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Braves Acquire Third Baseman Juan Francisco From Reds

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Third baseman Juan Francisco is now an Atlanta Brave.
Third baseman Juan Francisco is now an Atlanta Brave.

The Atlanta Braves twitter account just announced a trade in which the team has acquired third baseman Juan Francisco from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher J.J. Hoover. Francisco has tried for the last few years to break into the Reds everyday lineup, but has been blocked at third base by Scott Rolen.

This is most likely a move that will make Francisco the starting third baseman, at least until Chipper Jones returns. Francisco is a slugger who should provide some additional pop in the Atlanta lineup. He has prodigious power, but also strikes out a lot and doesn't draw many walks. He's an average to below average defender in the field. So pretty much all of his value is in his power.

Francisco became available in part because he is out of minor league options. In Hoover, the Braves give up a guy who could be a middle of the rotation workhorse or a reliable setup man in the bullpen. It is unclear how the Reds will use him.

I like this trade for the Braves. Atlanta unloads more of its expendable young pitching depth, but adds a young infielder who could be ready to blossom at the Major League level. However Francisco performs in the first few weeks of the season, he'll shift to a bench role once Chipper Jones returns from the disabled list last this month. Francisco's presence also allows the Braves to give Chipper more days off throughout the season without having to shift Martin Prado around the diamond.