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Jays Trade Alex Gonzalez for Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes

Here is the press release:


The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired SS YUNEL ESCOBAR and LHP JO-JO REYES from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for SS ALEX GONZALEZ and minor league players LHP TIM COLLINS & INF TYLER PASTRONICKY.

ESCOBAR, 27, is batting .238 with 12 doubles and has posted a .334 on base percentage in 75 games with the Braves this season. The 6-2, 200lb. right-handed hitter owns a career .291 average with 87 doubles, 29 home runs and a .368 on base percentage in 446 career games with Atlanta (2007-2010). In 2009 he was selected as the Braves Most Valuable Player by the Atlanta BBWAA after batting .299 with 26 doubles, 14 home runs, 76 RBI and posted a .377 on-base percentage. Among all active shortstops in the Majors, the Havana, Cuba native ranks 4th with a .364 career on base percentage (min 1500 PA).

REYES, 25, has made just one appearance with the Braves this season. In 12 games (10 starts) with the Gwinnett Braves of the International League (AAA), the West Covina, California native is 1-5 with a 5.70 ERA, 15 walks and 50 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings of work. Reyes has been optioned to New Hampshire of the Eastern League (AA).

GONZALEZ, 33, hit .259 with 25 doubles, 17 home runs and had 50 RBI in 85 contests with the Blue Jays this season. The Cagua, Venezuela native is a career .248 hitter with 281 doubles and 131 home runs in 1,314 games with a .294 on base percentage. The 5-11, 215lb. shortstop is in the first of a two-year contract with a club option for the 2011 season.

COLLINS, 20, has appeared in 35 games this season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League (AA), posting a record of 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA including nine saves. The Worcester, Massachusetts native is a career 14-9 with a 2.40 ERA including 27 saves in 130 career minor league games. The 5-7, 155lb. left-handed pitcher was signed by the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2007.

PASTRONICKY, 20, is batting .258 with 16 doubles, six home runs and 35 RBI in 77 games this season with the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League (A). The Bradenton, Florida native was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 5th round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft.

To make room on the 40 man roster the Blue Jays have designated RHP RONALD UVIEDO for assignment.

Tom Back: Well that's a big one. Gonzalez is having a great season but Yunel Escobar is younger. He isn't having a great season but his career numbers look pretty good. A season like last year .299/.377/.426 would look pretty good in the Jay's lineup. He is a good fielder at SS, has a UZR/150 of 9.5 this season.

Jo Jo Reyes is a good looking prospect, he is 25. This year in Triple-A he striking out 9.5/9 innings. He is a big guy that throws hard but hasn't had success in the majors yet.

I'm sad to see Collins leave the organization, but you do have to give something up to get something. Pastronicky, as much as I like him, is well down the depth charts at short in our system. I'll hope the best for him. 

Quote from MLB Trade Rumors:

The move comes as a big surprise, as Escobar was perhaps one of the more valuable commodities in the game when the 2009 season concluded.  Just a few days ago,'s Mark Bowman wrote that the Braves "simply aren't willing to sell low on a guy who they still view as the game's top defensive shortstop."  Escobar was worth over four wins last year, but his power has disappeared in 301 plate appearances this year.  Escobar will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season, so he'll be under the Jays' control through 2013.  Escobar's attitude was a likely factor in the deal; Bowman wrote in June that "there's no doubt that Escobar's flamboyant approach to the game has continued to infuriate some members of the Braves organization."