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Home > Hot Stove > Talking About The Dodgers/Braves Trade; Gonzalez, McCarthy, Kazmir, and Culberson For Matt Kemp

Talking About The Dodgers/Braves Trade; Gonzalez, McCarthy, Kazmir, and Culberson For Matt Kemp

On Saturday afternoon the Dodger’s front office dropped their pants squatted down and took the biggest, nastiest, smelliest salary dump we’ve seen (or smelt) in recent years. The Dodgers traded veterans Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and utility man Charlie Culberson to the Braves for former Dodger Matt Kemp.

There are many aspects to this trade, but for the Dodgers it’s all about money. In one fell swoop they were able to dump all of their albatross contracts on the hapless Braves. The Dodgers have been trying to get underneath the luxury tax for 2018 and this will help them do it. Apparently after the trade their payroll will lower from 237 million to “only” 197 million. Instead of applying a 50% penalty they may only have to pay a 20% fee on the luxury tax threshold.

The Dodgers told Gonzo that he wouldn’t be getting very many at-bats next season because he would be on the bench. Back and neck problems limited Gonzalez to just 252 plate appearances and 71 games in 2017. He batted just .242 and hit three home runs with a .642 OPS. NL rookie of the year Cody Bellinger took his job. That doesn’t diminish all of the accomplishments and wonderful moments that Gonzalez has given the Dodgers since being acquired in that blockbuster trade with the Red Sox back in 2012.


Gonzalez hit 101 home runs (in addition to 7 postseason homers) in his five plus seasons in Los Angeles. He collected 752 hits and drove in 448 runs during his tenure here. We wish Gonzo all the best in his future endeavors no matter where he ends up. We’ll take a look back at Gonzo’s incredible Dodger career later. The Braves have already designated him for assignment.

McCarthy and Kazmir have been primarily terrible in their careers as Dodgers. Kazmir didn’t pitch at all in 2017 and McCarthy was effective during a short span early in the season before inevitably breaking down with a finger blister and general aches and pains. Reports are indicating that McCarthy will get a shot in the starting rotation for the Braves. Kazmir could get a spot as well.

As for Culberson, he’ll grab a spot on the Atlanta bench. He was just 2 for 13 in 15 plate appearances during the 2017 regular season. He batted .299 (20 for 67) in 68 plate appearances for the Dodgers n 2016. He’ll be forever remembered for two important home runs at Dodger Stadium. One was back in September of 2016. That was the division clinching shot against Colorado as Vin Scully called his final game at Chavez Ravine. The second home run came during the tenth inning of game 2 of the World Series against the Astros last October. The solo shot got the Dodgers within one run, and the home crowd went crazy.

So why would the Braves do this deal? One word….desperation. The Braves are desperate as they trudge along with their rebuilding process. They also really wanted to dump Kemp’s contract. Apparently the contracts all cancel each other out money wise. The Dodgers will send 4.5 million to the Braves to offset Kemp’s contract.

In case you were hoping to see Kemp in a Dodger uniform again this spring, don’t hold your breath. The Dodgers are rumored to either trade him or release him. To be honest it would be kind of cool to see Kemp wearing Dodger blue again. It seems like a long shot that Kemp would ever suit up with the Dodgers again. Which may be a good thing considering that Kemp is one of the worst defensive players in baseball.

However it is important to note that Bison can and still does hit the ball out of the park. He hit 19 home runs with the Braves in 2017 and 35 home runs between the Braves and Padres in 2016. As a matter of fact Kemp swatted 58 home runs and drove in 208 RBI between 2015-2016 with the Padres and Braves. Perhaps something bigger is on the horizon for the Dodgers. Whether that is this winter or next remains to be seen.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

13 thoughts on “Talking About The Dodgers/Braves Trade; Gonzalez, McCarthy, Kazmir, and Culberson For Matt Kemp

  1. I see a few teams, including contenders, who may need a DH. I wish both AGon and Kemp well.

    AGon’s farewell, was very smart and professional.

    I think the Dodgers are at $175/176 million now. Way below the threshold. We can add a starter if we want. Could it be that the Braves wanted McCarthy? The FBZ will wait…

  2. Why would the Braves do this?

    Because their GM hasn’t turned in his Blue shirts.

    We got lucky. Thanks Alex.

    Maybe the Angels can jettison Pujols and put Kemp in his place. That would be cool. I hope the Angels do well.

    I look for AGon to show up healthy and finish well. He’s a class act.

