The Braves made two trades at the non-waiver trading deadline today. In the larger of the trades, the Braves acquired power reliever Kyle Farnsworth and center fielder (and former pitcher) Rick Ankiel from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for reliever Jesse Chavez, center fielder Gregor Blanco, and minor league reliever Tim Collins (who came to the Braves in the Yunel Escobar trade a few weeks ago). The Braves also received some cash in the deal.
Farnsworth, 34, pitched for the Braves in 2005 and has been very good for the Royals in 2010, putting up a 2.42 ERA and 36 strikeouts (compared to only 12 walks) in 44.2 innings. He can touch 100 miles per hour on the radar gun, but has been hittable at times in his career despite that. He is owed about $2 million for the rest of the season. His contract has a team option for 2011 worth $5.25 million, with a $500,000 buyout.
Ankiel, 31, was a star pitcher for the Cardinals earlier in the decade before losing the ability to throw strikes. He converted to the outfield and returned to the majors in 2007. He’s put up a .255 batting average, .315 on-base percentage, and .465 slugging percentage since then. This year, he’s been injured for much of the year but has hit .261 / .317 / .467 in 101 plate appearances. His defense is average in center field, though he has an excellent throwing arm (as befits a former pitcher). He is owed about $1 million for the remainder of the season, and has a $6 million mutual option for 2011 ($500,000 buyout).
Chavez has struggled since being acquired from the Rays before the season in the Rafael Soriano deal, putting up a 5.89 ERA. He did pick up the win in Friday night’s game, though. Blanco has been up and down between AAA Gwinnett and Atlanta all year, but has done a good job for the big-league club, hitting .310 / .394 / .362 and playing stellar defense. Collins had a short tenure with the Braves organization but is an interesting prospect. He strikes out a lot of batters and is left-handed, but he is also very short (5’ 7"), which leads many scouts to discount his major league potential.
In the other trade, the Braves acquired minor league outfielder Wilkin Ramirez from the Tigers for cash or a player to be named later. Ramirez had a brief stint with the Tigers last year but has been in the minors throughout 2010. He has hit .230 / .295 / .458 between AA and AAA.
MLBTradeRumors.com first broke the news of both trades.