Just about 24 hours after Alberto Callaspo vetoed a trade from the Atlanta Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was convinced to change his mind and a 6-player deal was made. The big league pieces are Callaspo and Eric Stults heading to the Dodgers with Juan Uribe and Chris Withrow (recovering from Tommy John Surgery) headed back to Atlanta.
There was also a pair of minor league arms being sent to the Dodger to complete the trade. The most interesting of the arms is right handed reliever Juan Jaime. Jaime was first signed by the Montreal Expos in 2004 and spent a decade in Minor League Baseball before getting his first taste of big league action. He has put in 13.2 big league innings, all in relief, and has allowed nine earned runs, but he does have a strikeout rate of 12.5/9. One major concern is his control, which is demonstrated by the fact he has walked more than 8.5/9 in his limited big league experience.
Jaime did not make his pro debut until a year and a half after signing, spending two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, and his third season of pro ball was in the Gulf Coast League. Following the 2009 season, where he started 12 games across two levels and posted an ERA of 2.10 while striking out better than 12/9 innings, Jaime underwent Tommy John Surgery and missed all of 2010 and 2011. During his time recovering from TJ, he was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks and released nearly a year later before being signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Braves in August of 2011. The Braves moved Jaime from the rotation into the bullpen. He has not put up the bets ERA since being moved to the bullpen, but his strikeout rate has really improved.
This season, across three levels from Double-A to the big leagues, Jaime’s big concern has been his walk rate, walking 11 batters in 6.2 innings. If he can get his walk rate closer to his career average of 6.3/9, he could be a guy that can eat some middle relief innings in the dog days of the summer for the Dodgers.
The final piece of the deal is Ian Thomas. Thomas is a left handed reliever who has also gotten a small taste of big league action over the past two years. He has shown excellent command throughout his career and a strikeout rate of better than a K per inning, but a rough 2014 season where he put up an ERA of 4.37 over three minor league levels and gave up five earned in just over 11 big league innings. Thomas was signed in 2012 after spending parts of four seasons in independent ball.
While the Callaspo-Stults-Uribe-Withrow pieces will get the headlines for the trade, Jaime and Thomas add big league caliber relief help to the Dodgers that should see some time with the club this season. Being that they are 27 and 28 years old respectively, they are far from blue chip prospects, but they should certainly add value to a trade that came together in a very odd way.