Three weeks ago the Braves re-acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from the Pirates for a player to be named later and today Pittsburgh chose minor-league reliever Eliecer Cardenas to complete the deal.
Cardenas was in the Twins’ farm system until this year, when the Braves picked him in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
He had an amazing season, throwing 57 innings with a 0.75 ERA and 75 strikeouts, but he was also a 23-year-old facing Single-A hitters and has a modest track record. And he got rocked after moving up to Double-A late in the season.
He’s certainly a fair return for Diaz, whom the Pirates were happy to remove from the payroll after signing him to a two-year, $4.25 million deal this offseason. Diaz didn’t hit in Pittsburgh and has gotten a total of just 28 plate appearances in 21 days with Atlanta.