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braves-and-cubs-swap-relievers | December | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Braves and Cubs Swap Relievers

on .

Update: I've been pointed in the direction of some information that I think might affect some of your opinions on this deal. vs. Left-Handers

Year

AB

R

BAA

WHIP

K

BB

2005

81

0

.173

1.03

26

10

2006

101

0

.158

1.00

42

13

2007

72

0

.236

1.45

20

10

At Wrigley Field

Year

IP

ERA

BAA

WHIP

K

BB

2005

20.1

4.43

.224

1.48

20

13

2006

29

7.14

.252

1.72

37

21

2007

17.2

8.66

.373

2.55

14

14

Away

Year

IP

ERA

BAA

WHIP

K

BB

2005

23

1.57

.181

1.13

25

11

2006

36.1

1.73

.169

0.96

37

13

2007

18.2

1.45

.167

0.59

19

2

Looks to me like a change f scenery was a pretty good idea. I have never seen home/away splits (aside from Rockies players) that are so far apart spread out over three seasons like this. Heading into the winter meetings, Frank Wren was looking to acquire a left-handed reliever, a backup shortstop, and a veteran center fielder. He filled two of those holes today by acquiring Will Ohman and Omar Infante from the Cubs in exchange for Jose Ascanio. Ohman, 30, had a down year out of the Chicago bullpen this past season, posting a 4.95 ERA in 36.1 innings. Ohman held left-handed batters to a .236 average and struck out more than a batter per inning against them so there is some silver lining there, however he got chewed up against right-handed batters. Some timely control issues put Ohman in hot water with the Cubs, which severely lowered his value. Ohman, like Ron Mahay and Royce Ring, has some control issues, however a mid-90's fastball and a nasty slider make him very tough against lefties. For his career he has limited them to a .195 average and has over a strikeout per inning. He seems like one of those great reclamation projects that the Braves have become known for over the years. His peripherals didn't slip much from the past two years when he posted a combined 3.64 ERA so I've got a good amount of faith that he'll be a nice LOOGY for Bobby Cox to turn to out of the pen. Infante was just acquired less than a month ago by the Cubs for Jacque Jones. He's spent all six of his major league seasons with the Tigers, being primarily used as a utility infielder and center fielder. He'll likely take on a similar utility role with the Braves and is even an option to be the right-handed half of a platoon in center. Infante can play second, third, short, and the outfield, and should provide a significant offensive lift from Chris Woodward, who the Braves turned to in that role last year. He hit .271 this past season and has a career line of .253/.298/.386. With Infante in the picture, Willy Aybar and Martin Prado will have to duke it out for the other utility infielder spot in spring training. I'd mark this down as a big win for Frank Wren. He killed two birds with one stone and all he had to give up was Jose Ascanio. Not only did Wren acquire two useful major leaguers for one minor league reliever, who has struggled in the majors, but Ascanio wasn't even considered a top tier relief prospect. Some of the trade may have had to do with money for the Cubs, who freed up approximately $3 million in the deal, however that's far less than the Braves would have had to spend to get just a comparable left-hander on the free agent market.
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