Braves trade former top prospect Salcedo for minor league pitcher

The Braves traded former shortstop prospect Edward Salcedo to the Pirates for minor league reliever Bryton Trepagnier on Thursday. It was hardly the sort of outcome Atlanta officials envisioned after the ballyhooed signing of Salcedo five years ago.

Salcedo, 23, was a highly sought prospect when the Braves gave the Dominican a $1.6 million signing bonus in 2010, the most they’d ever given an international prospect. But at this point it’s fair to say he’s been a bust, compiling a .230 average, .297 OBP and .375 slugging percentage in five minor league seasons, with 57 homers, 194 walks and 547 strikeouts in 2,447 plate appearances over 615 games.

Trepagnier, 23, had a career-best 2.53 ERA with nine saves, 40 strikeouts and 33 walks in 53 1/3 innings last season over 38 appearances for high-A Bradenton of the Florida State League. The right-hander was a 41st-round draft pick by the Pirates in 2010, and has compiled a 15-12 record and 4.19 ERA in 123 appearances (four starts) during parts of five minor league seasons, including nearly three years in rookie league.

In his first full season above rookie ball in 2013, he had 4.93 ERA and three saves in 43 appearances, with 69 strikeouts and 39 walks in 72 2/3 innings. Trepagnier was not ranked among the Pirates’ top 30 prospects this winter or a year ago.

For Salcedo, it’s an inauspicious ending to a Braves career that never came close to meeting the projections that team officials had for him when former general manager Frank Wren introduced Salcedo at a news conference during 2010 spring training.

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Salcedo hit a career-high 17 homers in 130 games at high-A Lynchburg in 2012, but had only 12 each of the past two seasons while batting .225 with an OBP below .300 in that two-year span.

After being switched from shortstop to third base, he made 113 errors in 357 games at the latter position during the 2011-2013 seasons. Salcedo split time between third base and right field in 2014 at Triple-A Gwinnett and hit .212 with 10 homers, 44 RBIs and a .294 OBP in 110 games.

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