The Atlanta Braves acquired veteran right hander Scott Linebrink today from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Kyle Cofield.

The move solidified the Braves’ need to add a veteran presence in the bullpen. He will help out with the impressive, young core of arms the Braves already possess.

Kyle Cofield, a towering 6’5″, 230 lbs. right hander, was mostly a starter before he was moved to the bullpen this season. Cofield compiled a 25-26 record and 4.12 ERA through 485 minor league innings pitched, though the 23-year old has yet to advance past Double-A. He has had issues with his command as well, issuing 4.9 BB/9 (walks per nine innings).

Scott Linebrink, 33-year old journeyman, struggled in his time with the White Sox, but that can almost surely be attributed to the hitter’s environment of U.S. Cellular Field.

Linebrink allowed 16 homeruns (eight in 2010) and amassed a 4.65 ERA in 85 innings pitched at U.S. Cellular. Away from the unfriendly confines of his home stadium, Linebrink produced a much more respectable 3.88 ERA—though he allowed 12 homeruns.

Though he isn’t getting any younger, Linebrink should enjoy being back in the National League and have a respectable 2011 campaign with the Atlanta Braves, barring any injuries.


Other Transactions

Matt Diaz has likely played his last game for the Atlanta Braves. The club non-tendered the clubhouse and fan favorite yesterday.

Diaz’ sense of humor, terrorizing of lefties and hard nosed playing style will certainly be missed by Braves players and fans.

Diaz was told he would never be a major league ballplayer, yet the Braves and Bobby Cox took a chance on the relatively unknown 27-year old (at the time). Diaz didn’t disappoint in his five seasons with Atlanta, pounding Johan Santana and other left handed pitchers.

Diaz hit .305 with 41 homeruns, 128 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 1,385 at bats with the Braves.

While Diaz will not be returning to the ballclub in all likelihood, the move ensured that 1B/OF Eric Hinske would be staying in Atlanta. The Braves locked Hinske up with a one year, $1.45 million deal yesterday as well.

The former Rookie of the Year provided many clutch at bats off the bench and as a starter in 2010. He provides some positional flexibility as well as late inning power off the bench.

We’re just a week away from the Winter Meetings and Frank Wren will go in with a relatively clear conscience. He’s fulfilled the Braves’ most pressing needs thus far and seems to be content. You can’t rule out Wren making a surprise deal, but the Braves’ acquisitions seem to be all but wrapped up unless the Braves get an offer they can’t refuse.

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