The Braves are interested in the Yankees’ Eduardo Nunez

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John Harper of the New York Daily News reports that the Braves have asked the Yankees about the availability of Eduardo Nunez.  That’s fine as far as it goes. The Braves need someone to play shortstop and there aren’t a ton of great candidates available.

Think of it as last call. You look around and find someone that might make you feel good for a little while.  I won’t judge you, man.  That is unless you actually think you love that person at the end of the bar:

“They need offense, they need a shortstop because they don’t want to bring (Alex) Gonzalez back, and they like Nunez a lot,” Harper’s source said. “They know the jury is out on him defensively, but they think his offense is strong enough that he could move to the outfield if he can’t be their long-term answer at short.”

Er, OK. Look, Nunez has his uses, but he also has an OBP of .318 and a grand total of 30 homers in 2700+ career minor league plate appearances. I know it’s not the 90s anymore, but if it’s offense which makes him attractive to you, Frank Wren, you may want to make sure you aren’t goggling.

Not to say that there isn’t a lot of room for the Braves and Yankees to make a trade here. The Braves have a lot of pitching lying around and will have to move Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson — almost certainly Jurrjens — at some point soon.  These two teams have hooked up in trades in the past and it would not be at all shocking if they did again.

But Braves: you had better ask for something more than Eduardo Nunez’s mighty bat if you’re going to make a deal, OK?

Casey Kelly signs with the LG Twins in Korea

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We wrote a lot about Casey Kelly on this site circa 2010-12.

It was understandable. Kelly was a big-time draftee for the Red Sox and famously split time as a shortstop and a pitcher in the minors, with some people even wondering if he could do it full time. The Sox put the kibosh on that pretty quickly, as he became the top overall prospect in the Boston organization as a pitcher. He then made news when he was sent to San Diego — along with Anthony Rizzo — in the famous Adrian Gonzalez trade in December 2010.

He made his big league debut for the Padres in late August of 2012, holding a pretty darn good Atlanta Braves team scoreless for six innings, striking out four.  He would pitch in five more games in the season’s final month to not very good results but missed all of 2013 and most of 2014 thanks to Tommy John surgery.

He wouldn’t make it back to the bigs until 2015 — pitching only three games after being converted to a reliever — before the Padres cut him loose, trading him to the Braves for Christian Bethancourt who, like a younger Kelly, the Padres thought could be a two-way player, catching and relieving. That didn’t work for him either, but I digress.

Kelly made a career-high ten appearances for a bad Braves team in 2016, was let go following the season and was out of the majors again in 2017 after the Cubs released him a couple of months after he failed to make the team out of spring training. He resurfaced with the Giants this past season for seven appearances. The Giants cut him loose last month.

Now Kelly’s journey takes him across the ocean. He announced on Instagram last night that he’s signed with the LG Twins in the Korean Baseball Organization. He seems pretty happy and eager about it in his little video there. I don’t blame him, as he’ll make $1 million for them, as opposed to staying here and almost certainly winding up in a Triple-A rotation making $60K or whatever it is veteran minor leaguers make.

This was probably way too many words to devote to a journeyman heading to play in Korea, but we so often forget top prospects once they fail to meet expectations. We also tend to forget all of the Tommy John casualties, focusing instead on the Tommy John successes. As such, I wanted to think a bit about Casey Kelly. I hope things work out well for him in the KBO and a baseball player who once seemed so promising can, after a delay, find success of his own.