The Atlanta Braves have acquired Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Chris Johnson, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports was the first to report that a trade was close. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report that Bourn was headed back to Atlanta. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Braves will also receive $10 million from the Indians.
All three players have struggled this season and are in bad contracts. Johnson, 30, is hitting .235/.272/.320 with two homers and 11 RBIs this season. He’s signed through the 2017 season and is still owed for the rest of this season and $16.5 million in 2016 and 2017. He also has a $10 million team option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
Swisher’s deal has to be the worst of the three in terms of production and money still owed to him. He’s owed $15 million next season and has a $14 million voting option for 2017, but he would have to get 550 plate appearances to receive that money, which is highly unlikely. The 34-year-old is hitting .198/.261/.297 in 111 plate appearances this season.
Bourn is probably the most interesting piece of the trade as the Braves already have a centerfielder in Cameron Maybin. The 32-year-old is still owed $14 million next season and has a $12 million vesting option for 2017, which he will receive with 550 plate appearance. The Braves will probably try to avoid that number with the outfielder. Bourn is having a decent season and the best of the three players, hitting .246/.313/.294 in 326 plate appearances. The two-time All-Star also has 13 steals, which is three more than he had all of last season.
This looks like a great trade for both sides, with the Braves ridding themselves of the awful Johnson contract and they will have money to spend going into 2017. For Cleveland it rids them of the Swisher and Bourn and will allow them to go out and spend on some free agents this offseason.
If the Braves complete this deal for Nick Swisher, Chris Johnson would go to the Indians.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 7, 2015
nick swisher is going from indians to braves. gotta be more to it than that, a lot more. @TBrownYahoo is on it— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 7, 2015
Hear Michael Bourne also coming to #Braves in deal— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 7, 2015
Source: Indians sending more than $10M to Braves along with Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher in deal, with Chris Johnson going to Cleveland.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 7, 2015
Source: Braves close to acquiring Nick Swisher from Indians.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) August 7, 2015