On Monday the Atlanta Braves announced that they have released Adrian Gonzalez, who was acquired in a five-player trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
The trade sent Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson and cash considerations to the Braves in exchange for Matt Kemp. The move helped out with salary issues for both teams as it allowed the Dodgers to get below the luxury tax threshold in 2018, while the Braves saved money in 2019 as Kemp still has two years remaining on his contract and all the players they got are set to become free agents at the end of 2018, with the exception of Culberson.
Gonzalez held a full no-trade clause, so he had to waive it to make the trade happen. The reason he was willing to do so was because there was no clear path for playing time with the Dodgers in 2018, and him being released gives him the ability to assign with a team of his choice.
Despite being in the big leagues for 14 years, this marks the first time that Gonzalez will hit free agency as he signed a seven-year extension with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 after being traded from the San Diego Padres.
While it did not end well as he had an injury-plagued 2017 season, Gonzalez’s tenure with the Dodgers was a memorable one as he hit 101 home runs and drove in 448 runs in 735 games.
At 35 years of age, Gonzalez believes he still has some left in the tank, so now it just comes down to finding the right fit with a team most likely in the American League. Gonzalez is owed around $22 million in 2018, which the Braves will be responsible for paying him.