Braves: Both pieces of the Shane Greene trade are set to make their mark on the majors

Vaughn Grissom call up

At the trade deadline back in 2019, the Braves made a flurry of moves to upgrade what was one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Among the deals was a trade for Shane Greene, who was the All-Star closer for the Tigers and one of the hottest commodities on the market.

Unfortunately, Greene’s tenure in Atlanta wasn’t nearly as dominant as his time in Detroit. After posting a remarkable 1.18 ERA in 38 innings with the Tigers, he recorded a 4.01 ERA in Atlanta and quickly lost his job as the closer. Greene was better during the shortened 2020 campaign and even re-signed with the Braves in May of 2021; however, he ended up designated for assignment later that year after a dismal performance over 28 appearances.

In hindsight, it’s probably a trade Alex Anthopoulos would like to have back. The prized piece of the deal for Detroit was Joey Wentz, who was an arm I thought had the potential to be a key member of the Braves’ rotation for years to come. He’s had mixed results in the Tigers system and even missed all of 2020 because of Tommy John surgery, but he’s set to make his highly anticipated major-league debut on Wednesday.

I wish Wentz the best, and hope this is the start of a wonderful major-league career for the young man.

The other piece of the Greene trade was Travis Demeritte, who obviously is now back with the organization. He spent two years with the Tigers and had little success before he was designated for assignment. The Braves didn’t hesitate to quickly scoop him back up, and now he’s starting in place of Eddie Rosario. I’m not sure how sustainable the results are, but so far, he’s shown a lot of progress at the plate, and defensively, he might be the best the Braves have in the outfield. Hopefully, this is just the start of a lengthy major-league career, but regardless, the re-acquisition of Demeritte has already paid dividends.

Not all trades are winners. Alex Anthopoulos has certainly won plenty more than he’s lost, but there were signs that Greene’s All-Star season with the Tigers was fluky, much like Richard Rodriguez’s campaign with the Pirates last year. In both cases, the Braves took the risk, and while neither of these will go down as all-time bad trades, they are probably ones that never should have happened.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire



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