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Braves trade with the Cubs for relief pitcher and infielder


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Braves trade for reliever

Willie Harris released to make room on roster

By DAVID O'BRIEN

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/04/07

Nashville, Tenn. The Braves took care of two needs with one deal Tuesday morning when they traded right-hander Jose Ascanio to the Chicago Cubs for left-handed reliever Will Ohman and utility infielder Omar Infante.

To open a spot on their 40-man roster, outfielder Willie Harris was designated for assignment by the Braves, who might re-sign him to a minor league contract if he's not picked up by another team.

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Ohman is a cheaper bullpen replacement for veteran lefty Ron Mahay, who's expected to sign a lucrative free-agent contract with another team. Infante, who played six positions last season for Detroit, will have many duties including backing up shortstop Yunel Escobar.

The clubs were expected to announce the trade at around 1 p.m. at the Winter Meetings in Nashville.

The Braves were high on Ascanio, 22, a hard-throwing Venezuelan rookie who totaled 84 strikeouts with 24 walks in 94 innings last season, including 13 strikeouts in 16 innings for Atlanta after a promotion from Class AA Mississippi.

But they felt they had to pay the price to get one of the few available lefties on the market, especially with a solid backup infielder included in the deal. The Braves are still looking for a stopgap center fielder and a backup catcher, but general manager Frank Wren has said he doesn't feel compelled to make either move during the Winter Meetings that run through Thursday.

Ohman, 30, is 6-8 with a 4.33 ERA in five seasons, all with the Cubs. The Braves are getting him for his prowess against lefty hitters he has a .196 career opponents' average by lefty batters.

He struggled last season with a 4.95 ERA in 56 appearances, but Ohman's .282 opponents' average included a still-respectable .236 by lefties. In 2006 he had a .208 opponents' average that included a stingy .158 by lefties, who were 16-for-101 with 42 strikeouts.

Ohman had a sore shoulder in August, and drew the ire of some Cubs by suggesting the training staff knew he was hurt but didn't tell manager Lou Piniella.

Infante, 25, hit .271 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 166 at-bats during his sixth season with the Detroit Tigers, then was traded for Jacque Jones. He had as many as 225 at-bats only twice in six seasons including 2004, when he hit .264 with career-highs of 16 homers, nine triples, 55 RBIs and 503 at-bats.

Last season Infante played every infield position except first base and at least one game at every outfield spot, including 12 games in center field. Most of his experience has been in the middle infield.

He has a .253 career average with 32 homers, 154 RBIs and .298 on-base percentage in 494 games.

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Ohman will be in a reserved role, mainly for the Carlos Delgados (if healthy) or Ryan Howards of the league.

I am not a huge fan of Omar Infante, but we have to step back and look at what we are expecting from this trade. I am upset that we lost Ascanio, but we filled two holes, and most important: Chris Woodward won't be back this season!

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Twinblade (12/4/2007)
The Braves are not gonna get big name players for a very long time....we lose good players and bring back unknown or washed up players.
If by big name, you mean guys like Arod, then you are correct. But keep in mind, big names don't always equal championships.
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kicker23 (12/4/2007)
Twinblade (12/4/2007)
The Braves are not gonna get big name players for a very long time....we lose good players and bring back unknown or washed up players.
If by big name, you mean guys like Arod, then you are correct. But keep in mind, big names don't always equal championships.
Heck no...not Aroids. I mean like make a trade for Santana or get a decent CF like Coco.
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Twinblade (12/4/2007)
kicker23 (12/4/2007)
Twinblade (12/4/2007)
The Braves are not gonna get big name players for a very long time....we lose good players and bring back unknown or washed up players.
If by big name, you mean guys like Arod, then you are correct. But keep in mind, big names don't always equal championships.
Heck no...not Aroids. I mean like make a trade for Santana or get a decent CF like Coco.

What do you call Teixeira? He's one of the top 5 1st baseman in the league right now. I'm sorry, but Coco isn't worth what it would take to get him, and how much we would be paying the guy. We have Schaeffer waiting in the wings (who is not washed up, or an unknown by the way), and Josh Anderson, who is very capable of being a stop-gap for a year. The guy [Anderson] plays very good defense, with average-good speed, and is a good hitter with good gap-to-gap power. He won't light up the stat sheet, but he is a much, much better option than the $4m+ we would be paying for Crisp.

