Braves Acquire James Russell, Emilio Bonifacio

3:38pm: ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers tweets that the Cubs are sending cash to Atlanta as well. It will be about $1MM going to Atlanta, tweets Wittenmyer.

3:33pm: Wittenymyer tweets that a minor league catcher is headed to Chicago. Peter Gammons tweets that Chicago receives Victor Caratini from Atlanta.

3:24pm: The Braves have acquired left-hander James Russell and utilityman Emilio Bonifacio from the Cubs, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter).

James Russell

Russell, 28, has posted a 3.51 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and a career-best 40.9 percent ground-ball rate. While he’s picking up more grounders than ever, Russell has also shown the worst command of his career — a trend he will hope to correct with the Braves. Russell has typically handled left-handed hitters pretty well, but the opposite has been true in 2014; right-handed batters have a meager .364 OPS against Russell, while same-handed batters have an alarming .295/.358/.525 batting line against him. In his career, however, lefties have batted .240/.276/.416 against Russell. He is earning just $1.9MM in 2014 and is controlled through 2015.

The switch-hitting Bonifacio, 29, had a solid debut season for the Cubs before being included in the trade. He’s hitting .279/.318/.373 with a pair of homers and 14 steals (in 20 attempts). Defensive metrics have liked his work at second base, third base and in center field this season, though his career marks aren’t as strong.

Bonifacio had an interesting offseason, as he was tendered a contract by the Royals and agreed to a $3.5MM salary before being released (and subsequently paid only a portion of his still non-guaranteed deal). The speedster latched on with the Cubs in Spring Training and played well, though he’s spent a portion of the year on the disabled list.

As for Caratini, he was a second-round pick by the Braves in 2013 and ranked as the organization’s No. 7 prospect on MLB.com’s midseason top 20 list. The 20-year-old Caratini has batted .279/.352/.406 in 87 games at Class-A this season. He’s a switch-hitting catcher who also plays third base. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com feel that he’s a good enough defender to handle either position, but clearly he would have more value behind the dish. Though Callis and Mayo praise his defense, they feel that his bat is a better tool.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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129 Comments on "Braves Acquire James Russell, Emilio Bonifacio"


ihwf_vp
1 year 27 days ago

There it is.. knew Bonifacio had to be going somewhere today

ihwf_vp
1 year 27 days ago

No one the cubs get Christian Bethancourt? braves have #5 rated catching prospect per mlb

Dillon Carroll™
1 year 27 days ago

different catcher

ihwf_vp
1 year 27 days ago

No one the cubs get Christian Bethancourt? braves have #5 rated catching prospect per mlb

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

This is the best trade deadline ever.

Trock
1 year 27 days ago

It definitely blows last year out of the water. It’s a bad trade deadline when the only headliner you can remember is Garza…

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

I remember Peavy, but that’s because I’m a Red Sox fan. But the only trade last year from the last hour was Bud Norris I think.

letsgogiants
1 year 27 days ago

The biggest blockbuster at the deadline last year was the Peavy trade. If that trade happened this year (which wouldn’t, as the Sox are sellers, not buyers this year), it would have gotten buried in the Lester-Cespedes and Price trades.

LayerCake
1 year 27 days ago

Is this our new running theme? Every deadline trade for a Cubs player?

bravo_84
1 year 27 days ago

They’ve got to have one or two good ones, might as well keep trying…

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

I like the addition of Russell for the Braves, he will provide them with a solid arm out of the pen. Bonifacio will give the Braves some good depth, it’s a good trade depending on who they gave up.

Gil Reese
1 year 27 days ago

russell has a dead arm last 2plus yrs.enjoy

1 year 27 days ago

Braves have always been able to capitalize on pitchers that were thought to be useless. Best pitching coaches in the MLB.

Justin Case
1 year 27 days ago

Nothing for the Dodgers? Really?

Mike Query
1 year 27 days ago

Ya because you guys need even more.

Justin Case
1 year 27 days ago

We actually need a right-handed reliever pretty badly

Mike Query
1 year 27 days ago

Maybe next year youll spend 400 million and have all stars at every position instead of only half of them then.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 27 days ago

And still won’t win a WS.

coreybishop
1 year 27 days ago

Thank you. This is what we were waiting for. ^_^

Spencer James
1 year 27 days ago

Meanwhile, the Phillies and RAJ are twiddling their thumbs wondering how they didn’t get top tier prospects for Marlon Byrd.

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

He overplayed his hand, he deserves to be fired, but he will somehow find a way to keep his job….

IdontknowwhyIpostonforums
1 year 27 days ago

For some reason this cracked me up enormously.

Bill
1 year 27 days ago

I’m fine with it. No need to let RAJ make another bad trade. The next move I want to hear about is RAJ being fired.

KJ4realz
1 year 27 days ago

Wondering if that could be why no moves are made? Ownership is like ‘naw, dude, let’s just keep the guys’ and then seasons over… Bam bye bye rubes

Utley's Knees
1 year 27 days ago

Phillies need young players from the higher levels who are ready or almost ready to play in MLB. Why make a trade for trades sake when you do not have anyone to replace them? Lastly, we still have this August and next winter to move some players whose contracts end next year or the next year.

IdontknowwhyIpostonforums
1 year 27 days ago

I think for many of the players they would or could trade, their value will never be higher than right now. Cliff Lee may be an exception.

cubs7691
1 year 27 days ago

I always like trading with the braves. They’re great trading partners. Always a fair trade.

Sadwick
1 year 27 days ago

Don’t tell that to the Diamondbacks.

