Braves acquire Arroyo, prospect Toussaint
Atlanta trades infielder Gosselin, reportedly takes on remainder of veteran righty's contract
ATLANTA -- Though the Braves have stockpiled an impressive crop of pitching prospects since the conclusion of the 2014 season, they were not willing to pass up the opportunity to use some of the money that they have recently saved to acquire MLB.com's No. 83-ranked prospect, right-hander Touki Toussaint.
Late Saturday night, the Braves announced that they had acquired Toussaint and veteran right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo from the D-backs in exchange for infielder Phil Gosselin. Though Arroyo might provide some value if he makes a successful return from Tommy John surgery, this deal was all about Toussaint.
"With all the trades we've made we've tried to walk two roads," Braves assistant general manager John Coppolella said. "One is, help our team this year, which we feel like we have done. We felt like with Arroyo, when he ends up healthy he can help us win. Two, we are trying to build for the future and we think Toussaint is a huge, huge piece for the future."
The Braves will be responsible for the approximate $9.5 million guaranteed to Arroyo, who likely will not return from Tommy John surgery until August and then possibly become a free agent at the conclusion of this season if his 2016 option is not exercised. Though this might be viewed as a hefty price to essentially pay for a prospect, the Braves do not view Toussaint as an ordinary prospect.
"We have cut between 150-200 million [dollars] total in the trades we've made over the last seven, eight months," Coppolella said. "If we want to take whatever it is here, $9 [million] or $10 million to where we could get a guy who had arguably the very best stuff in the 2014 draft, yeah it was one where as we tried to build for the current as well as for the future, we felt like it was a good mix and well worth it for us."
Taken by the D-backs with the 16th overall selection in the 2014 Draft, Toussaint has produced a 3.69 ERA and recorded 29 strikeouts in the 38 innings he has completed for Class A Kane County this year. The heralded prospect, who turned 19 on Saturday, has impressed scouts with his curveball. But despite using the pitch sparingly on Friday night, he still limited Peoria to one hit over six scoreless innings.
"I don't know what this guy is going to turn into, I don't have a crystal ball," Coppolella said. "But I sure like his stuff and I sure like the body, the history and the upside. I think this is a guy who fits into the plan of what we're doing."
While Toussaint will join the talent-rich Class A Rome squad, Arroyo will continue his rehab with Atlanta with the hope that he can help as a reliever or starting pitcher during the season's final two months. The Braves believe the 38-year-old veteran can at least provide their young starting staff some of the leadership it has lacked since Tim Hudson exited after the 2013 season.
Gosselin has served as a utility infielder with the Braves the past two seasons. He is currently on the disabled list with a fractured left thumb, which will sideline him until around the All-Star break.
"We felt (this trade) was too good to pass up," Coppolella said. "We felt the payoff down the line would be too good to just let it go."