By: Kayla Mortellaro
PHOENIX— The Arizona Diamondbacks traded right-handed pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Touki Toussaint to the Atlanta Braves in return for infielder Phil Gosselin.
“A lot of it has to do with the direction we are taking our starting rotation,” General Manager Dave Stewart said about the trade. “Bronson is going to be due to pitch, we’re thinking, mid-to late July, even early August, and we are getting a pretty good showing from our young pitching and that’s the direction we are going to go and stay.”
Arroyo is set to make $9.5 million this year with a $4.5 million buyout and a now $13 million option for 2016. Arroyo, 38, has not pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery on July 18, 2014. Last season, before his elbow injury, he made 14 starts with the Dbacks and had a 4.08 ERA (39 ER in 86.0 IP) with a 7-4 record.
Arroyo owed rest of $9.5M this season plus $4.5M buyout on option that now will be worth $13M. Recovering from TJ; return perhaps in August.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 21, 2015
“From Bronson’s side, he wants to continue to pitch, he thinks he has some time left to still pitch,” Stewart said. “And with respect to a veteran guy that wants to continue to pitch, it’s a good move on our part to make that move.”
In order to make the trade possible, Stewart said that Toussaint had to be a part of the deal with the Braves.
“That’s not the direction the Braves wanted to take the deal,” Stewart said when asked if the deal could have been without adding Toussaint. “If we make the deal then we could dictate how we make it but to make the deal, both sides have to agree.”
Toussaint, 19, was playing in Single-A Kane County this season. He was 2-2 with a 3.69 ERA (16 ER in 39.0 IP) in 7 starts. Toussaint was drafted in the first-round, 16th overall in 2014. Toussaint spent two years in the Dbacks’ system, accumulating a 5.75 ERA (43 ER in 67.1 IP) in 19 games with a 4-6 record.
For the Diamondbacks, the team is getting a versatile infielder in Gosselin. Gosselin, 26, is batting .325 with 4 doubles and 2 RBI in 20 games with the Braves this season. He played in five games at third base and three games at second base but was placed on the 15-day DL May 18th with an avulsion fracture in his left thumb.
“Gosselin is a gritty, tough, competitive type of infielder- plays second, short, third- utility type role player,” Stewart said. “Our scouting reports liken him to [Justin] Turner in Los Angeles [Dodgers], not the same kind of power, but he possesses that kind of ability to hit and put the ball in the gaps.”
Stewart indicated the Braves have informed the Dbacks Gosselin is expected to make a return to the big-leagues in about four weeks- making him available in mid-July.
“We expect him to, when he’s healthy and ready to go, to compete on this team and help our team going forward,” Stewart said.
The decision to make the trade with the Braves was also money driven.
“I think its more, for what we are trying to do, the money is definitely important,” Stewart said. “We have said we are going to try to do what we can to promote our young pitching but also give ourselves a chance to have some savings so that we can have an opportunity to do some things at a later day.”