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Padres trade Matt Carpenter, Ray Kerr and cash to Braves

San Diego’s getting back minor leaguer Drew Campbell

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have made another trade and this time it will open up at least one major league roster spot. San Diego is trading Matt Carpenter, Ray Kerr and cash to the Braves for outfielder Drew Campbell.

Who knows what the Padres will get out of Campbell but he finished last season in Double-A. His best year came in 2021 when he posted a .907 OPS although it was only in 27 games.

What this deal really is about is getting out of the Carpenter contract. He’s owed $5.5 million in 2024—the Padres are sending $1.5 million to Atlanta—and all he was going to be doing was clogging up a potential roster spot after a disappointing 2023 season.

The 38-year-old hit just .176 after starting out the season pretty well and it got to a point where Bob Melvin deemed him unplayable, as he went weeks without getting an at-bat.

Kerr, 29, was acquired in the Adam Frazier trade with Seattle and it looked like he was going to get a chance to be in the Padres bullpen more consistently in 2024 but now he’s headed to another National League contender. The left-hander posted a 4.33 ERA in 22 appearances last season.

“Just having some dollar flexibility,” A.J. Preller told the Union-Tribune today about why he made this trade. “Obviously, you’ve got to be able to spend on players. Hopefully in the next couple weeks, whether it’s trade or free agent, when the market kind of stabilizes, guys get to January and they’re looking for places to play, there might be some good buys out there.”