause you did stand there and claim it. Unfortunately you seem to stand on ag and his no trade clause as it means something. And you keep repeating yourself as if we didn’t hear it the 1st 5 Times. A-gone and his no trade clause does not matter. You pissed on the trade idea and then when it happened you could say—‘Good call.’ You want to put the rule 5 and this trade in the same category—I think this trade and calling it would be way more impressive. Sorry you can’t see that.

The Braves will look at McCarthy and Kazmir—odds both are in the braves starting 5?

I hope they are both healthy and can compete for a starting spot.

I think since AA knows these players really well—you know since he was working with them a few weeks ago…may have some insight perhaps…..

I did not say anything about knowing anything for a fact.i believe I said a team will inevitably have pitching injuries and the possibility of flipping one or both could actually pay dividends. I know this is an over used ‘pipe’ dream perhaps. However, it’s not impossible nor improbable that McMarthy pitches half the season with 2 war season and gets flipped perhaps with Kazmir who has perhaps made 10 or so starts by mid way. I love the braves and hope something great can come from this. I hope you keep singing in the shower Paul.

AG waived no trade clause only because Braves agreed to release him immediately. Therefore he is absolutely free to choose next employer. I’m sure it was agreed before the trade.

TRad….I have no doubt that AG agreed to waive his no trade clause before the trade was completed. I was just saying that it is impossible for the average person to predict that he would wave it (if anything, him being on The Dodgers Roster in 2018 would give him a chance to win a WS Ring). I stated the same thing about Jacob Ellsbury (who likely wants a WS Ring with New York…he isnt going to waive his no trade clause to go to a non-contending team, just to help The Yankees shed his bloated salary, lol).

AA gets big props to convincing AG to waive his no trade clause. Gincarlo Stanton just proved the power of having a no trade clause in one’s contract. He prevented The Marlins from trading him to either The Giants/Cardinals this offseason.

This type of trade makes sense for The Braves. However, I’m not sure why The Dodgers agreed to make this deal. They could have shed both Kazmir’s and McCarthy’s contract individually to teams in need of starting pitching (they would have probably had to eat about $6 mil of Kazmir’s contract)..and just released AG (and the $21.5 mil owed to him)….instead of BOTH taking Matt Kemp’s $36 mil owed to him (they were already responsible for the other $7 mil owed to him) AND the $4.5 mil they sent to The Braves in cash. It seems that The Dodgers came out $13 mil in the hole here ($40.5 mil vs. $27.5 mil).

Let’s see what AA does with both McCarthy and Kazmir between now and the end of The 2018 Season. We can revisit the math of this trade then.

Stay with me. AG waiving was the effect of Braves releasing him. So actually what was difficult to imagine was Braves action, not AG’s action. After Braves agreed do set him free, his waiving of veto power was obvious.

TRad…..AG could have wanted to stay in LA (and chased a potential as a member of The Dodgers, either as a member of their bench OR via the ‘phantom Disabled List injury’ that teams seem to come up with for players like AG). I seriously doubt that The Dodgers would have just ate his $21.5 mil contract…after all, they kept Andre Either and his $17.5 mil 2017 salary (even though he barely played/was healthy for the most part) on the team.

AG agreeing to waive his no-trade clause was far from a guarantee…just ask Florida regarding Stanton…and The Yankees regarding Ellsbury! Again, I give big kudos to AA to getting this trade done…especially when I question the sanity of The Dodgers doing this deal…given that I feel that when all is said and done (regarding The Braves eventually trading McCarthy and Kazmir)…The Braves could end up around $13 mil ahead in actual dollars saved in this deal!

You can’t compare Stanton’s situation to AG’s. Stanton vetoed a move to St.Louis (am I correct?). His choice was play in St.Louis or play in Florida.

AG, essentially, was given freedom. His choice was stay in franchise which won’t play him or play in franchise of his choosing (somebody will take a flyer for MLB minimum).

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