SZZaam
1 year 27 days ago

Or the Astros (Michael Bourn)

Ron E. Roberts
1 year 27 days ago

Trades are a two-way road (or more, sometimes). Each team gets input on who they’re shipping off and wanting in return. Don’t hate the Braves because the other teams’ scouting departments let ’em down.

GetToTheChoppa
1 year 27 days ago

For all the cubs fans suffering the last thing you wanna do to their egos is realize they got swindled out of a trade.

cubs7691
1 year 27 days ago

Bonefacio was gone after this year. We just got another lefty and we have Wright as well. Russel is also up for arb. next year. Made sense

Defiancy
1 year 27 days ago

Cubs and Braves have had some pretty good trades as of late. I think Wren and Theo must just like each other or something

Utley's Knees
1 year 27 days ago

Still feel that way about your return?

cubs7691
1 year 27 days ago

Honestly yes.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 27 days ago

I cant refresh the page fast enough to catch all these trades!!!!

Mike Query
1 year 27 days ago

I think I broke my computer with the refreshing today.

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

Same here, A few times the link even broke on me

Benjamin Rush
1 year 27 days ago

This deadline had a weird fantasy baseball feel.

sascoach2003
1 year 27 days ago

Beat my post. Thinking same thing

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

Yeah, I’ve had 5 players on my Fantasy Team get traded 😛

Trock
1 year 27 days ago

Wonder what we are getting back. Not familiar with Braves system but hopefully it is something half way decent!

Badamike
1 year 27 days ago

Has to be… Theo was asking alot for Bonifacio… and a good lefty reliever on top of it has to return some decency.

Gil Reese
1 year 27 days ago

dont bet getting anything but low tier players from braves thats how they work.

Micah Smith
1 year 27 days ago

I’m curious as well, but from the Braves fan perspective I’d like to know who we gave up!

inkstainedscribe
1 year 27 days ago

Bossman Jr!

CaptainAmerica
1 year 27 days ago

Hopefully their #5 prospect, Hursh AA RHP – cross your fingers.

CaptainAmerica
1 year 27 days ago

Hopefully their #5 prospect, Hursh AA RHP – cross your fingers.

sascoach2003
1 year 27 days ago

Maddening last few minutes of trade deadline. Somebody’s playing Baseball Mogul lol

Adenhart
1 year 27 days ago

Now out of nowhere, Cole Hamels traded… .. It might happen.. not too sure.

Red_Line_9
1 year 27 days ago

That’s the move I wanted KC to make

ray_derek
1 year 27 days ago

Glad the Cubs got something for Bonifacio, I liked Russell a lot though. Solid pickups for Atlanta, Emilio should get aging time in CF as well. Upton shouldn’t be in any lineup.

Gary Graf
1 year 27 days ago

neither should LaStella, so I hope he gets some time at 2B

Me
1 year 27 days ago

La Stella has been hitting .320 since June 28th with an OPS over .800 and has a .311 BA for July. Not a La Stella fan eh? He’s been one of the better hitters in the Braves lineup and the 2nd best hitter for July. Other than a 10 day period he’s hit VERY well in MLB this year and has been one of the top rookie position players in the majors.
Now BJ Upton…yes. BJ should not get a start against a left hander again actually.

Gary Graf
1 year 25 days ago

Batting Average is all LaStella brings. He has no power, average speed, and average fielding. The Braves could hit for better average. That’s for sure, but I’d rather see a speedster/leadoff type at second.

Me
1 year 22 days ago

Then I guess you hate Craig Counsell types. Because that is what he is. Limited ability but can make the best of his ability.
If we extrapolate his doubles and RBIs, he’d be in the top 10 for 2nd basemen offensively however. It’s not like he’s a scrub.

Gary Graf
1 year 16 days ago

No, I loved Craig Counsell. He could field and was clutch.

Gary Graf
1 year 25 days ago

Batting Average is all LaStella brings. He has no power, average speed, and average fielding. The Braves could hit for better average. That’s for sure, but I’d rather see a speedster/leadoff type at second.

wmgh
1 year 27 days ago

can we see baez now please? we’ve been patient….

Adenhart
1 year 27 days ago

Nothing from the Phillies? Extremely weird. They should’ve topped the Red Sox…

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 27 days ago

As long as it’s not Betancourt…

Neil Tatro
1 year 27 days ago

its Betancourt…

Badamike
1 year 27 days ago

PLEASE BE

coreybishop
1 year 27 days ago

Minor league catcher…my heart is stopping… THIS BETTER NOT BE BETHANCOURT!!!!!!

Badamike
1 year 27 days ago

IM BEGGING

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

That was my first thought, but is Wren really that shortsighted?

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

That was my first thought, but is Wren really that shortsighted?

coreybishop
1 year 27 days ago

Minor league catcher…my heart is stopping… THIS BETTER NOT BE BETHANCOURT!!!!!!

bravo_84
1 year 27 days ago

Here’s hoping that minor league catcher is Caratini and not Bethancourt.

Ace2095
1 year 27 days ago

It’s not Bethancourt so your good

bravo_84
1 year 27 days ago

I’ll take it. I really like Russell, and he’s more than just a rental so I’d say Baltimore got duped.

DippityDoo
1 year 27 days ago

Caratini is pretty solid as well. Good scouting reports on his catching this year.

bravo_84
1 year 27 days ago

He’s a great prospect, but a fair trade in my opinion. Nobody will be confusing his defense for Bethancourt’s.

DippityDoo
1 year 27 days ago

Agreed, but really impressed Cubs got a nice catching prospect for Russell. Fews years to develop but definitely address’ a need for the Cubs.

hammer57
1 year 27 days ago

I can’t up vote on my phone, but you would’ve received one from me.