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Atlanta Braves

Dodgers Bring Back Matt Kemp In Five-Player Trade With Braves

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Matt Kemp is- once again- a Los Angeles Dodger; but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t play much or at all for LA in 2018.

On Saturday, the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves completed a deal that sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Brandon McCarthy, LHP Scott Kazmir, IF Charlie Culberson, and $4.5 million to the Braves in exchange for Kemp.

Kazmir, 33, didn’t pitch at all for the Dodgers in 2017 due to injuries; McCarthy, 34, was 6-4 with a 3.98 ERA in 19 games (16 starts); and Culberson, 28, went 8 for 16 in the postseason after going 2 for 13 (all in September) in the regular season.

According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers are expected to release Kemp and try to sign free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain, or trade for outfielder Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With the exception of Culberson, the Dodgers rid themselves of nearly $48.5 million in payroll for 2018 by trading Gonzalez, McCarthy, and Kazmir. Kemp is expected to make $21.5 million in 2018, so as of now, Los Angeles is saving nearly $27 million in payroll, which currently drops them below the initial luxury-tax threshold for 2018.

Essentially, the deal is nothing but a large salary dump for both ballclubs.

“Whether this offseason, July or next year, this move allows for increased flexibility going forward at a time where we have some depth,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, per MLB.com. “Particularly, any time you trade two starting pitchers, oftentimes you’re not in position to do that. But we feel really good about the depth we have that allowed us to do this.”

Kemp, 33, has two years remaining on his eight-year, $160 million contract he signed with the Dodgers after the 2011 season.

Gonzalez, 35, was limited to just 71 games in 2017 due to a herniated disk. He had to approve of the deal, which he did, and then thanked Dodger fans with a message on Twitter:

Three days following the trade, Gonzalez was released by the Braves; he had been a member of the Dodgers since August 2012.

In nine years for the Dodgers to begin his Major League career from 2006-14, Kemp hit .291 with 182 homers and 648 RBIs, and was also a two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove winner in center field. He was traded to the San Diego Padres after the 2014 season, then dealt to the Braves mid-season in 2016.

Kemp hit .276/.318/.463 in 438 at-bats with 19 homers and 64 RBIs for the Braves this past season. Overall, he’s a career .285/.338/.488 career hitter with 259 homers and 920 RBIs.

Atlanta Braves

Braves Steal Keuchel From Yankees

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Seemingly destined for the Bronx, Dallas Keuchel is instead headed to Hotlanta (CBS Sports).

Though it seemed almost a forgone conclusion that free agent LHP Dallas Keuchel would be joining the New York Yankees, a shocking twist that came from seemingly out of nowhere proved otherwise.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported late Thursday night that the Atlanta Braves had signed the 2015 American League Cy Young winner to a one-year deal pending a physical. The Braves have yet to confirm this but Feinsand went on to report that Keuchel is slated to pitch for Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday.

Rumors had been abundant all week that General Manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees were in deep on Keuchel and that his signing was only a matter of time. After all, it made perfect sense for New York to bring in the two-time All-Star to help fill the void left by Luis Severino’s absence. Braves GM Alex Anthopolous had other ideas and snatched up Keuchel from his team’s storied World Series rival. Keuchel’s deal is reportedly for $13 million.

For Atlanta, the signing is a wise one. Keuchel’s presence will take pressure off Mike Foltynewicz as he attempts to regain his 2018 form and will aid Julio Teheran, who has done a solid job carrying the weight of the rotation. The Braves have struggled at times throughout the season but have kept pace with National League East leading Philadelphia and are only two games back as of 6/6.

Can Atlanta’s big acquisition help them regain ground on Bryce Harper and the Phillies, or is it being given too much credit? As always, let us know on Twitter at @HomeRunDaily.

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Atlanta Braves

Braves Place Brian McCann On IL

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The Atlanta Braves have placed veteran catcher Brian McCann on the injured list after he suffered a right hamstring strain during Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins.

McCann injured himself while sliding into third base during the fourth inning of the loss to Miami.

McCann signed a one-year, $2 million deal to return to the Braves, where he spent the majority of his career, this past offseason.

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Atlanta Braves

Padres, Dodgers, Reds, Braves, Rays in “Advanced Stages” for Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto

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The Miami Marlins may be closing in on a deal to deal catcher J.T. Realmuto as several teams are considered to be in “advanced stages” in talks about a trade, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.

The report goes on to say that the Cincinnati Reds are in “substantive” talks with the Marlins.

Other teams linked to the deep talks are the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Tampa Bay Rays.

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