The Braves made a big acquisition to bolster their bench on Wednesday. Matt Diaz is back in Atlanta.
Matt Diaz is an Atlanta Braves once again. After a six month hiatus from the club, general manager Frank Wren has made a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates to bring the lovable outfielder back to the Braves. The trade will include cash considerations as well from Pittsburgh, and they will receive a player-to-be-named-later.
Diaz earned $2 million dollars this season and is also under contract for the 2012 season for $2 million as well.
For a team that has struggled all season to hit left-handed pitching, Diaz will be a huge asset as both an occasional starter and pinch-hitter for Fredi Gonzalez's club. Julio Lugo is currently the Braves' best right-handed pinch-hitting option of the bench and, well, that hasn't exactly worked out very well.
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Diaz has struggled this season in Pittsburgh, though his career numbers cannot be overlooked. He has an incredible split-line of .329/.369/.511 against left-handed pitchers in his career. That will help.
Expect Diaz, who has been widely-regarded as one of the best teammates in all of baseball, to fit in immediately with his "new" teammates. He was a fan favorite from 2007-2010 with the team and a big ovation should be expected tonight at Turner Field. He is batting sixth and will be in right field.
Welcome back, Matty. It just didn't seem right without you on the roster.