Archive

MLB notebook: Braves, Cards address needs in 4-player swap | TribLIVE.com
MLB

MLB notebook: Braves, Cards address needs in 4-player swap

ATLANTA — Jason Heyward stirred up enormous expectations when he joined the Atlanta Braves at age 20. He homered in his first big league at-bat. He was voted to the All-Star Game as a rookie. He was hailed as the future of the game by Hank Aaron.

Heyward never quite lived up to the hype, and now he’s heading to a team looking to bounce back from tragedy.

Concerned that Heyward would leave as a free agent after next season and rebuilding with an eye toward their new stadium, the Braves dealt their right fielder and reliever Jordan Walden to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday for promising pitcher Shelby Miller and a minor leaguer.

“It’s very difficult to trade Jason Heyward,” said John Hart, the Braves’ new general manager. “But the deal was made to help us not only in the short term but the long term.”

The NL Central champion Cardinals felt compelled to pursue Heyward after top prospect Oscar Taveras was killed in a car crash last month in the Dominican Republic. The team hopes to sign Heyward to a long-term extension but didn’t want to go into next season without adding to the offense.

“The reality is we have to move on,” St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said.

Heyward said he was not surprised by the trade.

The deal signals a long-term strategy for rebuilding the roster by the time the Braves move into their new suburban ballpark in 2017.

By trading Heyward and Walden, the team shed what could have been as much as $10 million from next season’s payroll while acquiring a 24-year-old pitcher who is not yet eligible for arbitration and can’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season.

Miller went 10-9 with a 3.74 for the Cardinals, after going 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA as a rookie in 2013. He joins a rotation that also includes young starters Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Mike Minor.

Walden was 0-2 with a 2.88 ERA and three saves as a set-up reliever for closer Craig Kimbrel.

Atlanta also acquired right-hander Tyrell Jenkins, who pitched for Class A Palm Beach this past season.

Around the majors

Alex Avila’s $5.4 million option for 2015 has been exercised by the Tigers. Avila, who turns 28 in January, hit .218 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs last season, although concussion problems have become a concern over the last couple years. Detroit would have owed him a $200,000 buyout if it had declined the option. … Former All-Star Brook Jacoby has been hired as hitting coach of the Blue Jays. Jacoby, 54, was Cincinnati’s hitting coach from 2007-13 and Texas’ minor league hitting coordinator last season.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.