Braves 9, Twins 7: The Pursuit to the Bottom

Well, that was unexpected. It was really great to see the top half of the Braves offense perform last night. Jace Peterson and Gordon Beckham set the table consistently, and Freddie Freeman, who is busting out of his slump big time, went 4-4 and plated four of the first seven runs himself. While the top half supplied the bulk of the damage, this was a top-to-bottom offense ‘€œoutburst’€ for a team that simply doesn’€™t have many of them. Five guys in all had two hits apiece, with Human Outs AJ Pierzynski and Erick Aybar not providing much at the bottom of the order. The lefty-right-lefty combo of Peterson, Beckham, and Freeman seems to be working together well.

Sadly, Mike Foltynewicz did not have it. His fastball was straight as a board, his emotions ran high at times, and he gave up 12 hits en route to getting chased in the sixth. His control was great in that he had no walks, but he’€™s got to learn to pitch when he doesn’€™t have electrifying stuff. He’€™s a classic young power pitcher: brilliant, dominant high-strikeout performances and outings where he gets rocked out of the stadium.

But with the depth of the bullpen, a bad starting pitching performance gives some guys an opportunity to showcase both trade and future value. Trade candidates Ian Krol and Jim Johnson both did their jobs, with Krol getting the lone lefty he was brought in to face, and Johnson registered two strike outs to get a save. Chris Withrow and Mauricio Cabrera both pitched scoreless outings, with the letter recording three strike outs in an inning and a third. Cabrera is only 22, absolutely huge, and his strike outs are finally coming around. After recording only one strike out in his first five innings, he has had 11 strike outs in 8 2/3 innings in his last 7 games.

But the big news is the Braves turned two players who had been unemployed 9 weeks ago into what MLB Pipeline says is now our #9 prospect: Travis Demeritte. He played second base for the USA in the Futures Game, and he’€™s got big power from the right side. The Braves plan to use him all over the field to find the best fit, and based on his age, they should be able to figure something out if he can continue to hit.

168 thoughts on “Braves 9, Twins 7: The Pursuit to the Bottom”

  1. New MLB Prospect List.

    4 of our new top 10 prospects have been acquired within the last 2 months. Blair, I guess, has been “graduated”.

  2. If this Demeritte kid is actually a shortstop, even a fringy one, we need to get him back to the left side of the infield. MLB pipeline grades his arm a 60. 3B, LF, chance at RF eventually, and both times he’s played a full professional season he’s knocked 25 HR.

    Also encouraging, as far as Coppy and talent evaluation goes, is that this is the kind of move we can continue to pull off even when we’re good again. Third lefty and 6th or starter on a bad team landed this kid.

  3. Riley is in A ball, Demeritte is in High A. Demeritte might move slowly because of his contact issues, but I don’t see Riley necessarily blowing by him.

  4. @2

    Yeah, just think if we were honest with ourselves that we were not contenders in 2014, and we decided to ship Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana for four legit prospects that would be in Atlanta in 2016. They could have taken the hot start by Gavin Floyd, and traded him well before he went down to injury after 9 starts. Perhaps we could have pulled a Jonny Gomes and dealt Ryan Doumit to a contender for a lottery ticket. And that’s what we could have done when we were pretending. You’re right; we could still do it as a contender.

  5. This guy is better than our typical lotto ticket. I mean he’s still a long shot, but this is the kind of thing that we need. We literally aren’t risking anything here. Dario looks pretty damn good to me, but we’re still at least two years from being competitive and bullpen arms don’t look like they’ll be scarce in our system. Collecting high-risk high-reward is still a really good plan for where we are right now.

  6. I think you definitely hold onto Folty for the long-term because he has such good stuff. Same thing with Newcomb and Sims. But for the guys that don’t have that top-of-the-rotation potential and are already high-minors and majors, like Ellis, Whalen, Jenkins, Blair, Banuelos, Gant, Povse, and even Wisler, I wonder if 2017 will be a back-end-of-rotation revolving door of trying guys out and trading them for higher-potential, low-minors picks. You could really build a machine that keeps repeating the cycle that resembles the early-to-mid 90’s for many, many years. And while you’re doing that, you can keep taking the high-upside high school picks like Wentz, Mueller, and Anderson, but you can survive the bust rate because you’re constantly doing it. The days of the Sean Gilmartin’s, Jason Hursh’s, and Mike Minor’s are over.

