Trading Places: Braves and Royals Swap Five Players
Sunday August 1st, 2010
Looking to secure their lead atop the National League East standings, the Atlanta Braves announced a five-player deal with the Kansas City Royals. The Royals sent outfielder Rick Ankiel, pitcher Kyle Farnsworth, and cash to the Braves for outfielder Gregor Blanco , pitcher Jesse Chavez, and minor league pitcher Tim Collins.
The Braves were desperately searching for an outfield bat coming into the deadline, as with the exception of Jason Heyward , their outfield has been atrocious, both offensively and defensively. With the trade deadline coming down to the wire on Saturday, the Braves made a desperation trade in order to try and bolster their outfield offensive production.
Rick Ankiel signed a one-year deal with the Royals during the off-season and has only appeared in 27 games this year due to a quadriceps strain. He's hitting .261 with a .317 OBP and 4 home runs over 92 at-bats this season. Although Ankiel has some pop in his bat, he struggles to reach base (6.5 BB% over the past two seasons) and strikes out at a high percentage (25.4% over the past two seasons). Ankiel wouldn't start on most teams, but with current state of the Braves' outfield, he will accumulate quite a few starts.
Kyle Farnsworth returns to one of his former employers, as he pitched in 29 games for Atlanta during the 2005 season. Farnsworth, often referred to as "Farnsworthless" has actually improved over the past two seasons while in Kansas City. Prior to his time with the Royals between the seasons of 2006 - 2008, Farnsworth posted a 4.54 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 ratio, and a 1.5 HR/9 ratio over 186 1/3 innings. During his two seasons with the Royals, he's posted a 3.40 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 ratio, and a 0.5 HR/9 ratio over 82 innings. While Farnsworth won't win "Relief Man of the Year" anytime soon, he's capable of striking hitters out.
The Royals have enough depth at the outfield position, so Gregor Blanco assumes the same role he did with the Braves. Jesse Chavez has a 5.89 ERA over 36 2/3 innings this season, and will fit in nicely with the rest of the Royals' bullpen. The interesting player that the Braves decided to part ways with is 5' 7'', 155 lbs. Tim Collins. Collins was the left-handed pitcher the Braves acquired during the Yunel Escobar - Alex Gonzalez trade earlier this month. Collins has racked up some hefty strikeout numbers this season while pitching at the Double-A level, posting 87 strikeouts over 51 innings with 11 saves. A hard throwing lefty who is showing this kind of success is a rarity for any club, so trading him is odd, especially when the Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said "Collins can pitch in the big leagues right now".
While the Braves acquired MLB ready "talent" with Ankiel and Farnsworth, the moves certainly don't provide much of an upgrade from the current team. One thing that still grabs my curiosity is the fact that Braves were not involved in the Ryan Ludwick trade talks. Was the price too high for the Braves to consider?
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