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Eric O’Flaherty Traded to Braves For Cash Considerations

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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.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball. When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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