More thoughts on more curious happenings on the Braves front
Published 4:11 pm Friday, August 21, 2015
While I know what Atlanta Braves president of baseball operations John Hart was trying to do when he pulled off the team’s most recent three-way deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins, it makes me scratch my head a little.
Overall, Hart wants to get rid of some big money contracts, fill the farm system with highly rated prospects and have money to spend on free agents by the time the team moves into their new SunTrust Park in 2017.
First, the Dodgers sent three pitchers to the Marlins for right handed pitcher Mat Latos, outfielder Michael Morse and the 34th overall pick in the 2016 major league player draft.
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The Dodgers then sent the draft pick to the Braves along with left handed pitcher Paco Rodriquez, infield prospect Hector Olivera and minor league right handed pitcher Zack Bird, for a package that included left-handed starting pitcher Alex Wood, right-handed relief pitcher Jim Johnson, left-handed relief pitcher Luis Avilan and top second base prospect Jose Peraza.
The key players in the trade for the Dodgers were Wood, a former ace left hander for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and one of the top young left handers in the National League, and Peraza, a native of Venezuela and a speedy young second baseman who is hitting .294 with 26 stolen bases and three home runs in 96 games for the Class AAA Gwinnett Braves this season.
The key player in the deal for the Braves is Olivera, a 30-year-old Cuban defector who was recently called up to Gwinnett where he went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored. He debuted in the Texas League in early June where he hit .358 between AA and AAA.
The Dodgers signed Olivera to a six-year $62.5 million contract in March that included a $28 million signing bonus. The Braves are not responsible for the signing bonus.
While Olivera appears to be a sold hitting prospect that could be a strong power hitter behind slugging first baseman Freddie Freeman, the thing that makes me scratch my head is his age. Many players are on the down side of their careers when they reach their 30s. He has also had a hamstring problem. I sincerely hope that age and injuries are not problem with the Braves.