March 19, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Juan Francisco (25) against the Chicago White Sox at Glendale Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Braves trade for 3B/OF Juan Francisco


Frank Wren didn’t take long to prove the recent trade rumors true. After failing to agree to deals involving Will Venable and Marlon Byrd the team announced today that they would be sending pitcher JJ Hoover to the Cincinnati Reds for Juan Francisco.

JJ Hoover is projected to be a back of the rotation innings eater or a solid relief pitcher. The Reds will likely use him in the bullpen since they have a need in that area. Francisco has been wasted on the Reds organization for a few years because Scott Rolen and Joey Votto were both on the team. The 24 year old has a lot of power but also strikes out at a high rate. His defense at third base isn’t great according to reports but it is manageable.

In 51 at bats this Spring Francisco has hit 4 homeruns and tallied 16 strikeouts, which leads the team.

I like this trade. It is definitely fair for both teams and it could work out very well for us. Apparently Juan will be playing third base until Chipper comes back and then he will assume a bench role. The team could definitely use the pop that Francisco brings and all though we did need a righty, there weren’t a lot of great options.

I feel like it would be better to move Francisco into the outfield and let Prado play third but they might just feel like leaving Martin alone is best for him. Francisco should be much better defensively in the outfield because of his impressive arm but most people still assume he will just be a 3B/1B guy. I hope Fredi will experiment with him in the left and see how it goes.

This trade means that one of the guys we assumed we make the team on the bench is out of a spot. Unfortunately I think that guy is going to be Drew Sutton aka “the next Ben Zobrist”. I will be extremely disappointed if Sutton loses a spot on the team while Matt Diaz happily strikes out and makes a mess in the outfield. This potentially is the worst part about the trade.

Nothing is finalized but based on Frank Wren’s statements about Diaz—“I’m sure there will be times when he’ll play third and Prado will stay in left, but there may be other times where he still uses  [Matt] Diaz in left to face a tough lefty”—I have to assume that he is going to make the team. It’s tragic because the last thing I want is for Diaz to be getting AB’s against any tough pitcher, especially when we have a much better alternative with the club.

Overall though, I have to agree with the trade. We don’t lose much in JJ Hoover, and although he is left handed, Francisco can make a difference to the team offensively. He is still young, and now that he finally has an opportunity to start (at least for a little bit) he might make something more of it.

Next Braves Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug7:10at Cincinnati RedsBuy Tickets

Tags: Atlanta Braves Cincinnati Reds Drew Sutton Jj Hoover Juan Francisco Mat Diaz