Braves acquire infielder Paul Janish from Reds

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The injury-riddled Braves have secured some insurance for the shortstop position.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com confirms that the Braves have acquired infielder Paul Janish from Reds in exchange for minor league right-hander Todd Redmond. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that he’s expected to join the Braves tomorrow.

The Braves have been on the lookout for help ever since Andrelton Simmons fractured his right pinkie finger on Sunday. The need became even more urgent after Jack Wilson dislocated the middle joint of his right pinkie finger and Martin Prado was forced to fill in at shortstop. The Braves have called up Tyler Pastornicky, but Prado is back at shortstop again this afternoon against the Mets.

Janish is highly-regarded for his defense, but he owns a lowly .221/.289/.302 batting line and a .591 OPS over 975 plate appearances in the big leagues, all with the Reds. The 29-year-old has played exclusively with Triple-A Louisville this season, compiling a .237/.332/.391 batting line and .722 OPS in 49 games played.

Redmond has a 3.57 ERA over parts of eight seasons in the minors, but he’s been stuck at Triple-A Gwinnett since the 2009 season. He’s 27 years old and has never been considered a top prospect despite solid results, so he’ll presumably function as organizational depth with Cincinnati.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.