Well, that wasn’t exactly what I expected, but credit John Schuerholz at least for not always doing what’s expected. The reality here is that he had a guy who was hitting .049 on the season and a career OPS+ of 86. That won’t cut it in left field, even for one half of a platoon. Clearly, something had to be done about that position, but was this that something?
I’m willing to give Langerhans the benefit of the doubt, and I think he could have been a serviceable fourth outfielder-type player for the next few years during the peak of his career. There’s value in that kind of player, but obviously the Braves don’t need to be throwing away at-bats.
The Braves will receive cash and a player to be named later (presumably a pitcher) from Oakland, who also dealt earlier for Reds’ injured outfield prospect Chris Denorfia. Langerhans will play CF for the A’s, and the Braves will hopefully receive a decent arm in the trade. Willie Harris was called up from Richmond, where he’s been knocking the cover off the ball and showing good speed and plate discipling. I assume he’ll be taking a lot of Langerhans’ at-bats.
What this signals to me is that either the Braves were so down on Ryan that they thought he’d never turn it around (unlikely, especially with the sometimes painfully patient Bobby Cox managing), or the more likely scenario that Schuerholz is not done making deals and/or decisions about this team’s outfield future. I’m with J.C., who thinks that a long-term deal with Andruw may not be out of the question (he actually says it may be imminent). Or, the organization is very high on someone like Gregor Blanco, which is another possibility. (Personally, I’d like to see his OPS climb out of the 700s and show a bit more progress as an effective baserunner, but his on-base skills are improving, and that’s always a good sign.)
Perhaps I’ll have more tomorrow in my weekly recap, but I’m tired and out of brain energy to expend on this one for now.