  7. Yeah, Dario is the piece that you’d like to have kept. Kimbrel/Chapman type K-rates are nice to have. But gotta give something to get something, and we gave up very little. Dario might be a dominant reliever for a few years, but he’s more likely to implode and be worthless in another month.

  8. Isranel Wilson and Brett Cumberland are starting to hit a little better in Danville. I have an irrational vision of Wilson roaming the OF for us one day and hitting bombs everywhere.

  9. Just imagine what we could get if we packaged this kid with our next third lefty and 6th starter. We’d maybe get ourselves a hitting prospect without a high K rate or weed masking problems.

    Coppy reminds me of that kid who started out with a stick of gum and a box of thumbtacks and 20 trades later has a Porsche in his driveway.

  10. @10

    He better not be Dwight Schrute, who traded his thumb tack all the way up to a telescope and then into… a bag of magic beans.

  11. I used to have Ken Griffey’s baseball for Nintendo 64. You could pick up fringe players off waivers and package them for below average players, package below average players for average players, average players for stars, and stars for superstars. After hours of effort, you could have an all-star roster. Actually playing the game thereafter was far less interesting. I have a feeling Coppy grew up playing that game, too.

  12. I think The Demerit (kill the extraneous letters) was thought of as 3B but was moved to 2B based on Rangers’ depth at 3B.

  13. @13
    I used to do the same thing, until you ultimately have a lineup of all guys with giant hitting circles.

  14. @17, exactly. That Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez rotation was pretty solid, too.

  15. I loved that game. I loved the SNES one more, even though they weren’t licensed to use the real players names. (You could edit the players’ names to fit the real player. Fred McGriff was named D. Crime.)

  16. The batters in that game also complained to the umpire when they swung and missed on strike three–every single time. “OH, COME ON!” I swore BJ Upton was going to do that in 2014.

  17. I recall an outfielder named Can O’Corn in the SNES one. Always cracked me up for some reason.

  18. That was well hit.

    That one may have been longer.

    Is there local bus service to Gwinnett?

  19. Rob Whalen: 4 ip, 1 h, 1 bb, 6K, 0 r

    Hard to argue he doesn’t deserve a call up with a rotation spot open.

  20. So basically we’re going to throw $150 mil at Wilson Ramos, eh?

    And Austin Riley hit his 4th HR in 9 games.

  21. Chase, in some ways, is kinda “circus gimmick”, but it’s hard not to like the guy.

  22. That is just another Atlanta Braves inning where the inability to leave the yard really prevents them from turning a ton of hits into a big inning. Yes, they got three runs, but there was the potential for so much more.

  23. The problem with that inning, if there was one, was not that we didn’t hit enough home runs. Homers aren’t missed when you string 6 hits together. They’re missed when you have a lead off walk and that’s it. You can turn a 1-hit inning into a 2-3 run inning with a homer.

  24. I’m starting to think that Wisler isn’t very good and might be Kyle Davies with better control.

  25. If you’re going to get six hits in an inning, one needs to be a home run? Would it have mattered last inning? Probably not, unless it was one of the last couple. But you’re also right that in an inning when you get one or two baserunners on, every now and again you need to clear the bases. The Braves today have 10 hits, and no home runs. The Phillies have eight hits, three of which were home runs, and they’re comfortably in the lead with less hits.

    With the tying run at the plate, I think we can all argue that this is a good time for a home run.

    Hector Olivera had his first XBH outside of the GCL tonight, so ya know… we’re good.

  26. Watching Matt Wisler lately, I keep having to say, “He’s only 23. He’s only 23. He’s only 23.”

  27. Seems to me Wisler only has 2 good pitches. They tried to make him throw 20 change ups last start and he continues to struggle with it. Maybe it’s time to think about converting him to the bullpen.

  28. Good for Jose Ramirez. In the same game that Dan Winkler’s elbow exploded, Ramirez gave up a bomb to (I think) Bryce Harper, and he’s been down in AAA ever since. He had been really good with a 2.18 ERA, more strike outs than innings, and a solid WHIP. Might as well give him another shot.

  29. Aybar has reached base 3 times tonight, so I suppose we’re stuck with him 6 more weeks.

  30. And we hit pretty well, 5-13, with RISP. 2 GIDP didn’t help, and neither did the fact that Wisler gave up 4 runs before recording his first out.

    Trivia time: Only 2 Braves have been worth 1.0 oWAR or more. Who are they?

