JUNE 20: The Braves have released Cahill, according to the MLB.com transactions page. They are still on the hook for the remainder of the $5.5MM in salary they assumed when they acquired Cahill from the Diamondbacks.
JUNE 11: The Braves announced (via Twitter) that they have designated right-hander Trevor Cahill for assignment and selected the contract of lefty Dana Eveland from Triple-A Gwinnett. Atlanta recently signed Eveland to a minor league deal after he opted out of a minors pact with the Red Sox.
Cahill totaled just 26 1/3 innings for the Braves this season, allowing 22 earned runs with 14 strikeouts against 12 walks. He did see his ground-ball rate recover from last year’s dip, posting an outstanding mark of 63.5 percent. However, that did little to help Cahill overcome an increasingly hittable repertoire of pitches and sub-par control.
Acquired late in Spring Training in a trade that sent minor league outfielder Josh Elander to the Diamondbacks (Elander has since been released), Cahill struggled through three starts with the Braves before losing his spot in the rotation and shifting to the bullpen. The Diamondbacks agreed to pay about $6.5MM of Cahill’s guaranteed $12MM, leaving Atlanta with about a $5.5MM gamble on the still-27-year-old righty.
The real value for the Braves, however, was likely in a technically separate but still-connected trade that was announced a couple of days after the Cahill swap. On Opening Day, the Braves traded minor league outfielder Victor Reyes to the D-Backs in exchange for their Round B Competitive Balance draft pick — the 75th overall selection in the 2015 draft. Comp Balance picks are tradeable, but not in the offseason. As such, a separate deal after the start of the regular season was used as a loophole, though reports at the time of the trade immediately linked that swap to the Cahill trade.
The Braves essentially paid $5.5MM to gamble on a rebound from Cahill and to acquire a reasonably strong draft pick, which they used to select left-hander A.J. Minter, who very well could have been selected a good deal higher had he not undergone Tommy John surgery in the spring.