Braves Trade Chris Johnson to Cleveland for Bourn, Swisher, & $10 million

| August 8, 2015
USA Today Photo

USA Today Photo

ATLANTA — The Braves finally unloaded the contract of Chris Johnson, trading the third baseman to the Cleveland Indians on Friday in exchange for veteran outfielders Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher and $10 million in cash.

Johnson is owed about $19 million through 2017, and the Braves have been trying to trade him since last fall. He got a $23.5 million three-year extension from former Braves general manager in May 2014, after leading the National League batting race for much of the 2013 season in a career-best year in which he finished with a .321 average, 12 homers and an .816 OPS.

Johnson slipped to .263 with 10 homers and a .653 OPS in 2014, and has been used as a platoon player this season and has a .235 average with two homers, 11 RBIs and a .592 OPS in 56 games.

The Indians are sending $10 million in cash to cover the difference in the amounts owed to Johnson and to Bourn and Swisher, who each is signed through 2016 with vesting options for 2017. Bourn, the Braves’ center fielder in 2011-2012, is owed $14 million in 2016 with a $12 million option that vests with 550 plate appearancesin 2016. He’s hit just .236 with no homers, a .313 OBP and 13 stolen bases in 95 games this season.

Swisher, 34, is on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed knee and has struggled mightily for two seasons. He’s hit just .198 with two homers and a .261 OBP in 30 games (111 plate appearances) this season and is owed $14 million in 2016 with a $14 million option for 2017 that vests with 550 plate appearances.

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