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 Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.