Atlanta has consistently been trying to trade infielder Chris Johnson and momentarily thought it had a potential deal in place. The Braves and Indians discussed a deal that would have sent Johnson to Cleveland in exchange for Nick Swisher, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, however Atlanta ended the talks because of Swisher's salary.
Johnson has proven to be a versatile and consistent infield option however he is batting just .252/.294/.333 to complement one home run and seven RBIs through 44 games. He was signed to an extension worth $23.5 million over three seasons after the Braves acquired him in the Justin Upton trade. The deal was met with skepticism and Johnson is still due $21 million through the end of the 2017 season.
While Johnson has struggled offensively and ultimately lost his starting job to Juan Uribe following a hand injury, Swisher has had difficulty remaining healthy. The talks were ongoing before the Indians placed Swisher on the disabled list with a knee injury and his salary resulted in the deal not getting done. While Johnson is only earning $6 million in 2015, Swisher is due $15 million by the end of the season. Swisher is due $22 million through 2016 while Johnson will be paid $20 million through 2017.
Swisher, 34, has been a consistent outfield piece in the past but is batting .198/.261/.297 through 30 games and has only posted two home runs and eight RBIs.
While both Swisher and Johnson could be moved before the trade deadline, their respective salaries might make it challenging. Both could be valuable pieces on a contender's bench although neither would be cheap. In any potential deal, the Braves and Indians would likely have to include some form of financial compensation. The contracts are notably large and each could remain with their respective club as a result.