March 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves, Transaction Analysis
The Braves apparently liked having three lefties in the bullpen last year. For different stretches of the season, the Braves carried both a left-handed specialist in George Sherrill and a right-handed specialist in Peter Moylan or Cory Gearrin. Having specialists certainly has its benefits, but it also can cause issues as well. I cited many times last year, and the guys talked about it in the podcast last night, that the biggest problem the Braves bullpen had was the lack of a right-handed pitcher in middle relief that can succeed against hitters of any handedness.
Arodys Vizcaino was supposed to be that pitcher, but his elbow ligament did not allow him to fill this spot. Instead, the Braves are likely going with Yohan Flande and Gearrin — maybe Moylan at some point in the season as well — as the final two members of the bullpen. I would have kept Jairo Asencio.
His Major League stats in a short stint last year were awful, but Asencio was absolutely dominant in 54.2 triple-A innings. While his 2.56 FIP in Gwinnett will rise significantly in a full season in the Majors, Asencio was still likely the better option than at least one of those two pitchers.
The difference between them all is likely very small, and I have not heard the cash total that they are receiving back. I expect it is a small amount though. It is possible that the Braves figured they would have to send Asencio down at some point, so they got something of value for him when there was an offer still on the table. I would have rather seen them take the risk with Asencio though, as the potential for him to become a very solid middle reliever outweighs the risk of missing out on the likely small sum they received for his services, in my opinion.