Yes, I was talking to myself with that title, and probably to many other dire-hard fans who saw the flurry of moves that happened, and some that didn't happen just before the trade deadline. The long and short of what has transpired in the last 48 hours is that the Atlanta Braves are an exponentially better ball club, and primed for another run at the postseason. To summarize, here is what happened:
First, the Braves acquired gold glove first baseman Mark Teixeira and veteran left-handed setup man Ron Mahay for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, shortstop Elvis Andrus, and pitchers Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Neftali Feliz.
Second, the Braves sent deposed fifth starter Kyle Davies to the Royals for right-handed closer/setup man Octavio Dotel.
Third, the Braves sent deposed lefty setup man Wil Ledezman and young left-handed reliever Will Startup to the Padres for power lefty setup man Royce Ring.
Another way to look at it:
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Ron Mahay, LHP
Octavio Dotel, RHP
Royce Ring, LHP
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Elvis Andrus, SS
Matt Harrison, LHP
Beau Jones, LHP
Neftali Feliz, RHP
Kyle Davies, RHP
Wil Ledezma, LHP
Will Startup, LHP
So we basically swapped players at a 2-for-1 rate. Most of the players we traded away were minor leaguers. Going by their current assignments:
2 - major leaguers
2 - triple-A
1 - double-A
3 - single-A
What made this a more intense deadline was how long it took for the Teixeira deal to get finalized. That held up the Dotel deal, and may have held up other deals. For a moment the Braves were rumored to be heavily in on possibly getting starter Bronson Arroyo from the Reds, but I'm guessing they asked for too much and time ran out.
There is a lot of speculation that the Braves may pursue other deals that would involve getting players through waivers. One of the big names there is closer Bob Wickman. This could simply be speculation based on the Braves acquiring Dotel, who is also a closer, but I think the team will hold on to Wicky. They view Dotel as purely a setup man - a role he is better suited for.
From where I sit we still have a bit of a problem fitting all of our players into a 25-man roster. We have three first baseman - Teixeira, Franco, and Thorman. The odds on favorite to be out of the mix there is Scott Thorman, who cannot be sent to the minors. The team may try to push him through waivers, but they've got to make room on the roster tomorrow, so I see them possibly designating him for assignment, much like they did Ledezma.
The other problem with our roster is fitting all of our relievers into the mix - we acquired three bullpenners today, and only really have room for two of them. We've already sent Paronto to triple-A, and we could easily send Jose Ascanio back down (he was just called up). But how do we fit in all three guys - Mahay, Dotel, and Ring? Are we not going to keep Ring in the majors? It's in interesting dilemma, and it may be they just keep those guys down in the minors for a month until rosters expand in September. If nothing else, we are well protected in the bullpen against injury or ineffectiveness.
Photos courtesy Chip Jett.