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The San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves agreed to swap one regret for another on Saturday.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Padres have traded veteran outfielder Matt Kemp to Atlanta in exchange for infielder Hector Olivera. It’s also reported the Padres are set to designate Olivera for assignment on Tuesday as they delve into a full-on fire sale.
The Padres will pay the remaining $30M left on Olivera’s contract assuming he goes unclaimed. Right now, that’s about the safest bet you can make as Olivera finishes serving an 82-game suspension following a domestic violence charge. The 31-year-old infielder is eligible to return on Aug. 1, hence the reason is San Diego is waiting 72 hours to dump him, but he still faces charges that could complicate his baseball future.
Olivera’s not in great place off the field, and he’s yet to really show much on the field. His tenure in MLB may already be finished.
As for Kemp, the 31-year-old outfielder is still owed $21.5M in each of the next three seasons. The Padres were paying $18M of that money owed each season, while the Dodgers remain on the hook for the other $3.5M. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribute, the Padres are expected to kick an extra $10-$12M in on the deal to ease Atlanta’s financial burden, but will still save between $30-$32M in this trade.
It’s clear that the Braves still view Kemp as a productive hitter, which isn’t wrong. He’s hitting .262/.285/.489 this season with 24 home runs while playing half his games in Petco Park. That’s very attractive, and Kemp’s star powers might be seen as a way to attract fans to SunTrust Park next season.
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