I always feel better about a Braves deal after a nap. Yesterday, Atlanta fans had their worlds turned upside down when Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Top Prospect Jose Peraza, Luis Avilan, and Bronson Arroyo were sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers. LA will eat roughly $43.5 million combined from Miami and Atlanta (they paid Olivera’s $28.5 Million Signing Bonus). I won’t be covering Miami because honestly, who cares? In return, the Braves received;
LHP Paco Rodriguez
RHP Zach Bird
A Competitive Balance Draft Pick (34th)
3B Hector Olivera
Now, when I first saw this deal, my reaction was of course that Atlanta gave up too much. The addition of Bronson Arroyo changes that, and also means Arizona gave us a top prospect for Phil Gosselin. I was first troubled by:
1. Olivera’s UCL
2. Bird’s poor play
3. Olivera’s age.
However; I need you all to put your GM caps on and take off your fan caps. Hart has checked the medical records. He knows what he’s doing, he knows that elbow better than his own. We’ve dealt with broken parts before and had it work out; look at ManBan. This deal makes sense. We shed a lot of money, first and foremost. Olivera was batting .387 with a HR, 3B, and a 2B in AAA Oklahoma City before his injury. He has been added to Gwinnett’s disabled list. Olivera may be our power hitter of the future, and we simply swapped him for a guy who makes excellent contact. I will miss Jose, but know this: WE GOT AN UPGRADE. Peraza could not make the move to third, and Jace is staying put at 2nd. He had no spot in Atlanta. Hart called Olivera “the first building block of the new offense”. Guess what? He’s also cheap. $6.5 Million over the next 5 years annually.
Jim Johnson was going to be moved at the deadline, and Luis Avilan will not be missed. In return we received currently injured Paco Rodriguez. LA sent us a time capsule essentially, he’ll be effective, but they do not have time to wait for his recovery. Rodriguez is an excellent bullpen guy; 2.54 ERA, sub .200 opponent batting average. Consider him a rich man’s Luis Avilan.
We were sent a decent pick, but here is where my troubles begin with the trade. Zach Bird was sent to us, a righty selected in the 9th round in 2012 with a career 4.74 ERA. I would have asked for Zach Lee instead. Lee is a former top 50 prospect with a career 3.92 ERA, who has also seen the Major Leagues in 2015. The Dodgers are wasting him by sending him back and forth to make spot starts, i’d like to give him a shot in Atlanta. I feel sending Alex Wood garnered him or possibly someone better. We’re gonna miss you Woody, and I wish him nothing but the best (unless he’s facing us).
Braves fans, do not lose sleep over this trade. We may lose NOW, but we’ll draft better next year. This team isn’t winning any titles even if we were to make the playoffs. We made out just fine; IF Olivera can play to his potential. Oh, and welcome to the closer role, Arodys. Good luck, you’re gonna need it.