  31. Wisler sent to AAA. Bet nobody would’ve predicted that at the start of the season.

  32. Don’t care how bad we are. The mound at the Ted is not the place to figure stuff out. Send him down or DL him.

  33. The fastball/change is solid with Wisler. He just needs to get more control on his breaking pitch. I agree; let him take a couple starts in AAA.

    Tyrell Jenkins, third starter.

  34. Watching some video of Demeritte, he consistently has a weird kind of load-pause-reload thing going on. Its like a guy foiled by a breaking ball trying to stay back, but he does it every pitch. I wonder if that’s contributing his swing and miss problem, and if it will hurt him against advanced breaking balls.

  35. 55 — What Bowman was saying was that he didn’t feel comfortable with his change up. But you’re right, his slider has been getting hammered lately too.

  36. Jj, we used to call that a “hitch.” And yeah, it’s a problem, and not just on off speed stuff.

  37. @60 – “hitch” has always made me think of the hands stopping once and then traveling backward again. This is the whole body, leg lift, hand load, then stop and restart. I hope they fix it, but fixing it will slow his march to the bigs.

  38. Chase d’Arnaud has something of a hitch, but am I wrong in thinking that it hasn’t hampered him all that much?

  39. I hope we won’t try to “fix” people until/unless they are really truly struggling.

  40. @64 – Players are constantly being asked to “work on” things or “tighten” things as they progress through the minors, as it’s clearly understood that imperfections that may pass at one level will be exposed later on. “I hope we won’t try to “fix” people…” is just saying something to say something.

  41. krussell has made it known that he thinks there’s nothing to really work on for prospects who are excelling at high-A, so what he’s saying here is consistent with that. Got to give points for internal consistentcy.

  42. I don’t believe it’s even possible to re-learn how to hit. See Heyward, Jason.

  43. That’s funny, I’ve always thought of Heyward as proof that you shouldn’t rush prospects in general and that you should have them work on their obvious flaws at low levels, rather than coast on talent and then ask them to adjust at the big league level.

  44. If we had any sense, we’d have already called up Demeritte to start at third base for us. Must not want to start his clock, greedy jokers.

  45. Yep, your only chance to work on flaws is in the minors. There’s no coaching, no help, no advice in the majors. If you miss those magical 2 years at AAA then you are just hosed.

  46. Chris Cotillo on Twitter

    Source: Braves moving toward trade involving reliever Jim Johnson. Have been close to moving him “for days.”

  47. @67, He’s got a career 113 WRC+, which includes this absolutely miserable season he’s having now. Doesn’t mean he’s any good right now, or that he’s making Theo Epstein feel great about the contract he signed, or that he’ll ever hit well again–but let’s not pretend he has been a waste of a hitter at the major league level.

  48. I’m not saying he’s a waste Edward. I’m saying he’s a good example of what happens when the whole world wants to fix your swing.

  49. Man the Padres got a pretty nice haul from the Marlins for two meh pitchers. The SP market is kinda nuts.

  50. Bowman sez Braves carrying 10 relievers tonight. I imagine Snitker can barely contain his excitement at the sheer mass of burnable resources.

  51. Lucas Sims: 6 ip, 1 h, 1 bb, 7K

    Roberto Hernandez: 5 ip, 10 h, 5 runs. He has nothing left to prove…

  52. @80 – I was totally impressed by Sims until I saw that he plunked three batters.

  53. @83

    Why would we trade Teheran? I feel like some of these rumors are akin to a homeowner finding out his house is extremely valuable, but then realizes that he has to relocate within the same market. Trading pitching so that you have to later trade for more pitching seems counter-productive.

  54. wasn’t that a myth, csg?

    I could’ve sworn that aside from a few starts at the start of the year, his velocity is only down a mile or so from his high.

  55. What a game! Tyrell earned his win; Markakis was a hittin’ fool, and Erick was a big league shortstop. Who’da thunk it?

  56. Congratulations to Tyrell!

    @85 Priced in.

    If Mississippi’s pitching staff looked like Rome’s pitching staff, you could reconcile dealing him with trying to win in the next three years. It does not. They want to preserve a modicum of hope for the new stadium.

  57. Seems me there’s still a decent chance the Braves trade Teheran prior to Opening Day next year, but only if some other pitcher on the staff emerges as an “Opening Day starter”. I guess what that means is, if Folty finishes the season strong with a bunch of Ks and some Ws then Coppy may feel they can sell Braves tickets without Julio.

