In a transaction environment as uncertain as the current one, and with the waiver trade period a thing of the past, it’s been a reasonable expectation that this year’s trade market might play out differently than years past. It’s entirely possible it could move both earlier and more aggressively than what we’re used to, so I’m watching things like today’s Mariners/Braves trade a little more closely.
The Atlanta #Braves today acquired RHP Anthony Swarzak and cash considerations from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Arodys Vizcaíno and LHP Jesse Biddle.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 20, 2019
Swarzak, 33, has been brutal three of the past four years, but that one year he was good – 2017 – he was dominant. The Braves are taking a low-cost swing on him rebounding with a new club, as they have unquestioned needs in their bullpen. In fact, depending on the dollars in the deal, the Braves might actually be saving money on this swap (TBD), which could set up other moves down the road.
Biddle, 27, is a former solid starting pitching prospect who has since been moved to the bullpen, has yet to establish himself there, and was recently DFA’d. Vizcaino, 28, is making decent money ($4.8 million) in his final year before free agency, and has been very good when healthy in his post-Cubs life, but he had elbow surgery and expected to miss the rest of this year.
In other words, the Mariners swapped Swarzak for Biddle, and the Braves get a look at Swarzak to see if he can help more than Biddle.
Just a one-off deal, since Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is always itching to trade? Or an early move on the relief market? As I said, I’m just keeping tabs.