Braves acquire right-hander Trevor Cahill from Diamondbacks

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UPDATE: Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the deal is done. The Diamondbacks will trade Cahill and cash (about $6.5 million) to the Braves for minor league outfielder Josh Elander.

Elander, 24, is a .275/.356/.435 hitter across three seasons in the minors. He has yet to play above High-A. Of course, this deal was mostly about dumping salary for Arizona. As Piecoro writes, the deal does indeed open up a spot in the rotation for Archie Bradley. That should be fun.

The Braves have been looking at options like Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults for the back-end of their rotation, so Cahill is a decent gamble given the relatively small investment involved. He’s coming off a rough year, but his peripherals weren’t terrible and he has enjoyed success in the past. Just getting out of Arizona will likely be a good thing for him.

7:05 p.m. ET: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks are “on the verge” of dealing Cahill to the Braves. No word on who Arizona will receive in return, but Atlanta is expected to pay about half of Cahill’s $12 million salary for 2015.

6:15 p.m. ET: It was announced on Monday that right-hander Trevor Cahill had secured a spot in the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation, but there could be a change of plans.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks “have had trade discussions” involving Cahill. According to various reports, the Braves are among the teams involved.

The Diamondbacks have multiple options they could put in Cahill’s place, but a trade would presumably clear a spot for top prospect Archie Bradley. The 22-year-old right-hander has been fantastic this spring, posting a 1.61 ERA and 14/6 K/BB ratio across 22 1/3 innings. He was mentioned as a possibility for the team’s final bullpen spot earlier this week, but Hale indicated to Piecoro earlier today that the door was still slightly open for him to win a spot in the rotation.

Cahill, 27, had an ugly 5.61 ERA across 17 starts and 15 relief appearances last season and is owed $12 million this season. The Diamondbacks would likely have to cover a large portion of his salary or take back another bad contract in order to get a deal done.

Evan Gattis says he is ‘done playing’ baseball

Evan Gattis
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In a recent appearance on the 755 Is Real Podcast, hosted by The Athletic’s David O’Brien and former Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty, catcher Evan Gattis confirmed he is “done playing” baseball. Gattis said back in October that he didn’t have any desire to continue playing the game, so this news comes as no surprise.

Gattis, 33, hit .226/.284/.452 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI for the Astros in 2018. The Astros did not extend him a qualifying offer, then $17.9 million. Though reporting on specific offers is scant, it is hard to imagine he received zero offers, or would have received zero offers if he were still interested in playing.

Gattis has one of the more interesting stories out there. He was a well-regarded college baseball prospect, but he battled anxiety and substance abuse. He checked into rehab and, temporarily, abandoned his baseball-related pursuits. Gattis eventually resumed playing college baseball but suffered an injury, prompting him to drop out of college. He went on to take on some not-so-glamorous jobs, including working in a pizza shop, as a parking valet, a ski-lift operator, and a janitor. Gattis battled more mental health issues, suffering from insomnia and depression, resulting in suicidal ideation. He checked into an inpatient psychiatric ward for several days. Afterwards, Gattis roamed around the west coast, going from Colorado to New Mexico to California to Wyoming.

In 2010, Gattis returned to baseball, playing for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He performed rather well, resulting in his being drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round that year. He worked his way through the minors quickly, debuting in the majors in 2013. The rest, as they say, is history. Gattis retires with a career .248/.300/.476 batting line along with 139 home runs, 410 RBI, and 299 runs scored over 2,662 trips to the plate.

The story of Gattis is an important one because mental health in general was not taken seriously, especially among men. It still isn’t, to a large degree, but it’s better now than it was 10 years ago. Due to social taboos and gender norms, men are much less likely to seek help for mental health issues. That Gattis — a burly avatar of testosterone — was willing to be vulnerable about his struggles with his mental health was important.