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Oh, fabulous: the Braves get Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth

Jul 31, 2010, 4:29 PM EDT

Not content to acquire an awful player from the Royals at the deadline, the Braves got two!  Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth.  In exchange, the Braves give up reliever Jesse Chavez, outfielder Gregor Blanco and prospect Tim Collins, who just came over from the Blue Jays in the Yunel Escobar deal.

[composing myself]

Ankiel hasn’t been particularly useful for over two years and he’s been hurt most of this year. He has played a lot of centerfield but he’s not good enough to be a centerfielder anymore, if indeed he ever truly was.  He has some pop, but he doesn’t know how to get on base and hasn’t hit for average basically ever.  You’ll recall that his pitching career effectively ended when he went all Steve Blass on the Braves in the 2000 NLDS.  I guess Atlanta was forced to trade for him eventually on a “you broke it, you bought it” theory.

I called him terrible, but that’s not fair: Kyle Farnsworth has actually been good this year. A 2.42 ERA and he’s been walking far fewer battersand giving up fewer homers this year than he ever has. I won’t say he’s gotten smarter, but maybe he’s gained a certain kind of wisdom over the past year or so. Or maybe he’s just been lucky. It’s worth noting that this is his second stint with Atlanta, and his first stint — back in 2005 — was highly successful.

Chavez is a tomato can, so good riddance to him.  Blanco has been nothing more than a fill-in for Atlanta and never will be much more than that. He really doesn’t have any place in Kansas City either, unless of course the Royals are looking for new and exciting ways to block Alex Gordon.  Losing Tim Collins irks me. He is an utter monster strikeout machine and I think he could be pretty good as a major league reliever. He’s short, though, and apparently every general manager is obligated to discount the performances of short pitchers due to some blood oath.  I don’t get it.

Ultimately the Braves get an outfielder — which they needed — but not necessarily a good one (update: intellectual honesty compels me to admit that, yes, Ankiel is probably a better option than running Melky out there every night).  The interesting thing will be seeing whether the Braves still think Ankiel can play center (he can’t) or if they’ll play him in right and put Jason Heyward in center (better, but it scares me). 

  1. malmstorm - Jul 31, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Beats Todd Hollandsworth, no?
    …don’t answer that…

  2. James - Jul 31, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    This is a perfectly fine trade. The Braves managed to upgrade 2 positions and in essence gave up nothing to do so. Yeah, the Braves didn’t get all-stars, but they gave up filler, and improved the club. No reason whatsoever to dislike this trade.

  3. nps6724 - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Getting rid of Chavez alone makes this a positive. And Ankiel is better than Melky has been.

    Ankiel can’t hit LHP for anything but he hits RHP pretty well. Hopefully he’ll platoon with Matt Diaz, who absolutely CRUSHES LHP (he is 2nd to only Pujols vs. LHP the past few years).

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and get 07-08 Ankiel instead of 09 Ankiel.

  4. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Sorry man, I can’t help but chuckle. Enjoy Farnsworthless.

  5. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    The reason to dislike this trade is that it doesn’t upgrade anything about the Braves enough to make any real difference just as the revivified and re-armed Feelies are barking up their ass. They needed to do a lot better in terms of building run production and they totally did not do so. If I were a Braves homeboy I’d be pretty ill too. I mean, in terms of substance even the Feesh improved more significantly – enough, at least, to lay some ugly September spoilers on some poor team that didn’t improve significantly.
    I feel your pain, Craig. May the Buddha cause his tears of compassion to splatter on thy pate.

  6. nps6724 - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    BTW Craig, I think they traded Collins because he’s a LHP. When Wagner retires, we’ll still have Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, Mike Dunn, and Lee Hyde in the minors.

  7. nps6724 - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    But what OF was really worth trading for? Every decent guy (Jose Bautista, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Cody Ross, Luke Scott), their teams wanted a bounty worthy of a stud player. None of them were worth the top prospects the teams wanted. While I wish we could’ve gotten better, I’d rather have our top MiLB prospects and Ankiel than losing the prospects for Cody freakin’ Ross.

  8. Sweepthleg - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    To put a good spin on the trade the Braves didn’t really have to upgrade they are still in first in the NL east and have the pitching staff to stay there. The Phillies had to make a big trade to get Oswalt (good luck with that he’s like 1-7 against the braves with a 7 ERA?) because they have to catch the Braves. So the Braves upgraded their team a little and staid the coarse leaning on what they were doing in May and June to continue to get it done for the next 3 months.
    So far I trust Frank Wren to do what’s best for the club and keep them contending. The Farm system is loaded with talent so here’s hoping the Bravos continue to keep it on track in the Natti

  9. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Don’t worry, the Feesh were not going to part with Ross anyway. He’s reasonably priced and under control for a couple more years, and Beinfest really wants to hang onto him until he decides if Cameron Maybin is going to work out or not. Again, the issue isn’t whether or not Ankiel is any better than what you had. Given his terrible OBP, his proclivity for the emergency room and his congenital inability to hit LHP, he’s a spot player at best and, assuming he’s even healthy, a liability in the outfield. He’s not going to make enough of a difference, especially with Prado now down for perhaps two weeks and the Feelies gathering steam. Any way you slice it the Feelies are the better and hotter team now. I see a cat fight through early and mid August as Team Horsemeat and Velveeta claws its way into the division lead, and the Braves playing catchup for the rest of the season.

  10. B-Rush - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    It’ll be an interesting wait. I wonder if the Braves are worried about what happened with Texy a few years ago?

  11. YankeesfanLen - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Calm down, Jason, Craig deserves ribbing but we got Kerry Wood.

  12. nps6724 - Jul 31, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    There wasn’t a Tex-type player available. It was more they didn’t want to give up a Tex package for a Ross or Willingham.

  13. SadPandaRevolt - Jul 31, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    I’ve always kinda dug Farnsworth, if for no other reason than his name.
    If he ever says “Good News, Everyone!” he will become my favorite player ever by default.

  14. willmose - Jul 31, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Ankiel’s position should be first base, that the way the late Bing Devine saw it. Perhaps that is the way to go with him next year when Gauss is gone.

  15. Buccofan - Jul 31, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    No, the ketchup goes ON the horsemeat and velveeta sandwich. Just an hour-plus ago, I was told this by a south Jersey native.

  16. SDelMonte - Aug 1, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    I hear he and Nick Johnson have a table reserved in the trainer’s room.

  17. SDelMonte - Aug 1, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    This is why I am content that the Mets did nothing. Sometimes the urge to Do Something leads to such strange trades as this.

  18. BC - Aug 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Ankiel is a better option than Melky, and he’s certainly better than The Walking Disaster That Is Nate McLouth (who will likely never have another AB with Atlanta anyway). And Ankiel has a cannon for an arm. At worst, you have a decent corner outfield defensive replacement who can hit you a few HR’s. or a guy you can run out there 3 or 4 days a week who won’t kill you.
    Farnsworth? That one I don’t get. They couldn’t have done better? Maybe upped the ante a little and tried to get Soria?

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