SAN DIEGO -- Matt Kemp's tenure in San Diego has come to an end, as the Padres dealt their veteran right fielder and cash considerations to the Braves on Saturday night for outfielder Héctor Olivera.Olivera is currently serving an 82-game suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy. According to
SAN DIEGO -- Matt Kemp's tenure in San Diego has come to an end, as the Padres dealt their veteran right fielder and cash considerations to the Braves on Saturday night for outfielder Héctor Olivera.
Olivera is currently serving an 82-game suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy. According to sources, the Padres plan to designate Olivera for assignment when he comes off the restricted list next week, but the club has not confirmed. He will almost certainly never play a game for San Diego.
With the trade, the Padres will save about $32 million, according to sources. Olivera is still owed about $30 million through 2020, with Kemp owed about $72.5 million through '19.
The Dodgers, who traded Kemp to San Diego two offseasons ago, still owe the Padres $10.5 million over the next three seasons, stemming from the first Kemp trade.
The Padres will send that money to Atlanta as part of this deal, which frees them up financially, as they continue to commit to their farm system. They've spent approximately $58 million already this season on amateur international signings.
"What the deal stems to, for us, is financial flexibility," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "I think we got to a point, financially, with the Braves, that it was a situation that we could use that money down the road -- re-allocate it to our big league club, re-allocate it to the amateur market."
The Kemp trade is simply the latest transaction for a club that has already flipped James Shields, Fernando Rodney, Drew Pomeranz, Melvin Upton Jr., Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea this season. In those deals, the Padres received a number of highly touted prospects in return. This trade appears to be different, with San Diego simply attempting to clear salary, freeing up money it feels can be put to better use in the future.
"It's been tough over the last number of days," Padres manager Andy Green said. "There's a lot of guys we love around here that are going places and having opportunities that are different than being on the Padres. I loved having Matt on the club. Saying goodbye to him was a tough moment.
"He's a middle-of-the-lineup hitter, but the way we look at it right now is that we're building for the future. This was the opportunity to continue to do that with some financial flexibility."
Kemp, who was batting .262/.285/.489 this season with a team-high 23 home runs, was owed $54 million by the Padres over the next three seasons. He was originally in Saturday's lineup against the Reds but was a late scratch.
Green joked with Kemp, who is notoriously set on playing every day, saying, "This is the only way I can get you out of the lineup."
During the fourth inning of Saturday's 2-1 win against Cincinnati in 10 innings, Kemp was seen hugging teammates in the dugout and saying his final goodbyes.
In two seasons with San Diego, Kemp batted .264/.301/.462, and he hit for the first cycle in franchise history last August. "We all knew it was coming at the beginning of the baseball game," Green said. "So you just give him a hug, wish him well."
In Kemp's stead, the Padres will call up outfielder Jabari Blash from Triple-A El Paso before Sunday's game. Blash is hitting .260/.415/.514 with 11 homers for Triple-A El Paso this season. He struggled mightily during his first stint with the Padres in April and May.
As for No. 2 prospect Manny Margot and No. 4 prospect Hunter Renfroe, it appears as though they could get their first shot at the big leagues in the coming months. But they'll remain at Triple-A for the time being.
The Kemp and Upton deals undoubtedly free up room for them to get a chance.
"Where we're going, what we're trying to do - we're looking to create some opportunity for some guys that have already gotten called up and some guys that are still down in Triple-A that are going to get more opportunity," Preller said. "We just felt like where we're at as a club the move for us, was to create opportunity for some of our guys and gain some financial flexibility here going forward."
As for Olivera, he signed a six-year deal with the Dodgers in 2015, before being dealt to Atlanta last year. When he was on the field, he struggled to live up to expectations, batting .245/.296/.378 in 30 games for Atlanta. Olivera was charged with a misdemeanor count of assault and battery, after a female alerted authorities that she had been assaulted at the Braves' hotel in Arlington, Va., on April 13. That case is still pending.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.