After looking imminent early in the day, a trade involving veterans Alberto Callaspo and Juan Uribe seems to have regained traction and has been now agreed upon by both the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. The initial snag came with Callaspo declining the trade for a variety of reasons. First off, he enjoyed Atlanta and did not want to move to the west coast. In addition, Callaspo feared he may be released for cap relief, and if he was kept on the team, be buried under Jimmy Rollins, Alex Guerrero, Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner which would significantly decrease his playing time from what he was receiving in Atlanta.
Braves receive: RHP Chris Withrow, 3B Juan Uribe
Callaspo had been far from brilliant in his time with the Braves posting an ugly .206/.293/.252 slash in 37 games, most of which came starting at 3B for the injured Chris Johnson. Atlanta likely sees the veteran Uribe as an upgrade over Callaspo, and possibly over the up and down Chris Johnson. Acquiring Uribe also makes Johnson available for a possible trade to upgrade Atlanta’s struggling bullpen. That’s also why Withrow is in the deal. He hasn’t pitched in over a year after needing Tommy John, but is scheduled to be healthy within the next couple weeks. It’s definitely a risk with Withrow, as it’s unclear whether or not he’ll recover well, but in 56 IP between 2013 and 2014, Withrow posted a solid 2.73 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. If all goes well for Atlanta, Uribe can help them out at 3rd base, and Withrow will team with the revitalized Jim Johnson and young Brandon Cunniff as three consistent RHP out of the bullpen.
Dodgers receive: LHP Eric Stults, IF Alberto Callaspo, RHP Juan Jaime, LHP Ian Thomas
It’s fair to assume that the Dodgers like Callaspo’s versatility and strong OBP throughout his career, although he isn’t all that different of a player from Justin Turner or Enrique Hernandez. Los Angeles also likely felt confident in turning over the 3B job to Alex Guerrero who boasts a .313/.348/.687 slash with 8 home runs and 20 RBI. In addition, Callaspo could also be utilized to give the struggling Jimmy Rollins a rest every now and then. The main thing that probably drew the Dodgers to this trade though was the amount of relief arms involved. L.A. is currently missing Pedro Baez, Brandon League and Joel Peralta from their bullpen along with Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Beachy and Hyun-Jin Ryu from their rotation. In addition, the Dodgers only have two LHP in their bullpen in Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell. This would likely mean the veteran Stults and inexperienced, but seemingly serviceable Thomas stick around, while Jaime is likely reassigned, at least for the time being.
Ultimately, both teams get something they need. Atlanta gets a healthy, consistent third basemen and a finesse arm to boost their bullpen, while the Dodgers add a plethora of bullpen arms, and a versatile veteran. Interestingly enough, the Dodgers and Braves are currently in a series, so the dealt players could be seen with their new teams as early as tomorrow.