With two of their starting pitchers going down to Tommy John surgery in Spring Training, starting pitching was supposed to be at a premium for the Atlanta Braves. As the season has advanced, the team has had two starting pitchers in the bullpen (Alex Wood and David Hale), and the bullpen has struggled mightily as of late. With that, there is a need for a good, proven middle reliever.
While some would say that Aaron Harang is the best choice to ship out, it would be a silly decision to make. In Harang’s 13 starts, he has 11 quality starts and has given up one run or less five times. In Gavin Floyd‘s seven starts, he has failed to reach the end of the sixth inning three times. While their ERA’s are both very good for the work they have done (Harang: 3.33, Floyd: 2.57), Harang is the Braves’ best bet, giving them more innings to save their struggling bullpen.
Another reason that the Braves should ship Floyd instead of Harang is the fact that Floyd is going to make $4 million this season, with incentives if he reaches the end of the season in the starting rotation, while Harang is only costing the Braves a cool million. He’s also giving the team just as good of production as they are going to get out of either of the two pitchers.
With the trade of Floyd, the Braves win in a couple of ways. First off, they would get a good middle relief pitcher who could stabilize a bullpen that has been atrocious over the past month or so. Secondly, they have Wood down in Triple-A getting his arm stretched out to join the rotation at some point. With an extra arm in the bullpen and Wood, who is really better than Floyd in a starting role, the Braves would have a chance to make a run at the playoffs as the season ages.