Yunel Escobar Traded to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez As Braves Swap Shortstops

Anderson JesseContributor IJuly 14, 2010

ATLANTA - JUNE 30:  Yunel Escobar #19 of the Atlanta Braves tosses his shin guard after striking out against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on June 30, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Braves have traded shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Blue Jays for veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez in a five-player trade, according to a Braves press release.

In addition to Escobar, the Braves sent pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes to Toronto for Gonzalez and minor leaguers Tim Collins, a lefthanded reliever, and shortstop Tyler Pastornicky.

The 33-year-old Gonzalez is expected to bolster the team's offense as the second half gets underway on Thursday. In the first half, Gonazalez hit 17 home runs and drove in 50 runs while batting .259.

Escobar, 27, had been a big part of the Braves' future plans coming off three straight solid offensive seasons. However, Escobar has struggled this season hitting only .238 with no home runs and 19 RBI.

Prior to 2010, it would have been difficult to fathom the Braves getting rid of him, but leading the NL East at the break, the Braves feel that they couldn't afford to deal with his inconsistent play as they make a run towards October.

Reyes, 25, has had a difficult go this season. The lefty allowed nine runs in 3.1 IP with the Braves, and posted a 5.70 ERA in AAA.

The 20-year-old Collins has been stellar in AA, striking out 73 in 43 innings out of the bullpen. Pastornicky, also 20, was hitting .258 at high-A Dunedin and stole 24 bases.