Braves Trading Escobar Is a Head-Scratcher

John WoelfelContributor IJuly 15, 2010

ATLANTA - JUNE 19:  Yunel Escobar # #19 of the Atlanta Braves against the Kansas City Royals at Turner Field on June 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Yesterday the Braves swapped shortstops with the Blue Jays, trading Yunel Escobar for veteran Alex Gonzalez. 


The Braves currently are in first place in the NL East and are looking for offensive upgrades.  You would just think that they could have upgraded at another position or at least gotten more for their former 2nd round pick than Gonzalez. 


Escobar has struggled at the plate in his fourth major league season, hitting only .238.  Escobar has shown a lot of potential over the last 3 seasons.  This is a guy that has career line of .291/.368/.403.  Over the last three seasons, he has struck out only two more times than he has walked.  Guys like that are hard to find.


The Braves are looking for more pop in their lineup, and Escobar has inexplicably been shut out in the home run department so far this year.  The Braves must be ready to take the chance at mortgaging some future for the chance at winning this year.  With veterans like Chipper Jones, Troy Glaus, Billy Wagner, Tim Hudson, and Derek Lowe they figure this may be the last chance for those guys to win a ring.


Gonzalez, 33, will be a free agent at the end of the year.  He has just a .248 career batting average but does have 17 home runs this year already.  His career high in home runs is 23.  Perhaps Gonzalez will bring more stability to the Braves lineup and a steady glove in the field, but I just don’t see this being a good deal for the Braves. 


To me, the Braves gave up too much for too little in return.  The Blue Jays should be happy with the return they get from Escobar for the next decade or so.


Read more:  John Mark runs a blog that covers the Cubs and the Cardinals over at