Twitter exploded last night with the news of a deadline trade by the Braves sending two fan favorites to the Dodgers for Hector Olivera, and a supporting cast including Michael Morse from the Marlins.
The Deadline Trade
Most of the fans angst was over the departure of Alex Wood, he’s a fan favorite and had a super 2014; this year however he hasn’t been as sharp. Setting aside emotion,
Woody is a number three pitcher who has reached his ceiling, has awful mechanics and for whom the Braves have multiple replacements waiting. It really is that simple.
While Peraza was the Braves number one prospect and had been vaunted as the next great leadoff man, the reality is that his arm isn’t major league shortstop caliber and his defense at second is not as good as that of Jace Peterson.
Peraza doesn’t strike out but he also doesn’t walk a lot and hits mostly ground balls using his speed to beat them out. That method gets tough as a player moves closer to the big leagues and since moving to AAA his on base is just .319. While that might improve he projects close to Juan Pierre than Jose Altuve, Jeff Passan put it this way.
Avilan signed with the Braves at 16 years old and worked his way up the Braves system. He broke into the Braves bullpen in 2012 throwing 36 innings over 31 games. In 2013 He became their primary lefty reliever and appeared in 75 games throwing 65 innings with a 1.52 ERA and 0.954 WHIP.
The 2014 season was not as kind however and his ERA ballooned to 4.57 and his WHIP to 1.596 in 62 games and 43 1/3 innings. Disappointed with his performance he contacted old friend Eric O’Flaherty who told him quite bluntly that he was fat.
Avilan took that to heart and returned this year looking a lot slimmer and obviously in better shape. So far this year he’s made 50 appearances throwing 37 2/3 innings with a 3.58 ERA and 1.195 WHIP striking out 31 while walking only 10.
Johnson started the year as setup man for Jason Grilli but ended up in the ninth inning after Grilli’s Achilles explodes. It wasn’t Johnson’s first foray into the closers role, he had 100+ save for the Orioles over a two year period, then it all fell apart.
A trade to the Athletics ended in disaster and when he came to Atlanta he was just trying to get it back together. He succeeded well enough that teams called and asked about him earlier in the week. The market for relief pitchers was saturated however with players like Joaquin Benoit, Tyler Clippard, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Frankie Rodriguez to name a few on offer. So Johnson alone wouldn’t return what he might have in a different circumstance. The Braves could either keep Johnson and see him walk away at the end of the year or take the best offer made and get something in return. They chose the latter and JJ will now pitch for the Dodgers.
Late this afternoon we found that Arroyo was included and go to LA along with a portion of his contract.
Just how much of the money they get isn’t yet known but Jeff Passan indicates they accepted a total of $40M plus.
And Ken Rosenthal just said on MLB Network that he was just told the deal wasn’t final. Okay. . . I guess