The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash considerations. All Braves fans should be very familiar with Diaz, who will likely serve as the main right-handed pinch hitter against left-handed pitchers.
According to David O'Brien, the Braves will also receive some cash from the Pirates to help offset some of the salary Diaz is owed for the remainder of this year, and next year. Diaz is under contract for 2012 for $2 million. He signed with Pittsburgh last off-season after the Braves non-tendered him -- his salary would have been too expensive through arbitration.
The Braves may also not be done dealing, according to Buster Olney the team may be trying to acquire another pinch hitter or role player. Olney speculates that it could be the Dodgers' utility infielder Jamey Carroll, who can play second, short, third, and the outfield.
Diaz negates the need for Wes Helms, mired in terribleness in triple-A. So we will likely not see the Braves recall him, and may offer him his release. If the Braves are able to acquire Carroll, that may negate the need for Julio Lugo, who has been an empty bat since arriving in Atlanta.
Here are Matty D's stats for this year:
|2011 - Matt Diaz||100||216||14||56||12||1||0||19||11||44||4||2||.259||.303||.324|
While Diaz has not hit well this season, and has only hit around .200 the past month, he is someone the Braves are familiar with. He's also been pretty decent as a pinch hitter, going 11-for-44 in that role. Reacquiring him now is a pretty good move, as he's affordably signed, and can be a good hitter. Hitting .250 as a pinch hitter is pretty good, as the league average is around .215. It should the Braves sub-.200 number as a team when pinch hitting.
Let's also remember how helpful Matty-D can be (hat tip: @davidcsawyer):