History has a funny way of repeating itself. Two years ago the Padres sent a large contract they didn’t want to the Braves for a large contract they didn’t want. Now it is being reported that the Padres are trading Matt Kemp to the Braves for Hector Olivera.
This one I am having a hard time seeing the logic. Hector Olivera has not only been a bust on the field, the Padres inherit a player who was suspended under the leagues domestic violence policy in April and currently serving a suspension for it. What?
More from Padres News
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
It was common knowledge that the Padres were looking for creative ways to create room in the outfield for top prospects like Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, and nurture the growth they have seen this season from Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson. Is this the best solution though?
Matt Kemp is having another good offensive season in San Diego. Yet his defense is terrible. He makes much more sense for an American League team that can let him hit his home runs (leading the Padres) and drive in those runs without taking the field.
Of course, it is final yet and physicals must be rendered. Usually that is routine but remember – just two years ago Kemp nearly failed the Padres physical and the Padre got more out of the Dodgers for his deal. He has shown he is healthy but still has several years left on his contract.
Meanwhile the Dodgers originally signed Olivera out of Cuba and nearly immediately gave him up to the Braves and ate a large portion of his contract. He has been bad for the Braves when he was playing, hitting just .245 in his 30 major league games and not showing the power teams were hoping. It has been rumored the Padres will just designate him for assignment when they get him, like the Braves did with Carlos Quentin two years ago.
What is the point? The Padres of course will free up some money, as ironically now the Dodgers will be paying portions of BOTH of these players salaries for a few more seasons. They can avoid moves like this, and after the Padres agreed to pay all but $5M on Melvin Upton Jr.‘s move to the Blue Jays (a contract the Braves started) it seems like the Padres will make a relatively small margin on the whole thing.
Sure, it frees up room in the outfield for Margot and Renfroe, but are they both ready? It looks more and more like 2017 will be even worse than 2016 – see 2016 Atlanta Braves – before the Padres look to go for it in 2018. That is, IF Renfroe and Margot adjust to Major League pitching in 2017, if they can find pitching of their own, and if several other core players like Austin Hedges and Cory Spangenberg/Ryan Schimpf continue their major league development.
I know there is some debate about what Matt Kemp has done for the Padres, but generally he has done exactly what we expected of him: he has hit home runs and driven in runs. He was the first Padres outfielder with 100+ RBI since Greg Vaughn in 1998. He hits home runs. Now he moves on to Atlanta – though likely not for long. By the end of it he may have three or four teams paying his contract that the Dodgers signed him too.