Braves ship Escobar to Jays

Atlanta seeks offensive boost in deal involving shortstops

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ATLANTA --- The NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, looking to bolster their lineup for the second half of the season, acquired Alex Gonzalez in a swap of shortstops that sent Yunel Escobar to Toronto on Wednesday.

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Escobar  Associated Press
Associated Press
Escobar

The Braves also traded left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes to the Blue Jays in the five-player deal while also adding left-handed minor league pitcher Tim Collins and minor league shortstop Tyler Pastornicky.

The 33-year-old Gonzalez was tied for fifth in the American League with 43 extra-base hits.

"He's an outstanding defensive shortstop and he's having a very good offensive season," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "We think he can improve our run production. He immediately leads our team in home runs."

Troy Glaus had 14 homers to lead the Braves at the All-Star break.

Escobar hit .299 with career-best totals of 14 homers and 76 RBI last season but has struggled this year.

"We feel that Yunel Escobar will absolutely turn it around," Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.

"There's certainly an element of risk there, but we feel he has a very good opportunity to turn it around. I think if Yunel Escobar was doing what he did in the past, he's not available to us and this trade does not present itself."

Wren said Escobar could enjoy his best years after leaving the Braves.

"He very well may," Wren said. "He's a talented guy. But for our ballclub we felt we needed to make some adjustments. It just wasn't happening here right now."

The Braves also took on more salary. Escobar is making $435,000 this season. Gonzalez's salary is $2.75 million; his contract includes a 2011 club option for $2.5 million.

"Getting a guy we can control for a year and a half was important to us," Wren said.

Each shortstop is regarded as a strong defensive player.

"Alex may not be quite as flashy as Escobar, but he's an extremely solid shortstop," Wren said.

Wren said Gonzalez is expected to be with the team for tonight's game against Milwaukee.

Atlanta gets

- Shortstop Alex Gonzalez .259 avg., 17 homers, 50 RBI, 47 runs, one stolen base

- Pitcher Tim Collins 1-0 with 73 strikeouts, 16 walks, nine saves with a 2.51 ERA at New Hampshire

- Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky .258 avg., six homers, 35 RBI and 24 stolen bases at Dunedin

TORONTO GETS

- Shortstop Yunel Escobar .238 avg., 19 RBI, 28 runs and five stolen bases

- Pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes 1-5 with 50 strikeouts, 15 walks and a 5.70 ERA in 47Q innings at Gwinnett

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JackBootedThug
0
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JackBootedThug 07/14/10 - 12:58 pm
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Good move. Escobar seems to

Good move. Escobar seems to have that Andruw Jones non-chalant mentality

Pastor Dan White
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Pastor Dan White 07/14/10 - 01:00 pm
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The Braves don't put up with

The Braves don't put up with non-chalent mentality or trouble-makers in the clubhouse. A class organization for sure. 4 games up on the Mets at the All Star Break!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/14/10 - 01:54 pm
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Escobar has always been an

Escobar has always been an edgy player. With his stats, it was time to move him. This is obviously a move to make a run to go all the way. It's going to be fun.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 07/14/10 - 02:55 pm
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I heartily concur, as ridding

I heartily concur, as ridding themselves of a moody player with a chip on his shoulder, who seldom contributed with any regularity, was IMHO, a good move for the team. Gonzales should be a welcome addition that will hopefully result in more consistant production, and the deal looks like a win-win for both teams overall. GO BRAVES!

wlightnin42
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wlightnin42 07/14/10 - 04:10 pm
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Good thing is the Braves will

Good thing is the Braves will have home field this year in the World Series. Pull one more out for Cox and I guess old man Chipper.

RichmondCountyResident1
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RichmondCountyResident1 07/14/10 - 04:52 pm
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I like this move for the

I like this move for the Braves.I hope we didn't give up on Escobar too soon. But, this should help us win now.

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