June 4, 2009

One hell of a day for the Braves

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

It’s not every day that a team releases a future Hall-of-Famer and 305 game winner — who just finished rehab. It’s also not every day that a team trades for an all-star. Well the Atlanta Braves got both of those onto the transaction list yesterday.

First, they straight up released Tom Glavine, who had pitched six innings of shutout ball in a rehab start in the minors Tuesday night and actually declared himself fit for major-league play. If you’re wondering what sense ditching a guy whose comeback from surgery and is now healthy, well it doesn’t really make sense, more like cents, as in money. Had Glavine made it to the majors, he’d earn a $1-million bonus. That’s pretty decent scratch for a 43-year-old coming off two arm surgeries in a year. This may not be the same Tom Glavine that helped propel the Braves to a record run of division titles, but the guy is at least decent.

Regardless of the motive(s) behind the move, it’s still deplorable. Especially after the Braves let John Smoltz, another one of their legends and another future Hall-of-Famer, walk away. I understand trying to turn over a new leaf and get the kids some playing time, but you should still honour your past.

Later, not even two hours later in fact, the Braves pulled off another headlining move: They traded for the Pirates best player, Nate McLouth. Well, it’s not exactly saying they’re getting an elite player since the best player on the Pirates hardly consistutes that title, but McLouth was a legitimate all-star last season and can help the Braves outfield, which is among the worst in the majors in every conceivable way.

Really, to this date, the Braves outfielders have combined for 10 home runs and didn’t exactly light the base paths on fire with only three steals. They weren’t exactly stellar on defence either, but what would you expect after signing 37-year-old Garret Anderson in the off-season? Well, McLouth stands to improve their outfield in every conceivable way now. He’s a great five-tool batter and Gold Glover in the field.

How these moves will play out for the Braves, we don’t know, but at the very least you can say they improved and landing McLouth could push them further into contention for the NL East.


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