Update #2 (6:25 PM EST): John Gant is also going to the Cardinals, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Gant, 24, made his major league debut last season and put up a 4.86 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. He’s known for his odd delivery.
Update (6:23 PM EST): Two of the known prospects going to the Cardinals are second baseman Luke Dykstra and pitcher Chris Ellis, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB Pipeline ranked Ellis 17th and Dykstra 29th in the Braves’ system.
Ellis, 24, split the past season between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, posting an aggregate 4.49 ERA with a 126/87 K/BB ratio in 146 1/3 innings.
Dykstra, 21, spent the 2016 season with Single-A Rome. He hit .304/.332/.363 with 17 doubles and a triple along with 41 RBI and 32 runs scored in 342 plate appearances.
The Braves have acquired starter Jaime Garcia from the Cardinals in exchange for prospects, ESPN’s Mark Saxon reports. The Cardinals exercised Garcia’s $12 million club option for the 2017 season last month. He can become a free agent going into the 2018 season.
Garcia, 30, was able to pitch a full season for the first time since 2011, finishing this past campaign with a 4.67 ERA and a 150/57 K/BB ratio in 171 2/3 innings. The lefty has, in the past, been bothered by elbow and shoulder issues, causing him to miss significant amounts of time.
The Braves continue their active offseason as the club also signed veterans R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon to bolster the starting rotation. If Garcia stays healthy and pitches well, the Braves could try to trade him to a contender by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The Nationals have placed reliever Koda Glover on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Glover said he is “extremely confident” that he’ll need only the minimum 10 days to recover.
Glover, 24, felt hip discomfort when throwing his first pitch in Tuesday’s relief appearance. He attributed it to the cold, per Janes.
Glover was one of a handful of candidates to handle the ninth inning for the Nationals. It’s been a mixed bag for him, as he has a loss and a blown save along with a 4.15 ERA and a 6/1 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.
According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.
It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.
Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.
Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.