I haven’t been blogging much about the Braves lately, so I’ll take this opportunity to do so. The Braves traded Ryan Langerhans to the Oakland A’s for a player to be named later and cash.
— Langerhans is not a bad player. He started the year off in an awful slump, but he’s put up OPS+ of 99 and 90 the past two seasons, and he is an excellent defender. For a center fielder who will spend some time on the bench, he’s not a bad guy to have on your team.
— The Braves did not “sell low” with Ryan because he started off the year batting below .100. Major league GMs are not stupid. Even the intern to the bat boy understands that a player’s performance in late-April is not a good indicator of how good that player is. Remember Derek Jeter’s start in 2004? He was batting .189 on May 25, but ended the year at .292. The A’s know what they are getting and the Braves know what they are giving up.
— The Braves don’t need Ryan with Matt Diaz on the team. They need pitching, which is what I suspect the PTBNL will be.
— Well, actually the Braves to need Ryan if Andruw Jones leaves via free agency. There is no one in the organization ready to take over in center, and I doubt the Braves want to go the free agent route to sign someone other than Andruw.
— John Schuerholz has been busy signing contracts—first with Brian McCann, then with John Smoltz. This deal may indicate that he is very close to locking up Andruw. With Andruw in the fold, Langerhans is completely expendable. We’ll see.