Between the seasons of 2011 and 2012 the Atlanta Braves enjoyed one of the most dominating left-handed reliever combinations in recent memory. One huge member of that was Eric O’Flaherty. He went down to Tommy John surgery in early 2013 and the Braves tried their best to replace him. In the process they found other capable relievers but no one really duplicated what O’Flaherty had done.
Now in the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings there is renewed interest between the Braves and O’Flaherty and really why wouldn’t there be? For those two combined seasons he pitched 131 innings posting a 1.31 ERA and a 1.1 WHIP. He was instrumental in the Braves’ late inning situations most all season long in 2011 and 2012 and through his injury in 2013.
With other teams interested like the Washington Nationals, it seems very important that the Braves make it a priority to bring him back in the fold. He won’t be ready to go right at opening day but that could be a blessing anyway.
It will mean the Braves would have potentially one of the best lefty relievers in the game still relatively fresh for the postseason assuming O’Flaherty was able to come back around early summer. Details are always hard to come by in these situations but the Braves need to pay a little to get this guy back.