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braves-acquire-scott-linebrink | December | 2010 Articles

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Braves Acquire Scott Linebrink

Written by Joe Lucia on .

So the Braves sure did fill a hole in their bullpen in style today, acquiring Scott Linebrink from the White Sox in exchange for Kyle Cofield, who spent 2010 in Mississippi. The Braves also acquired a hefty chunk of change, $3.5 million, to help pay Linebrink's salary. All in all, the Braves will be paying Linebrink $2 million in 2011, which doesn't strike me as absurd at all. At first, I was a little mixed on the deal, then I saw that the White Sox were covering a good bit of his salary, and I got excited by things. Linebrink isn't an outstanding middle reliever, but he's a good one. Last season with Chicago, he struck out 8.16 batters per 9 and walked 2.67, both of which are more than acceptable rates. The big red mark on his resume has been his homer rate, as he's allowed more than one homer per 9 innings in each of the last 5 years of his career. But on the bright side, the last 3 of those years were in US Cellular Field in the AL, so the move to Turner Field should help lower that number a good bit. Overall, my view on acquiring Linebrink...I'm in the middle. I guess Frank Wren made the move because he wanted a proven, veteran arm in the bullpen instead of a rookie like Cory Gearrin. But Gearrin is probably ready at this point in time, so why not just roll with him? It doesn't make a ton of sense to me. At least we're not getting FUBARed on the salary.

In exchange for Linebrink, the Braves give up Kyle Cofield. Cofield was not going to be on my top 40 prospects list (which will be posted the week after the Rule V draft), and I hate him as a prospect. Cofield walks a lot of guys, nearly as many as he strikes out (a mark which he actually hit last season). He also doesn't strike out a ton, which doesn't help offset that at all. To me, he's more of an organizational arm, which the Braves have oodles of. He's a nonprospect in my eyes, and its a move that looks to open up a slot in the organization for someone who might actually have some semblance of a future. I'm not torn up about losing him at all. This isn't like the last trade in 2008 with the White Sox, where a couple of the guys we gave up (most notably, Jon Gilmore...funny how that worked out) looked like they could actually be something with a little time on their side. So from a prospect point of view, I'm content with giving up Cofield.
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