  58. You guys realize the price for veterans is higher before the deadline, right? Why would we want to compete with teams desperate for catching? Why give up prospects to try and outbid some contender for the chance to pay McCann millions of dollars to catch our 100th loss?

  59. The only reason I believe they would make this move would be to sell tickets in the new stadium. He’s still a pretty good player, but he’s a catcher, he’s old, and he hits for a bad average. I don’t remember him to be anything special as a receiver or thrower either.

    Pass. Just continue to suck for the rest of this year, get the #1 pick and go from there.

  60. @92

    I’m not sure if you can assign market truths to every player in every situation. You’re right, it would seem like the Braves would be better suited to get veteran players in the offseason because:

    -They don’t pay a theoretical premium for a mid-season acquisition for a stretch run that does not exist.
    -More options exist because more teams are in a position to shake up their roster. With that said, there is more competition for said options.
    -(More importantly) They’ll know more about their current roster/prospects and what they’re working with for 2017.

    With that said, if there isn’t a significant amount of interest for McCann, then the same deal available in July ’16 might be the same deal available at the Winter Meetings. And like it or not, McCann does have value to the Atlanta Braves in their current context: veteran leadership, hits for power, and, yes, has local appeal. If we can’t get Jonathan Lucroy, Wilson Ramos, or Oakland’s catcher, then you may as well set sail with a McCann/Flowers duo, especially if New York would kick in cash. A McCann/Flowers ticket is one of the best catching tandems in baseball. Look it up.

    I do vote no on Matt Kemp. Even if much of his salary is absorbed by San Diego, you can only have one left fielder, and on this roster, he ain’t it.

  61. After watching this weak punching Judy lineup I’d be fine with sticking Kemp in the middle of the order and in LF

  62. Good gosh, can we just trade Jim Johnson already? Unless we deal Cervenka too (which would surprise me since we traded Alvarez), then Johnson is, I speculate, our last “tear down” trade. Not much of one, but I think finishing off the 2016 trade deadline would put the icing on the “tear down” phase of the rebuild. Not to say we won’t (or even shouldn’t) sign one-year flyers and trade them at the deadline even when we’re good, but I think it would symbolize the end of this portion of the era. I would like to think that Coppy is holding out until he can trade a spare part for another prospect that will make us say “wow”.

  63. Kemp only makes sense if you know you can get rid of Markakis. They’re not dumb, and they know they have a huge lack of power. Kemp and Markakis are probably similar defensively nowadays, and I think the Braves could trade some contact and on-base with Markakis to gain power from Kemp. Plus, if you take on Kemp, you then have 5 outfielders with some level of expectation to see time at the major league level with Mallex, Ender, Olivera, and Markakis.

    I think it’s almost certain we will have a very, very different roster in 2017.

  64. I think some of you guys would trade several pitching prospects for the chance to pay a replacement level outfielder $20 million just because he hits the ball over the fence once every 6 games. You have become obsessed with homers because this team is so power starved that you’re willing to scuttle the rebuild to get a one-dimensional slugger. Matt kemp has been worse than Nick Markakis every single season for 4 years. We do not need him.

  65. They have money to spend this off-season. Could spend it on salary-relief/prospects with a McCann or Kemp deal. I suppose it could make sense to use cash that way and make a smaller splash this off-season. Trying to build a team in one off-season seems to fail frequently (Marlins and Padres come to mind).

    IRC Coppy thinks FA’s are overpriced, generally.

    EDIT: @102 Were we talking about GIVING prospects to land him? I thought we were going to do like with Arroyo.

  66. I didn’t say what I would give up for Kemp. We have $60-70 mil to spend via the expected budget for next year. What if it’s Olivera and some mid tier prospect for Kemp and Cash?

    We won’t be improving this offense with anything from FA.

  67. So why not look for a reclamation project like Puig, especially if the Dodgers pick up some of the tab? Comb through the bargain basement bin.

  68. I’m not certain they’ll improve the offense with something from FA, but I’d be shocked if they didn’t buy someone.

  69. Getting rid of Olivera is tempting, but Kemp is owed $18 million per year for the next 3 seasons (Dodgers pay 3.5 mil) And if he’s replacement level now, with a .285 on base percentage (yes, it hurts the eyes), imagine him in 2019 standing stock still in left field.

