Anthony Varvaro Rumors

Red Sox Acquire Anthony Varvaro

The Red Sox have reached a deal to acquire right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported on Twitter. Righty Aaron Kurcz and cash make up the return for the Braves, according to the official announcement.

Varvaro, 30, was designated for assignment two days ago. A deal to move him was widely said to be in the works after the Braves removed him from the 40-man roster.

He produced an attractive 2.63 ERA over 54 2/3 frames last year on the back of 8.2 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and a 49.7% groundball rate. ERA estimators generally viewed him as an above-average arm, with FIP (3.21), xFIP (3.15), and SIERA (2.86) all coming in above his ERA but at solid rates.

Kurcz, 23, threw 42 innings of 2.14 ERA ball last year at the Double-A level, with 11.6 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9. He missed the previous season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.


Braves Designate Anthony Varvaro

The Braves have designated reliever Anthony Varvaro for assignment, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Twitter. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweeted earlier that the move was expected.

Varvaro’s roster spot will go to infielder Alberto Callaspo, whose deal was finalized today. The righty could be dealt out of DFA limbo, Bowman tweets.

Last season was the second solid campaign in a row for the 30-year-old, as he pitched to a 2.63 ERA with 8.2 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 and a 49.7% groundball rate over 54 2/3 frames. Varvaro also earned good marks from ERA estimators, with FIP (3.21), xFIP (3.15), and SIERA (2.86) all liking his work.


Braves Notes: J. Upton, Johnson, Gattis, Pastornicky

Here’s the latest news on the Braves out of San Diego:

  • Echoing the prior report, president of baseball operations John Hart says that he will keep both Upton and Gattis unless he gets what he is looking for, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The club still has the option of attempting to compete by keeping them and adding another starter and a second baseman.
  • Teams in discussions with the Braves now feel they might be likely to keep Gattis, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.
  • The Braves are now packaging Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in trade talks with teams, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).

Earlier Updates

  • Atlanta is fielding interest on Upton from the Orioles, Rangers, and Padres, Bowman reports (Twitter links).
  • When the Royals asked about Gattis several weeks back, the Braves asked for young righty Yordano Ventura in return. Needless to say, that seems to have been a non-starter.
  • The Braves “seem ready to be aggressive,” sources from competitors tell MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links). Justin Upton and Evan Gattis remain the two most talked-about trade targets, but infielder Tyler Pastornicky and righty Anthony Varvaro “could also be included in talks,” per Bowman. Pastornicky is a 24-year-old infielder who could figure into Atlanta’s plans at second if he is kept. Varvaro, 30, has been a fixture in the Braves pen over the last several years.
  • While there remain several teams that are good potential matches on Upton, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Padres might be the best given their supply of young, controllable pitching. A note from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports earlier today also suggested a viable connection between those clubs on Upton.
  • While there is general agreement that Upton is a more valuable commodity than was the previously-traded Jason Heyward, teams remain hesitant to beat the return for the latter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. There is a general sense that the package given up by the Cardinals, headlined by Shelby Miller, may have outstripped Heyward’s value.


Varvaro, Cristhian Martinez Likely To Stay Put

3:08pm: With Jonny Venters spraining his elbow today, Varvaro and Martinez are both likely to begin the year with the Braves, tweets MLB.com's Mark Bowman.

7:55am: Right-handed relievers Anthony Varvaro and Cristhian Martinez were a couple of solid waiver claims by the Braves, as both have made contributions to the team's Major League bullpen.  However, since both pitchers are out of options, one of them could be traded if Jordan Walden is ready for Opening Day on Monday, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.

Walden was injured earlier this spring, and the Braves could retain Varvaro and Martinez for now by putting Walden on the disabled list to start the season.  Otherwise, it would make sense to trade Varvaro or Martinez rather than expose one to waivers.

Varvaro, 28, was claimed off waivers from the Mariners in January 2011.  He's got some control issues, and has spent much of the last two seasons at Triple-A.  He seems the more expendable of the two for the Braves.

Martinez, 31, joined the Braves via waivers from the Marlins in April 2010.  Since then he has a 3.81 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 0.86 HR/9 in 177 1/3 innings.