Dodgers get Kemp from Braves for Gonzalez, Kazmir in stunning 5-player trade
Matt Kemp is going home.
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Kemp from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Charlie Culberson, and cash considerations, the Braves announced Saturday.
The Dodgers originally picked the 33-year-old outfielder in the sixth round of the 2003 draft, and he made his MLB debut in 2006. He played parts of his first nine seasons with the Dodgers before being traded to the San Diego Padres in 2014.
His best year came in 2011, when he hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 home runs, 126 RBIs, and 40 stolen bases in 161 games. It was good enough to finish second in MVP voting behind Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
Kemp is entering the final two years of an eight-year, $160-million extension he signed prior to the 2012 season when he was still donning Dodger Blue. He's poised to earn $21.5 million in each of the next two seasons.
His stay may not be very long, as the Dodgers are expected to either trade him again or release him, sources tell The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
Going the other way, first baseman Gonzalez has one year and $21.5 million remaining on his contract. He had full no-trade protection due to 10-and-5 rights, so he had to approve the deal. The Braves subsequently designated the 35-year-old veteran for assignment.
Oft-injured starters Kazmir and McCarthy, who make $16 million and $10 million, respectively, are slated to become free agents after the 2018 season. The 28-year-old Culberson is under team control until 2022, and hit .275/.301/.363 over 49 games with the Dodgers from 2016-17.
By shedding three big contracts, and possibly doing the same by getting rid of Kemp, the Dodgers are aiming to get under the $197-million luxury tax threshold, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.