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man i dont know if i like this trade or not yet... i haven't seen Ohman pitch but he definitely doesn't have the kind of name I want a pitcher to have lol... I can see the AJC headlines now lol... And I like the dude we traded.. he was a promising hard thrower... oh well atleast we see Wren isn't afraid to pull the trigger lol

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Found this article on Fox sports thought it might interest some of you if not give you peace of mind a little bit

Trying to figure out why the Braves coveted left-handed reliever Will Ohman, whom they acquired Tuesday from the Cubs in a three-player deal? Check out Ohman's home-road splits the past three seasons:

At Wrigley Field: 1-4, 6.72 ERA, .281 opponents' batting average in 67 innings.

On the road: 4-3, 1.62 ERA, .172 opponents' OBA in 78 innings.

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atlbrave (12/5/2007)
Twinblade (12/4/2007)
kicker23 (12/4/2007)
Twinblade (12/4/2007)
The Braves are not gonna get big name players for a very long time....we lose good players and bring back unknown or washed up players.
If by big name, you mean guys like Arod, then you are correct. But keep in mind, big names don't always equal championships.
Heck no...not Aroids. I mean like make a trade for Santana or get a decent CF like Coco.

What do you call Teixeira? He's one of the top 5 1st baseman in the league right now. I'm sorry, but Coco isn't worth what it would take to get him, and how much we would be paying the guy. We have Schaeffer waiting in the wings (who is not washed up, or an unknown by the way), and Josh Anderson, who is very capable of being a stop-gap for a year. The guy [Anderson] plays very good defense, with average-good speed, and is a good hitter with good gap-to-gap power. He won't light up the stat sheet, but he is a much, much better option than the $4m+ we would be paying for Crisp.

Tex will be the next to leave anyways.

The Braves are no longer a threat in the NL, as other teams get better, we just keep getting worst. Starting with pitching.

Ever since Leo left, thats when everything went down hill...pitching wins.

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Twinblade (12/5/2007)
atlbrave (12/5/2007)
Twinblade (12/4/2007)
kicker23 (12/4/2007)
Twinblade (12/4/2007)
The Braves are not gonna get big name players for a very long time....we lose good players and bring back unknown or washed up players.
If by big name, you mean guys like Arod, then you are correct. But keep in mind, big names don't always equal championships.
Heck no...not Aroids. I mean like make a trade for Santana or get a decent CF like Coco.

What do you call Teixeira? He's one of the top 5 1st baseman in the league right now. I'm sorry, but Coco isn't worth what it would take to get him, and how much we would be paying the guy. We have Schaeffer waiting in the wings (who is not washed up, or an unknown by the way), and Josh Anderson, who is very capable of being a stop-gap for a year. The guy [Anderson] plays very good defense, with average-good speed, and is a good hitter with good gap-to-gap power. He won't light up the stat sheet, but he is a much, much better option than the $4m+ we would be paying for Crisp.

Tex will be the next to leave anyways.

The Braves are no longer a threat in the NL, as other teams get better, we just keep getting worst. Starting with pitching.

Ever since Leo left, thats when everything went down hill...pitching wins.

Wow, quit with the Leo #####. Look at what he did in Baltimore, and see if you still want him. As for Tex, there is no way to know if he is leaving or staying. He just built a home in Georgia, and I'm sure he'd like to live near it. He's worth the $20m+ he'll be making, moreso than an A-Rod, or Andruw Jones. As for us getting worse, how do you explain that? What team in our division has gotten increasingly better the last two years? The Mets with trading away a very good prospect in Milledge for nothing, or maybe the fact that they still do not have a great SP on that team. Yeah, that's better! :rolleyes: Washington couldn't even pull the trigger on trading away Soriano, and look what they have now for him (here's a hint: nothing). Philly is the only team worth mentioning, and even they are replacing one helluva player in Rowand with possibly Jayson Werth..How about them Marlins too, with trading away their 2 best players, for good prospects, but just that..prospects. The Braves were a consistent #4, and #5 pitcher away from being in the Playoffs, and only need to replace Andruw in Center, all while adding a great option for the #3 slot (Glavine), and solidifying the rotation with Jurjjens. We have one of the best 1,2 starters in the NL (behind SD), with probably the best offense to boot. I'd say we're in pretty good shape for '08.

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if there is one thing I have learned following the braves is to never get too upset when they trade away a young arm.

look at the DOZENS AND DOZENS of young arms they have traded over the years that were suppose to be the next big thing only to never hear from them.

I mean remember the guys they traded for Hudson?

yea me neither :)

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  • 1 year later...

Well this turned out to be a great trade for the Braves. Ohman had a career year and Infante was solid playing at over the place at LF, CF, 3B, SS, 2B. Mean while Jose Ascaino was awful when he got a chance with the Cubs for a few games.

But I can't stand I didn't echo many of the same thoughts here. I thought it was a bad trade when it happened. But that just goes to show how much we know. ;)

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