Thursday, July 20, 2006

Braves get a closer; lose Ramirez

Braves trade for Bob Wickman

The Braves new closer is now Bob Wickman and it comes at the expense of minor league catching prospect Max Ramirez. The Indians have fallen out of the race in a competitive AL Central and have started selling. Wickman has been pretty good for Cleveland this year except for a stretch during June where he struggled. Wickman is a proven big league closer if not a glamorous one. I think just a little bit of stabilization in the Braves' bullpen could prove to be a big difference.

Max Ramirez will be the second top prospect from Atlanta to join Cleveland this year with Andy Marte being the other. Ramirez is a prized catching prospect and played in the South Atlantic League all-star game this year. However, Ramirez was somewhat expendable as the catching position has become a major strength in the Braves organization. Also, Ramirez is only in the middle of his first full professional season and therefore is hard to project. To be able to get a veteran closer for a guy like that is a good decision in my opinion.

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