Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Atlanta Braves have traded disgruntled shortstop Yunel Escobar to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for journeyman shortstop Alex Gonzalez. There are other players involved in the trade, but the two shortstops are the focus here. I don't think Escobar ever "got it". I believe he has an enormous amount of raw talent, and from the neck down he is close to being the total package as a major league shortstop. However, he never seemed to grasp the Braves way to play team baseball. He was so very often moody, he very often failed to hustle on the base paths, and he just never seemed to mature into a bona fide major leaguer. I think that this trade will be good for Escobar. He needs a change of scenery, and a chance to get his head straight. I hope he goes on to have a great Major League career. As for Gonzalez, he is 33 years old and in the midst of one of his best offensive seasons. His batting average is .259 with 17 homers, 25 doubles and 50 RBIs. He in no way is the shortstop of the future for the Braves, but he will be a good addition for the stretch run this season. His bat will be a good addition to the lineup, and his attitude will be an improvement in the clubhouse. I think this is a good trade for Atlanta, and I really believe Yunel Escobar orchestrated his own ticket out of town.