Braves @ Dodgers May 27, 2015: Unpacking the Juan Uribe Trade

The trade that didn’t really seem to make sense is now official, and it still doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Braves
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
2B
Peterson
CF
Pederson
CF
Maybin
SS
Rollins
1B
Freeman
2B
Kendrick
RF
Markakis
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Uribe
3B
Turner
C
Pierzynski
LF
Guerrero
LF
Gomes
RF
Heisey
SS
Simmons
C
Ellis
P
Wood (L)
P
Greinke (R)

Juan Uribe and Chris Withrow are now officially members of the Braves, and the four players coming over from Atlanta have received their assignments.

(Sergio Santos was also DFA’d to make room on the 40-man, and Chris Heisey, starting tonight in right, because Scott Van Slyke has a sore back, has been recalled.)

If you’re desperate to understand “why,” well, know that you’re not alone. Ken Rosenthal has some ideas on that:

  • Callaspo is a lefty bench bat on a team that needs one when both Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier are playing.
  • Callaspo is seen as being more versatile, which, okay, I guess, but Enrique Hernandez and Darwin Barney exist, too.
  • Stults is likely to clear waivers and remain in the organization, adding to depth.
  • Thomas is going to be used as a starter in the minors, despite little experience doing so.
  • Withrow might have had a hard time keeping his 40-man spot this winter, considering that he’s likely to miss the entire season.
  • The money saved by offloading Uribe isn’t just the $1m difference in his salary, but also helps cut down the luxury tax penalty, if only slightly.

So, those are certainly reasons, in addition to the fact that Uribe’s agent reportedly told the team they’d welcome a move for more playing time. Are they good reasons, enough to have done the deal? Uncertain. The whole “adding a lefty bat” makes enough sense, except that it doesn’t matter what side Callaspo is standing on when he’s awful, as he has been. The versatility angle seems pretty tenuous to me.

Ultimately, this probably isn’t going to matter much. We all loved Uribe, but he wasn’t contributing, and it’s easy enough to see him having just been cut when Hector Olivera comes up, or if Alex Guerrero is still crushing the ball when Yasiel Puig comes back and forces Andre Ethier to left, eating into Guerrero’s outfield time. That very well might be Callaspo’s fate, instead. Really, the only way this could bite the Dodgers is if Withrow turns into a dominant reliever again, and that surely wasn’t going to happen this year. Probably, this is a trade we don’t need to think about that much again.

It still feels weird right now, though, particularly since Uribe is starting for Atlanta tonight. I imagine the reaction he’ll get from the Dodger Stadium group will be a must-see event. I also assume that A.J. Ellis isn’t the only player who feels this way…

So long, Uribear.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.