The Braves acquired Matt Kemp for unknown reasons from the Padres in exchange for Hector Olivera. Olivera, hasn’t played since his domestic violence arrest in Washington D.C. Proving this trade was all about the benjamins, the Braves immediately released Olivera. While I get wanting to dump Olivera, I don’t really get what took them so long, or just what the Braves think they are going to do with Kemp. Maybe they hope he will pass waivers and can flip him for some more minor league pitching.
Kemp, 31, has hit .262 with 23 home runs — five more than Braves team leader Freddie Freeman — and 69 RBIs in 100 games this season, with 100 strikeouts, 16 walks and a career-worst .285 OBP and .489 slugging percentage. He’s hit .313 (30-for-94) with runners in scoring position and .333 against left-handers.
“He’s someone who can help us out,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We need to get back to winning games here. We think this guy can hit right behind Freddie Freeman, can give us some power that we sorely lack, and that he’ll be a really good help to our team on the field and off the field as we try to get back to being a playoff-caliber team.”
Kemp is owed 21.5 million in each of the next three seasons which is effectively 8.5 mil per year more than the Braves were going to pay Olivera. Olivera will be eligible for return from suspension on August the 1st.