    1. Doubt they would do that since Scioscia said that Ohtani would not be playing in the field and that he will DH when he is not pitching. But there are plenty of other teams needing a good DH, how about reuniting Kemp with Hanley? Anything is possible

        1. Absolutely. I repeat what I stated in the previous thread. I think their best chance was this year. Everything fell into place. They went into the World Series on a 7-1 run, they won game 1, then the wheels came off the buggy. Losing game 2 when they were leading in the 9th changed the entire direction and atmosphere of the Series. Having your closer blow a game you should have won is bad enough, but now you have let the other team have the one thing you needed to deny them, hope. 2018 they start from scratch. Are the going to win 104 games again? Doubtful. Can Taylor, Bellinger and Puig repeat their stellar performances of 2017? Unknown. Although a majority of the players will return, the team will have a different look. Who do they trust coming out of the pen to bridge the game to Jansen? As much as the Dodgers jettisoned some age from the roster, DC did the same not bringing back Werth. They have been very aggressive this off season. The Cubs now have Morrow. And they still have a very potent line up. In our own division, the Rockies have obviously improved their porous bullpen, and still might bring Holland back. And their line up is as good as any in the NL. By trading McBrittle and Quagmire, the Dodgers have thinned the starting pitcher pool. They also opened the door for Cody to be at first everyday, so he is no longer a candidate for the OF. They got a little younger. Trading Culberson, they traded their best fielding backup SS. But they shed the salary they were trying to shed. We shall see over the next few weeks what they can add to the roster to make the team better. When Koehler is added, they will have 2 open spots. We will also see which non roster players are added. It is going to be interesting to watch, but my eyes will be on the other serious contenders to see what they add to their mix to cut the gap. One obvious thing that will need to change is the Dodgers record against the teams in their own division.

  3. Kemp and Agon will both do very well as DH in hitter friendly parks.

    I just hope they don’t go to any contenders ( like the Astros and Red Sox, both of whom deed a DH ….)

    I still say it would be a hard fight to get to the WS again. The Nationals are ready and chomping at the bit.

    1. Sure hope we find somebody who will take Kemp. Honestly I never viewed him as a terrible defensive player, just average in my estimation, but the numbers suggest otherwise. If he embraces the idea I believe he can be a decent DH. And yes, that means I believe he has value as a hitter. There are 15 DHs in baseball – why not Matt Kemp?

      Yeah Michael, you’re right about Ohtani, but he was a two way player in Japan and has voiced that he wants to continue that role here. I just think it would be cool to see Kemp play in Southern California.

      I’ll go on record early here and say I don’t want the Dodgers to spend big on Bryce Harper. Just a feeling. At a young age he already looks like he has DH written all over him.

      1. I also think that if Matty embraces the role as a DH, he would excel. I personally would rather see the Dodgers go after Machado than Harper. His attitude is a huge turn off and warning sign to me. Also the glare of the media if he is tanking in some point in LA would be something that would probably set him off. As for salary, they guy is going to hamstring any team he signs with for years. As for Ohtani, I really believe he is going to have a hard time here living up to the hype. He may have awesome power, and throw 100 MPH, but now he has to prove he can do it in the big’s. Scioscia was pretty adamant about him DH’ing. Somewhere down the road that may change, but I think he does not try to rock the boat any his first year in the majors. And finally, what do they do with Kersh if he does decide to opt out?

        1. I like Machado better too. He’s an all around player and probably less likely to blow a tread. That would allow Turner a move to 2b or to become an expensive utility player.

          The first few teams mentioned this morning as landing spots for Kemp are the White Sox, Boston, Texas, and Toronto. A couple in the NL are referenced too, but I find that doubtful. We will likely have to absorb some salary wherever he goes. Stewart says the Dodgers intend to keep him. Why do I doubt that?

          1. Stranger thing have happened my friend. Who could have possibly predicted this trade. They still need to address the starting rotation and the bullpen no matter what anyone thinks. I think they like the position players they have and the kids coming up. Smith and Ruiz will see time this spring, maybe they move Grandal then.

          2. Texas has Calhoun already. He is Kemp with a touch more ability to play defense.

            Boston will (hopefully) get JD Martinez for DH.

            Toronto makes sense, Chicago I have no clue about.

            Who is Stewart?

  4. Heyman says there’s no market for Kemp:
    www (DOT) fanragsports.com/heyman-trade-market-for-matt-kemp-virtually-nonexistent/

    If the Dodgers can eventually find a taker via trade, the club’s front office might just be comprised of magicians…As a member of the Braves this past season, he hit .276 with 19 home runs, 64 RBIs and a .318 on-base percentage across 115 regular-season appearances and 438 at-bats in all while also registering as one of, if not the, worst outfielders in baseball defensively.


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