The Braves have brought back a familiar face in southpaw reliever Eric O’ Flaherty. The former Brave was acquired Sunday morning from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations. Alongside Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, O’ Flaherty was one of three players that comprised “O’Ventbrel”, one of the most dynamic late-inning trios baseball has seen in recent history. O’ Flaherty had a rough 2015 campaign, but in five seasons with Atlanta he had a career 1.99 ERA. It’s clear that the left-hander has experienced the most success in his career under the tutelage of Roger McDowell.
Right-handers ate O’ Flaherty’s lunch last season, but he could be utilized as a very effective LOOGY option. Ian Krol simply was not going to cut it in our bullpen, and while Alex Torres looks to have a legitimate shot at earning a roster spot as another lefty, he is known as a guy who carries reverse splits.
Atlanta is the best possible landing spot for O’ Flaherty as he looks to regain his pre-Tommy John Surgery form. He could end up being a very valuable asset to a Braves team who has struggled to find any type of consistency from its left-handed relievers, and giving up absolutely nothing to acquire him is an ideal low-risk, high-reward deal.