Added to the 40-man roster: Randall Delgado, Matt Young, Cory Gearrin
These moves were made to protect all 3 of these men from the Rule V draft, which I believe is this weekend...if the Braves are involved at all, I'll say something, The team usually loses a player or so a year and doesn't pick one up...last year, Edgar Osuna went to the Royals, didn't make the team, and the Braves let them keep him. OK then. I was actually a little surprised to learn Delgado was eligible, but he was signed when he was 16, so I guess it works out. As for Young and Gearrin, this gives both of them a prime opportunity to make the major league roster. Young can play all 3 outfield positions very well, and got some time at second this summer (not that it matters with two guys who can do that on the roster right now). What's the deal on Young, in case you don't know? He's a really great player, but is older (28), so he's not a huge top prospect. He walks a lot (10.5% last year), doesn't strike out at all (10.9%), and is a very efficient base stealer (39/46 last season). He doesn't have great pop, and is more of a doubles hitter. In other words...he's a PERFECT fourth outfielder who can get some playing time in center if Nate McLouth struggles. I expect him to get a fair shot at making the roster in March. He's having a great winter in Mexico: .356/.454/.475 with 21 walks and only 14 strikeouts in 31 games.
Cory Gearrin. I've been writing about his time in the AFL lately, which just ended last night...full writeup on that to come Sunday. He's gassed out though right now, which explains the 8 earned and 11 hits in his last 8 innings. He's thrown a career high 98 2/3 innings this season...nice to see the Braves coddling their young arms. His previous high was 54 2/3 last season. Just a bit of a jump there. Gearrin keeps the ball on the ground, and could probably do what Peter Moylan did last season at a fraction of the cost. It wouldn't surprise me to see him get an invite to spring and see Moylan shipped out of town in March. But who really knows anymore...
As for Randall Delgado, he's a top 3 prospect in the organization. At 20 years old, he struck out a batter per inning at Myrtle Beach and Mississippi this season and posted a 3.30 ERA between the two levels. He'll probably start next year in AA after struggling immediately after his promotion, but don't be surprised if you see him in Gwinnett by midseason. This move was procedural to protect him from the Rule V draft, but he could be in Atlanta as soon as 2012, though I have no idea who's spot he'd be taking.
One more transaction. The Braves sold -- yes, sold -- outfielder, power hitting god, and former first round pick Cody Johnson to the Yankees. As a fan, this really bums me out. Johnson is a guy who has holes in his swing the size of the state of Georgia, but when the bat hits the ball, it goes a long way. It seems silly to just sell him like that, but I'm pretty sure he was eligible for the Rule V draft, and a team probably would have taken him from the Braves. So at least they got something...though they could have had Johnson for 25 grand, because there is no chance in hell he could stick on a major league roster at this point in time, especially the Yankees roster. It's sad to see him go, but I'm going to wish him the best of luck in New York, and will hopefully see him in action this summer when Norwich comes to Harrisburg. The best power in the Braves system belongs to uh...who now? Its not good I can't immediately think of someone.