|Atlanta's new closer: Roberto Hernandez|
The Braves (55-32) started off hot (33-10), but we are playing only .500 ball since then that start, our bullpen has been sliding, while we need some infield depth that can play defense.
We made a small trade to acquire Kansas City's backup third baseman Kelly Gruber, in exchange for pitcher Mike Hostetler & minor league second baseman Nelson Paulino, to help in the defense department. We tried to acquire 3B/2B prospect Jeff Cirillo from Milwaukee with no success.
The last night of the deadline, we sat at 26-27 since our 33-10 start, only 1.5 games up on Houston, We started by trading prospects 1B-Jeff Manto & 3B-Israel Alcantra for a Cardinals reliever with some upside, named John Kelly.
We decided to trade RF-Melvin Nieves straight up for RP-Mike Maddux of the Kansas City Royals, uniting the Maddux brothers in Atlanta.
Roger McDowell (5.04 ERA) & Greg McMichael (5.68 ERA) were disappointing as setup men for Atlanta, and something needed to be done. We are keeping McDowell, but decided to package McMichael with prospects SP-Darrell May and 3B-Grant Brittain with $600,000 to the Chicago White Sox for closer Roberto Hernandez.
Mike Stanton (5-5, 3.19 ERA & 25 Saves) has been my closer, and will slide down to be the 8th Inning setup man, while Mike Maddux will take the 7th. Mark Wohlers will get a shot at being the 6th inning setup for the Braves, if he fails, he'll either go to middle relief work, or get more seasoning in the minors. Kent Mercker is the left-handed specialist & could be a 6th inning or later guy as well.
Alejandro Pena (4.76 ERA) was waived & designated for assignment, he is currently making $1.72 million this season & will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Atlanta will be quiet come free agency, and are setup pretty solid for the next two seasons, as they will try to rebuild their farm system.
We'll see how these moves all play out.
Other MLB Trades....
- Chicago Cubs trade SS-Alex Arias & minor leaguer RHP-Ryan Hawblitzel to the Texas Rangers, in exchange for Greg Swindell; Swindell signed a 6-year deal worth $22.16 million with the Rangers prior to the season.
- Detroit Tigers traded Gregg Olson, who signed a 2-year/$1.76 million deal with the Tigers prior to the season, was traded to the Seattle Mariners for SS-Ruben Santana; Olson led the Tigers with 18 Saves, while posting a 3.70 ERA.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates traded Sid Bream (.315, 4 HR & 18 RBI) to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Tim Belcher (9-7, 5.18 ERA) & minor league reliever Ricky Bottalico (A).
- The New York Yankees traded 2B-Randy Velarde to the Chicago Cubs for 33-year old Mike Morgan, retaining 30% & minor league closer Ben Burlingame.
- The Minnesota Twins traded C-Ron Karkovice to the Toronto Blue Jays, while acquiring Tom Henke, retaining 60% & minor league Aaron Jersild.
- The Milwaukee Brewers traded Cal Eldred to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor league outfielders Rod Myers & Eric Walls.
- The Philadelphia Phillies traded SP-Andy Ashby to the Chicago Cubs, in exchange for minor league OF-Pedro Valdes.
- One of the biggest trades may be the New York Yankees trading J.T. Snow to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for reliever Mark Guthrie & minor league SP-Brett Roberts.