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Glavine Gone, McLouth In: Braves Shift Power in the NL East

Cameron BrittAnalyst IJune 3, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 09:  Nate McLouth #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats against the New York Mets on May 9, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Pirates 10-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Talk about a personnel swing.

In one day, the Braves released veteran Tom Glavine (perhaps in preparation for the next move) and traded Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez, and Jeff Locke for Pirates All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth.

Legend out, power in.

Let's tackle Glavine first.

The great left-handed veteran was given his outright release today a day after an impressive six-inning outing in AAA.

Surprising?

For me, not so much.

The guy was creating a big log jam for the Braves' five-hole with Hanson, Medlen, and soon) Hudson—all being capable of filling that role right now without the same salary (except for Hudson) or injury risk as the vet who said today (from MLBTR) that he couldn't see pitching beyond this season.

Respect is the only line that could've been crossed today, and it may have been.

But, from a business sense, it was the right move.

Now, the thing Braves fans have been waiting for: A competent offensive outfielder.

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The price for this 2008 All-Star and Gold Glover has been a bit steep (a ML-ready pitcher and uber-speed CF prospect), but he fills an immediate need and could, jettison the Bravos into a better shot at playoff contention.  

Coming off a year when he led the League in doubles and recorded 26 homers, McLouth provides an instant boost to a fledgling Braves outfield.

There goes Luke Scott, I suppose (and an chance of Schafer manning CF this season).

I kid, of course, but this—for this year at least—is an excellent move for the Braves in the power, speed (he had 23 swipes last season), and defense.

I can't really project a line-up right now, but McLouth could easily fill the five, two, or six hole (even with him being another lefty in the line-up).

Today may inspire a new wave of Wren-haters for letting another washed-up (did I say that?), oft-injured piece from the glory days go, and maybe for letting a .316 AA hitter go.

But, for my money, these moves fall pretty close to retaining Yunel Escobar and signing Derek Lowe.

Great moves. Period.

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