Eric O’Flaherty Traded to Braves For Cash Considerations

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Atlanta Braves have acquired lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash.  In ten appearances this month, he threw 9.1 innings, allowing eight runs(three earned) on 15 hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts. O’Flaherty wasn’t going to make the Pirates out of Spring Training, so this was likely done out of goodwill just to find him a Major League job. The “cash” return is likely something very minimal. Deals have been done for as little as $1 in some of these cases, where the team is just helping a player they don’t have a Major League spot for, go to a better situation. As pointed out by Tim Williams, this is probably a good sign for Cory Luebke sticking around after Tuesday.


UPDATE 11:40 AM: Analysis from Tim Williams…

As John mentioned, this deal is probably a move to get a spot in the majors for O’Flaherty. It signals that he wasn’t in the plans for the Pirates for their Opening Day roster. They did have a $100,000 retention bonus that they could have paid on Tuesday to keep him in the organization, but typically teams don’t use that if it ends up blocking a veteran guy from a Major League job elsewhere.

Cory Luebke also probably factored in to this situation. He and Kyle Lobstein will be up for the final bullpen spot as the second lefty, if the Pirates go that route. Lobstein is on the 40-man roster, and Luebke would have to be added to the 40-man on Tuesday, in order to retain him. This trade signals that the Pirates will be protecting Luebke, and that would have made it more unlikely that O’Flaherty (not on the 40-man) would have factored in the plans this year.

I’ll have more from Bradenton on this situation later.

  • I admittedly don’t pay much attention to the Pirates until opening day, and then watch every game and follow things insanely closely. That being said as a disclaimer, is it not possible to consider Luebke a starting option? To me (as I have mentioned elsewhere on the site), penciling Nicasio into the rotation because Locke sucks and Vogelsong is old is not a good sign for the club. Luebke has some starting pedigree there, Nicasio’s velocity drops after 4-5 innings and I think he will wear the bullpen out as a starter.
    I am very nervous about this rotation behind Liriano and Cole.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    March 27, 2016 8:45 pm

    The immortal 28 year old AAAA player Goebbert went 1-4, now hitting .167 – glad were keeping him on the 40 man.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    March 27, 2016 6:32 pm

    Considering how few LH relief options we have, beyond Watson, this seems like an ill advised trade – especially when all we got was cash. O’Flaherty is just two years removed from being one of the best LH relief pitchers in the NL – and he was making progress after returning from injury. So, we give him away to be goodwill ambassadors?

    • They signed him in February – THIS February… Cheap lefty’s are available every single year if you look for them. Not like we’re dealing away Tony Watson here.

      GO BUCS.

      • No, we are trading away Tony Watson of 2012…….

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        March 27, 2016 8:42 pm

        Are you familiar with O’Flaherty’s career? If so, you wouldn’t say that. After Watson, who can we count on as LH relievers?

    • If they could have held him for $100k it should have been done. Hughes is going to the DL. Who knows what cold weather will do to the other guys in the next two weeks. Goodwill gave the cubbies Clayton Richards last year, and that hurt us no matter how you cut it.

  • It seems Jesus Montero is going to be released. Is he a potential upgrade for the bench?
    He has power and could be a change of scenery candidate. He is an upgrade over Jason Rodgers at the least I would think.

    • meatygettingsaucy
      March 27, 2016 3:26 pm

      We don’t want to break the bench and I literally mean if he were to sit on it, it would break

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      March 27, 2016 6:34 pm

      NH would have huge egg on his face to cut Rodgers, so that isn’t happening – no matter how bad a trade it was and how poorly Rodgers performs.

  • How long do we have Luebke signed for? Just this year or is he arb eligible?

    • I could be wrong but I think since he’s spent so much time rehabbing he’s still arb eligible.

      • Wilbur Miller
        March 27, 2016 8:28 pm

        He spent nearly four years on the DL, so he now has over five years of service. If they do nothing, he’s signed for this year, but he’ll definitely opt out on Tuesday. If they add him to the roster, he’ll be a FA after the season.

  • Love deals like this when you can make them happen. Good will for future trades.

  • We’re RICH ‘ma!!!

  • Retiring as a Brave…

  • After 100 years since the Irish Easter Day Rebellion it is clear that anti-Irish sentiment still is rampant in the PBC.

  • Obviously, Freddie Freeman will be part of the return!!

  • Looks like a possible opening for luebke