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Pirates send Matt Diaz back to Braves for PTBNL

Aug 31, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

Matt Diaz running

Matt Diaz, who played for the Braves from 2006 to 2010 before being non-tendered this offseason, is back in Atlanta for the stretch run.

Diaz signed a two-year, $4.25 million deal with Pittsburgh as a free agent, but he hit just .253 with zero homers and a .627 OPS in 100 games and the Pirates were happy to unload his $2 million contract for 2012 (along with some cash to cover part of the salary) in exchange for a player to be named later.

Diaz was also ineffective last year, but in the four previous seasons he batted .316 with an .829 OPS in 427 games and at minimum he’s a solid platoon option versus left-handed pitching.

And he brings some added value as a crazy fan wrangler.

  1. dailyrev - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    This is fine as long as it’s meant to serve the same end of getting the mix right. I recently saw a revealing number: Bucs are 9-24 since they lost that 19 inning game in Atlanta, the one that ended with that horrible umpire call at the plate. A team loaded with AAA kids at key positions can’t bounce back from a game like that; only a team with established vets in place can turn such a heavy page. So while the D-Lee and Ludwick acquisitions made a little sense in terms of filling obvious gaps (Pirates are strong up the middle, weak at the corner positions), the real focus now needs to be on 2013-2014 rather than next year. That’s a time when they might have some real vets who are committed long-term, along with a viable ace (Cole) to benefit from the presence of a fairly solid and experienced mid-staff group (Morton, McDonald, Karstens). That is, they need to use money saved on these discards to go long-term on the players they want as their leaders in 2-5 yrs., because they can’t play the FA market the way it’s played by the uber-wealthy teams.

  2. Tim's Neighbor - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Glad to have Diaz back. He was incredibly well-liked by the fans and by the players. If clubhouse chemistry does matter at all, then Diaz will help the Braves in that category.

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Hmmmmmmm I’m pretty sure PTBNL is a waaay better ballplayer at this point…

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