It took multiple twists and turns, but the Los Angeles Dodgers trade with the Atlanta Braves was made official Wednesday morning. The Dodgers sent Juan Uribe and Chris Withrow to Atlanta in exchange for Alberto Callaspo, Eric Stults, Juan Jaime and Ian Thomas.
Callaspo was placed on the active roster, Jaime was sent to extended Spring Training, Stults was surprisingly designated for assignment and Thomas was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Dodgers also recalled outfielder Chris Heisey from Triple-A and designated Sergio Santos for assignment.
Callaspo, who will wear Uribe’s No. 5 jersey with the Dodgers, was the linchpin in the deal as he held a no-trade clause that expired June 15 due to having signed a one-year, $3 million deal the Braves in the offseason. He initially vetoed the trade after the talks were reported before changing his mind prior to first pitch Tuesday, which revived discussions.
The development led to Callaspo being scratched from the lineup for a second consecutive day. Stults was rumored to be a player involved, but some cooled off that thought when he began warming up and eventually making an appearance Tuesday night. With the Dodgers well in the lead, the left-hander retired 10 of 11 batters faced in 3.2 scoreless innings.
For Stults it would’ve been a homecoming of sorts as he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2002 (15th round). He made his Major-League debut in 2006 with the club and was 8-10 with a 4.84 ERA, 4.84 FIP and 1.51 WHIP in 35 games (24 starts) over parts of four seasons.
Stults this season is 1-5 with a 6.634 ERA and 5.62 FIP in eight starts. He’s struck out 30 and issued 11 walks in 44.0 innings with his home/away splits relatively even. He was in the Braves’ starting rotation until last week.
Thomas, 28, signed with the Braves in 2012. He has a 3.94 ERA in 21 relief appearances over the last two seasons with 18 strikeouts and 11 walks in 16 innings. He’s appeared in nine games between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett Thomas and thrown 15 scoreless innings.
Over his Minor-League appearances this season Thomas has 20 strikeouts to just one walk. Jaime was designated for assignment April 13, cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A. In six games with Gwinnett and Mississippi, he has a 6.75 ERA, nine walks and seven strikeouts.
Uribe had a subpar spring and sluggish start to the season, which coupled with the emergences of Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner, resulted in him falling out of favor at third base. Guerrero and Turner have split time at the hot corner while Uribe has looked on from the bench more times than not.
The 36-year-old veteran has made 22 starts this season and figured to fall further down the depth chart with Hector Olivera’s expected arrival. Uribe is batting .247/.287/.309 with one home run, two doubles and six RBIs in 87 plate appearances over 29 total games.
Where Callaspo fits in with the Dodgers is largely unknown. He’s more versatile than Uribe, but it isn’t as though he’s joining a team with a lack of infielders. It’s not beyond reason to believe Los Angeles will designate him for assignment down the road.
Similarly, Uribe’s joining the Braves is also an interesting development. Atlanta is expecting Chris Johnson to soon return from injury and it can be presumed he’ll be placed back at third base once healthy. Though, Uribe does provide additional insurance in the event Johnson struggles.
Uribe is the final season of a two-year, $15 million contract and prior to Tuesday’s game was at ease with the idea he may soon be on the move, though he was more emotional on his way out of Dodger Stadium Tuesday night. Withrow is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is expected to return in the second half of the season.
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