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Giving up on Yunel Escobar early was one of Wren's worst moves.
After a breakthrough season for the Braves in 2009, Yunel Escobar struggled mightily in 2010. In 75 games, he was hitting .238 with no homers and 19 RBI—nowhere near his 2009 season where he hit .299 with 14 homers and 76 RBI.
So Frank Wren sent Escobar and spare part Jo-Jo Reyes to the Blue Jays for a shortstop in the middle of a great season.
Immediately after the deal, Escobar started hitting again and hit .275 with four homers and 16 RBI during his 60 games with the Jays. He came into 2011 ready to go and put together a line of .290/.369/.413 with 11 homers and 48 RBI, giving the Jays a productive 28-year-old shortstop under the team's control for the next couple years.
Gonzalez was hitting .259/.296/.497 with 17 homers and 50 RBI during 85 games with the Jays, but once he came over, he started to struggle a bit and finished the year by hitting .240/.291/.386 with six homers and 36 RBI during a 72-game run with the Braves.
Gonzalez came into the 2011 season as a 34-year-old and played like it. He hit only .241/.270/.372 with 15 homers and 56 RBI this year, although he did play outstanding defense at a premium position. Following the season, he became a free agent and the Braves must now decide if he is worth retaining.
The Braves also got two more pieces in the deal, although they almost immediately moved young power-armed reliever Tim Collins to the Royals in the Rick Ankiel/Kyle Farnsworth deal. Collins turned in a strong rookie year in middle relief as a 21-year-old this year.
The other piece is shortstop prospect Tyler Pastornicky, a player who could end up being the Braves' starting shortstop this year depending on what happens this winter. Pastornicky may end up being more of a utility player in the long run, however.
Wren has to regret this deal, giving up not only the better player, but the cheaper player, and the one still under control for the 2012 season. Gonzalez may be back, but the Braves would have to pay for him on the free agent market.
Unless Pastornicky shocks everyone, this is easily one of Wren's worst deals.