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Braves dump Yunel Escobar

Surprising 5-player deal here between the Braves and Jays, with Frank Wren cutting bait with his 27-year old starting shortstop in exchange for Alex Gonzalez and a pair of minor leaguers. Jo-Jo Reyes also went to the Jays. Escobar was having a rough season at the plate and has always been in Bobby Cox's doghouse, but he was worth 4.3 WAR last year and is still one of the more talented shortstops in baseball. Gonzalez is a good glove man and has shown uncharacteristic power with the stick this year (.238 ISO), but he's a 33-year old career .248/.294/.402 hitter who has slowed down immensely after a hot April. About the only thing that keeps me from being completely ecstatic about this deal is one of the prospects the Braves got in return: Tim Collins, a southpaw listed at 5'7" (but thats probably generous) who looks destined for a career as one of the top left-handed relievers in baseball. Despite not being able to drink for another month, Collins has torn apart Double-A this year (2.40 FIP, 15.3 K/9) and should be a stalwart in the Braves' bullpen starting next year.

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