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Insider

Law: Money matters most in the Dodgers-Braves Kemp trade

Matt Kemp will return to the Dodgers, but for how long? Danny Karnik/AP Photo

I was sitting in a waiting room when my phone buzzed and I saw the subject line of an email from the Los Angeles Dodgers' PR department, which read, "DODGERS ACQUIRE KEMP IN FIVE-PLAYER TRADE." For the life of me, I couldn't imagine how Tony Kemp ended up the lead name in a five-player trade. Of course, it was Matt Kemp, former Dodger, Padre and most recently Albatross, who heads back to the Dodgers on paper -- I doubt he ever suits up for them -- in a deal of contracts and luxury-tax avoidance that sent three players who are all free agents after 2018 to Atlanta along with utility infielder Charlie Culberson.

The Dodgers get under the luxury tax threshold for 2018 in this deal, moving $51.53 million in 2018 commitments to Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir over to the Atlanta Braves, taking on the $43.5 million owed to Kemp over the next two seasons in exchange. The Dodgers are sending some cash in the trade, with some reports saying it will make the two teams' cash payouts equal.