ATLANTA -- As the Braves have evaluated multiple ways to improve their bullpen, they never gained the sense David Hernandez would serve as a viable solution, at least not before he would have a chance to opt out of his Minor League contract next week.So instead of simply losing the
ATLANTA -- As the Braves have evaluated multiple ways to improve their bullpen, they never gained the sense David Hernandez would serve as a viable solution, at least not before he would have a chance to opt out of his Minor League contract next week.
So instead of simply losing the veteran reliever without gaining anything in return, the Braves traded Hernandez to the Angels on Monday for a player to be named or cash considerations.
Hernandez signed a Minor League deal with the Braves after being released by the Giants near the end of Spring Training. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits while recording nine strikeouts and issuing two walks over eight innings for Triple-A Gwinnett.
As their bullpen has posted a 5.79 ERA (the Majors' fourth-worst mark) through this season's first three weeks, the Braves could soon make some changes to their relief corps. But as a non-roster player, Hernandez hadn't yet convinced Atlanta he would bring enough value to warrant gaining a spot on its 40-man roster.
If the Braves do provide a 40-man spot to a non-roster player, they would seemingly rather do so with Jason Motte, a veteran reliever who has surrendered two hits and recorded six strikeouts while issuing just one walk over 5 1/3 scoreless innings for Gwinnett.
Atlanta might also soon welcome Mauricio Cabrera back to its big league bullpen. Cabrera has distanced himself from the right elbow discomfort he felt near the end of Spring Training, and he might join Gwinnett later this week. There's a chance he could return to the Majors next week.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.