John Hart keeps making moves. Saturday night it was announced that the Braves had traded Phil Gosselin to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Bronson Arroyo and Touki Toussaint. “Goose” had gotten off to a nice start in a utility/backup infielder role for Atlanta, hitting .325 in 40 at bats. Unfortunately, he has been sidelined ever since breaking his thumb in a series against the Marlins, and is still weeks away from returning. The UVA product is now headed to Arizona. With Pedro Ciriaco impressing recently in Andrelton Simmons’ absense, it’s clear he is capable of handling a utility infield role, making Gosselin expendable.
Really this trade is all about the Braves taking some salary in exchange for a highly touted prospect. Bronson Arroyo is a proven veteran who has a reputation for being an iron man, but his arm finally broke down. The 38-year old underwent Tommy John Surgery last season. Arroyo could return in August, but there’s a decent chance we never see Arroyo in a Braves uniform. He recently expressed that he is having elbow discomfort in his throwing arm. However, if the club is competing, the former All-Star Arroyo could be a nice late season boost to our rotation from an experience standpoint. The Braves will pick up the $9.5 million he is owed for 2015, and he has a $13 million club option for 2016 with a $4.5 million buyout. The prize in this trade is Touki Touissaint, a 19-year old starter who was taken with the 16th overall pick in last year’s draft. Touissaint is considered to be a top prospect in the Diamondbacks organization, and was ranked as Baseball America’s 71st prospect headed into 2015. He will surely be in my top 5 when our prospect list is updated, and he’s having a nice year in A ball, as he has posted a 3.69 ERA in 7 starts.
You can really think of this move as Atlanta paying Arizona for a top prospect. Gosselin was an expendable piece, and it’s clear this move is all about money. The Diamondbacks are now off the hook for Arroyo’s contract at the expense of giving up a high ceiling arm. Atlanta has stolen a top prospect.