    The idea we’d throw in a prospect to acquire that albatross of a contract is ludicrous. Olivera, as much as we hate him, is only owed $6 mil per season. Let’s not compound his mistake by turning him to a more expensive worse version of himself. a replacement level player who hits 25 homers is still a replacement level player.

  70. I’m sure it’s somehow Wren’s fault that the Braves traded away Wood for Olivera.

  71. Kemp is the kind of player that it’s expected you’re going to play him every day. Olivera’s the kind of player nobody expects to ever see suit up in a Braves uniform in any meaningful way. The former is a .285 OBP you have to pencil into the lineup 140 times a year. The latter is a sunk cost that’s easier to internalize and be at peace with.

    Trivia: Hector “The Kid” Olivera is only 18 months younger than Matt “Old Man” Kemp.

  72. Excuse me for being repetitive but…

    Ian Anderson (GCL): 4 ip, 6 K, 0 bb, 2 h, 0 runs

    On the season, 15 ip, 14 K, 4 bb, 0 ER. That’ll do, son.

  73. Sounds like my prediction above, Olivera for Kemp, may be getting close to being completed

  74. Rosenthal:

    Kemp owed $18M from ’17 to ’19, with #Dodgers paying him additional $3.5M per. Olivera owed $27.5M from ’17 to ’20. Likely more to this.

  75. I’m of two minds about this. I’m glad Hector’s someone else’s problem, but why in the world would we want Kemp? XM MLB said the Padres were just going to release Hector. We could have done that and saved money.

  76. @116- this. Just because he’s owed x dollars above Olivera doesn’t mean he’ll be here long enough to get all if it from us. This is Johnson for Bourn+Swisher again. Just because neither of those two bounced back enough to flip doesn’t mean Kemp can’t.

  77. Plus I think if Kemp was a FA this offseason we would give him a 3/27 deal. Worth the risk IMO

  78. This could be good, depending on the money coming back. Glad there is no additional prospect going to SD

  79. @120

    No one here has advocated sending prospects for bad contracts. I don’t know where you’ve gotten that.

  80. @122, nope–see 105:

    “What if it’s Olivera and some mid tier prospect for Kemp and Cash?”

  81. @121 – It’s the “back” part of “bounce back” that I quibble with. Olivera has never hit anywhere but Extended Spring Training/Gulf Coast League. He’d have to have had success to return to success.

    Kemp is owed about $60m from today until the end of 2019. Olivera about $30m from today until the end of his deal. If the Padres send $10m, they are paying $40m, giving us Kemp and a $20m payment obligation, and taking away Olivera and a $30m payment obligation.

    We save $10m and get a real live average major league hitter. After paying Kemp $5m for the remainder of this season, we are essentially signing him to a 3yr/$15m deal. That’d be an optimistic but defensible move on its own. That it’s made under the duress of owning Hector Olivera makes it a fantastic move.

  82. JJ: do I understand your last post correctly? Are the Padres taking on more money to be rid of Kemp?

  83. Pretty sure it’s a good move for both teams. SD frees up a spot for a young guy to come up, they cut Olivera, and eliminate some future payroll.

    We gave up a useless player and get RH power bat. I think his numbers improve in Atl and then we have the option of trading him with a lot smaller contract attached

  84. If Kemp can OPS .800 for the first half of next season, we can trade him next July for prospects. That would be a coup.

  85. My only struggle with this is whether or not we ever actually found out what we had with Olivera. I’m going to trust Coppy and Co., and all of the scouts. Perhaps when Olivera got in the organization, they said, “Dammit, we got a lemon.” But he definitely didn’t get the requisite amount of at-bats you would normally give someone at the major league level to identify if someone is a fraud. The big picture question is, “how do you value someone if you don’t know what you have?”

  86. When you hit women harder than baseballs it makes it an easy choice

    Rosenthal…Sources: #Padres can escape $28.5M obligation to Olivera only if he goes to prison for domestic-violence charge. Case still pending.

  87. @139, I would agree if we had just released him outright, but we got a potential trade chip for him. Maybe turned nothing into something.

  88. Julio topped out at 88 mph in the 5th and was pulled after 86 pitches…hope he’s alright

  89. @139 – On field, I think the main failure in the assessment of Olivera was the idea that he could play 3rd base. Once that went out the window, it was probably easier to assess that his bat wasn’t likely to cut it in LF.

  90. I like this deal. I don’t care people are saying he is not as good as he was but the guy still hits 26hr. Coppy is trying to send out the message to the fans that we are not aiming for the worst record in baseball.

