The consternation and negotiations are over, and second-guessing of the Braves' trade of Rafael Soriano to Tampa Bay might dissipate when fans get a look at the arm on the pitcher they got in return.
The deal finally became official Friday with the announcement that Soriano had been traded to the Rays for right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez, who pitched one full season with Pittsburgh and is a better return that many thought the Braves could get under the circumstances.
Terms were agreed to late Wednesday, and Soriano signed a one-year contract worth about $7 million on Thursday, a requirement for the trade to be completed. The announcement was delayed until Friday, ostensibly because doctors hadn't had a chance to review all medical records.
Whatever the case, it's completed now. Chavez, 26, is the newest Brave, and he could end up staying for quite some time.
The hard-throwing California native was 1-4 with a 4.01 ERA last season in a team-high 73 appearances last season for the Pirates, who traded him to Tampa Bay in November for second baseman Akinoria Iwamura when the Rays needed to dump Iwamura's salary.
Now, Chavez and his 94-96 mph fastball have been traded again to a team that needed to shed a salary, albeit for different reasons. The Braves had offered arbitration to Soriano to get draft picks if he signed elsewhere, not because they had any intention of keeping him.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.