Padres trade Matt Carpenter and Ray Kerr to Braves

The San Diego Padres bid farewell to Matt Carpenter on Friday as part of a three-player trade with the Atlanta Braves. In addition to Carpenter, lefty reliever Ray Kerr was also included in the deal. The Padres received Minor League outfielder Drew Campbell, in exchange. Carpenter’s departure comes as no surprise, given his struggles in the 2023 season and his $5.5 million salary for 2024.

The trade details show that the Padres acquired outfielder Drew Campbell, while the Braves received first baseman/designated hitter Matt Carpenter, left-handed pitcher Ray Kerr, and cash considerations. Campbell, 26, went undrafted in the recent Rule 5 Draft after putting up a .254/.307/.404 slash line in 78 games for Double-A Mississippi last season. While Campbell provides depth, the Padres still have a need for additional outfield help.

The Padres managed to shed some financial weight in this deal by sending $1.5 million to Atlanta. This means that the Braves will cover a significant portion of Carpenter’s salary and his Competitive Balance Tax hit. In addition to the financial benefits, the Padres also cleared two roster spots with the departures of Kerr and Carpenter, bringing their 40-man roster down to 32.

Kerr’s departure is seen as a significant loss for the Padres, as he showed promise last season and was expected to be a part of the bullpen in 2024. His ability to neutralize left-handed batters made him a valuable asset, especially given the team’s lack of lefty relief options. Carpenter’s tenure with the Padres was marred by poor performance, and his departure was a necessary move for the team.

The Padres now face the challenge of addressing their need for relief pitching, especially in light of several key departures. With high-profile relievers leaving in free agency and trades, the Padres must now focus on bolstering their bullpen. Additionally, the team is still in search of a potent lefty bat and may look to add multiple relievers, including a left-handed option.

While Drew Campbell’s arrival provides depth in the outfield, the Padres’ search for starting outfielders and left-handed bats remains ongoing. The team is actively looking to strengthen its lineup for the upcoming season, with hopes of securing impactful additions to their roster. As the Hot Stove season continues, the Padres are expected to remain active in shaping their roster for the 2024 campaign.

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