  91. @146, I’m fine with that message for next year. This year, I expect to finish last or I will be disappointed.

  92. @139 – that is hunting for a downside as hard as you possibly can.

    @130 – No, I confused myself above.

    Padres owed Kemp ~$60m, and now they owe Olivera $30m, plus they gave us $10m. So they went from owing $60m to owing $40m, saving $20m.

    The Braves owed $30m, traded it for owing $60m, but got $10m towards it. Braves now owe $20m more than yesterday, but they own an in decline Kemp for 3.5 years instead of a never-was Olivera. Kemp at $5m for this half-season, plus $5m each year for ’17, ’18 and ’19.

    Thats why i say that if the Braves had signed Kemp in the coming off season to a $15m/3yr deal, you’d call them foolishly optimistic, but it’d be a sum small enough to be absorbed if things went south. That they made such a deal while clearin any obligation to Olivera makes it a no-brainer, for me.

    We are $20m poorer, cash-wise, but the team is instantly better at the ML level, and Kemp has infinitely more future trade value than Olivera, as your can’t multiple by 0 and get anything but 0. The Padres will now hold on to Olivera only long enough to see if he’s convicted of a felony, hoping to save his whole contract, and when he’s not, they’ll release him, thus eating $40m of the $60m they once owed Kemp.

  93. I am having trouble understanding how Kemp is walking so much less. I get a player not being able to catch up to a fastball as he gets older, but I thought this was an “old” skill that got better as a player aged?

    Anyone have a theory?

  94. Would it be kosher for there to be an agreement with the Padres to share any savings from a potential Olivera criminal conviction?

  95. Sean Newcomb: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 R. He’s starting to mix in some good starts with his lousy ones.

    Travis Demirette went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk and… 2 Ks!

  96. So net of Olivera’s contract and money the Padres are sending to us, the Braves take on an additional $15 million in total. Including Olivera’s contract we are paying Kemp at the rate of 14.5m per year for the next three seasons. This is not bad at all if he can stay healthy and continue to hit home run.

  97. Oh wait, seems like the Padres are sending us the money which the dodgers are sending to them. So it will still be 54m for three years for us.

  98. I’m persuaded that this is a good deal. I would have been content to park Olivera in AAA until he proved he could hit a baseball and field a baseball…you know, baseball stuff. But he’s essentially worthless until then, and with the other factors in his life, just a black hole on the ledger.

    Kemp’s numbers on the road this year are somewhat better than his numbers at Petco. Maybe he’ll respond to Turner Field and put up bigger numbers. And maybe Coppy thinks Kemp’s bat will play a lot better at SunTrust next year. The front office probably has some idea how that park will play for the hitters they’re acquiring and developing.

    Anyway, I think we should all hope that Kemp puts together a really nice last two months. Hit .290…up the walk rate a smidge…keep on hitting homers…that’ll do.

  99. Seems like a big bet against defensive value. Primarily because of his defense, B-Ref and Fangraphs both have Kemp as considerably less valuable than Markakis each of the past three years.

    EDIT: Joe Simpson is extremely aware of who pays his salary.

  100. MLBTR has what appears to be the final line. We’ve increased our financial outlay by $8.5m for each of the next 3 years to turn Olivera into Kemp.

  101. @164 – … where do you get that? They save about $26m. 8.5m per year for each of the next three years.

  102. I meant $8.5M per. I’m surprised they felt like saving $8.5M was worth jettisoning Kemp.

  103. They get $26m and a place to put Hunter Renfroe. So they free money without really creating a hole.

    Also worth noting, after hitting .222/.234/.443 over the first 44 games of the season, Kemp has hit .292/.324/.524 over his last 56 games. The Padres must have felt they were selling high, and, fairly, they expect his production to go down as he gets older each year. They probably thought saving $26m was the high tide.

    On the Braves side, that .850 OPS across his last 56 games doesn’t have to his real level of ability for him be tradeable for a prospect. But the closer he stays to it, the less money they’ll have to eat to do it.

    If we get 1 year of .800 OPS out of Kemp, running his remaining commitment down to 2 yrs and $43m, considering we already owed $28.5m to a big sack of nothing, we could easily eat an additional $5m and trade him to an AL club to pay him $9.5m/2 yrs just to mash lefties. Adjust the price we eat accordingly based on how he performs while we own him.

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