Jul 14, 2010, 12:22 PM EDT
It’s actually a five player deal. In addition to Escobar, the Blue Jays get pitcher Jo Jo Reyes. Coming back to Atlanta with Gonzalez are minor leaguers Tim Collins and Tyler Pastronicky.
We’ve talked about Escobar recently. The Braves have long been sour on him, and the sense is that Bobby Cox and others in the organization don’t much care for his demeanor, effort and the cut of his gib. He’s a talented player, and has shown great ability with his bat and his glove at times in the past, but he is prone to simply disappearing on both sides of the ball for weeks on end. 2010 has been something of a disaster for him all around: no power, no on base skills and multiple fielding lapses.
Gonzalez is currently hitting .259/.296/.497. Lots of pop there — 17 homers so far — but the OBP is (a) terrible; and (b) almost exactly in keeping with his historical standards. The homers are flukely; he’s never hit more than 23 in a season before, and that was several years ago. He has a reputation as a great glove man, but that was based on work he did years ago. I don’t watch him much, but from what I can tell he’s now merely an adequate shortstop. Which, to be fair, is better than Escobar is when he’s in one of his increasingly frequent funks.
I’m going to take some time to investigate the minor leaguers here, but given that the Braves’ throw-in is Jo Jo “I’m basically worthless” Reyes, I’m going to assume that Collins and Pastronicky are no great shakes. UPDATE: as noted in the comments, Tim Collins looks interesting. Awesome K/IP ratio and WHIP in 194 minor league relief innings. Maybe there’s more to this deal from Atlanta’s perspective than meets the eye.
First impression of the deal: I think the Braves are selling low on Escobar and that he’s quite capable of putting up some great numbers at some point. It would have been nice to see him do it in a Braves uniform, but if I’ve learned anything from watching this team over the past 25 years, I’ve learned that when they lose confidence in someone, they are 100% certain to ship them out, so waiting for him to rebound was never in the cards. Basically, the Braves have opted for likely unimpressive but nonetheless stable play of Gonzalez at shortstop over the the bi-polar stylings of Escobar.
Say what you will, but it’s a move totally in keeping with the Braves’ organizational philosophy.
- Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years 17
- Jon Lester is willing to return to the Red Sox as a free agent even if they trade him 12
- Jose Abreu is third-fastest in MLB history to reach 30 career home runs 6
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 18
- How’d he do that? Magician Maddux fooled hitters all the way to Hall 23
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 46
- MLBPA files grievance against Astros in regard to draft pick situation 35
- The eyes have it: Thomas’ greatness built on patience 15
- Expert’s Corner: How to troll fans of all 30 teams (200)
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (162)
- Yankees acquire Chase Headley from Padres (108)
- Who is the next Face of Baseball? (97)
- David Ortiz passes Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list — is he a Hall of Famer? (92)