With the Arbitration deadline looming the Atlanta Braves have made their first deals of the off-season trading Jim Johnson in an effective salary dump and moving on from the struggling former closer. Rex Brothers and the Braves meanwhile agreed to a deal to keep Brothers in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves made a great move as we head into the weekend making their first noteworthy trade of the season. Jim Johnson is no longer a part of the Braves bullpen after being dealt to the Angels along with international bonus money in exchange for left handed pitcher Justin Kelly.
Kelly will bring little value to the Braves in what was an effective salary dump in the first big trade under the new regime. Jim Johnson was owed $5.0 Million dollars this season, money that would have been wasted on Johnson who struggled badly last season.
Moving on from Johnson helps provide some clarity in the bullpen and give the Braves the option to target another back of the bullpen arm with the freed salary. For Johnson this is the second time that he has been dealt from the Braves and will join an Angels team that is looking to contend next season and needs help in their bullpen.
The Braves didn’t wait long to address their bullpen further avoiding the arb. deadline with Rex Brothers signing Brothers to a $1.1 Million dollar deal if he is with the Major League club. Brothers is a good add to the Braves bullpen and showed enough for the Braves to reward him with the deal.
Jim Johnson was a leader and a good presence for the Braves bullpen and clubhouse during the rebuild over the last three years. But with Johnson’s productivity on the decline along with the Braves looking to move to contention this was the right move and frees up salary for the Braves to target players that will provide more value.