Braves trade for big, hard-throwing prospect

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Braves traded for hard-throwing prospect Billy Bullock from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for left-hander Scott Diamond, whom the Twins had taken from the  Braves in the December Rule 5 draft.

Because the Twins decided not to keep Diamond on their 25-man roster, they had to offer him back to the Braves for half of the original $50,000 claiming price, or work out a deal.

The teams swapped prospects and the Braves got Bullock, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander who had 27 saves and a 105 strikeouts in 74 innings last season with the Twins’ Class-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain affiliates.

Bullock, 23, features a slider and a fastball in the mid-90 mph range. He went 2-8 with a 3.53 ERA in 58 relief appearances, and allowed 73 hits and 43 walks. He ranked 11th in the minor leagues in saves and fourth in strikeouts among pitchers who worked solely in relief.

A second-round pick out of the University of Florida in 2009, Bullock has recorded 150 strikeouts and 38 saves in 107-2/3 innings over two minor league seasons. He will likely begin the season at Double-A Misssissippi, though the Braves will wait to make that decision after watching him throw in minor league camp.

Diamond, 24, was 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 27 starts last season for Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, and 28-20 with a 3.28 ERA in three seasons in the Braves’ minor league system.

The Braves opted to add other pitchers and players to their 40-man protected roster before the Rule 5 draft in December. By working out a trade with the Braves, the Twins can send Diamond to the minors rather than being forced to keep him on their 25-man roster.

102 comments Add your comment

Joe

March 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

DOB
Do the Braves keep the 50K as well?

alimc

March 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

wait…FIRST??!!

ECU Brac

March 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

Wow First maybe?

alimc

March 28th, 2011
3:21 pm

daaaaaaaaaaang it

ECU Brac

March 28th, 2011
3:22 pm

Darn…maybe a good pick up

Chopper

March 28th, 2011
3:22 pm

MATT

March 28th, 2011
3:27 pm

Braves stocking up on hard throwing prospects. Never hurts to add power out of the bullpen ala Kimbrel,Venters.

Tale of Woe

March 28th, 2011
3:28 pm

When is Wags coming off the 40 man roster or are we just going to use 1 less slot?

Bayou Brave

March 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

Tale of Woe, that’s a great question. I’m surprised DOB hasn’t addressed this yet.

:rolls eyes:

Monk Nash

March 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

I wonder if he’s related to Sandra?

Brava

March 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

Good grief, are you all that desperate to be first? Am I missing something? Is there a prize?

Sounds like a good trade for someone the Braves had already written off.

Trojan

March 28th, 2011
3:34 pm

Good trade. Also, there is more to the Wagner story than is publically known. Wagner openly talked of retirement all year but now can’t seem to find the time to file papers? The Braves are simply too busy to be concerned over a spot on the 40 man roster.?

I am hoping that he comes back in the middle of the season and helps the Braves be dominant in the playoffs.

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2011
3:35 pm

When is Wags coming off the 40 man roster or are we just going to use 1 less slot? — Tale of Woe

Who? Wags, as in Billy Wagner? He’s retired…. Wait, what? He’s still on the 40-man?

MatthewH

March 28th, 2011
3:40 pm

MASN (the Nationals network) is reporting tonight’s game as being cancelled.

Ben

March 28th, 2011
3:40 pm

I think the Twins got the better end of that deal. Diamond threw a couple of great games(1 or 2 hits) when I saw him in gwinnett.

MatthewH

March 28th, 2011
3:41 pm

I guess the rains made the field unplayable?

STRETCH

March 28th, 2011
3:41 pm

Trojan,

Is he still on the roster???

1eyedJack

March 28th, 2011
3:51 pm

Bullock must have a dang good slider.

jwood

March 28th, 2011
3:54 pm

I guess you wanted us to read the blog twice?

Fols

March 28th, 2011
3:56 pm

Welcome back Wags! I knew he wasn’t going to retire after the season he had…

Jimmy

March 28th, 2011
3:58 pm

MatthewH – ” MASN (the Nationals network) is reporting tonight’s game as being cancelled.”

So is the AJC.

Derek B

March 28th, 2011
4:00 pm

Wagner said he will only come back on a multi year deal as a starting right handed pitcher.

Powder Blue (formerly "I Miss Ted Turner")

March 28th, 2011
4:01 pm

“Wagner said he will only come back on a multi year deal as a starting right handed pitcher.”

I heard he wants to DH.

Jimmy

March 28th, 2011
4:01 pm

I really don’t like the fact that we have to play the Twins Tuesday night and then again Wednesday at 1230…then travel to Washington for a 1:00 opener on Thursday.
I wish we didn’t play the Wednesday game.

TommyP

March 28th, 2011
4:02 pm

And this is why several people questioned why couldn’t Diamond have been dealt before…..too many just said we didn’t need him.

Obviously the kid had some trade value. Diamond is the type of talent you can use as a “throw in” to consummate a deal. He’s not bad.

Wagner HAS to still have small doubts about retirement. What idiot allows a player to take this long while taking up a spot on the 40-man if there’s not a chance he’s a mid-season addition or something to that effect?

urban redneck

March 28th, 2011
4:05 pm

you “first” guys are all morons.

please go play in a different sandbox.

JesusisLord

March 28th, 2011
4:09 pm

I like this team quite a bit. If all the dominoes fall right, we’ll be playing for a World Series ring next Fall.
(Hebrews 11:1)

FJR

March 28th, 2011
4:11 pm

So wait, we traded a guy who was an undrafted free agent, who profiles, at best, as a situational bullpen lefty for a former 2nd round pick, who is a legitimate closer prospect? (yes, I know he’s a starter now, but I don’t know anybody who really views him as a MLB starter)

Bullock was on a lot of top prospect lists. Diamond, um, was not. Bullock was the Twins 10th best prospect, Diamond was the Braves 30-40 range in best prospects.

Yes, I know that lefty relievers are valuable, but Bullock is a big time prospect.

Dave O' Brien's brother

March 28th, 2011
4:12 pm

BREAKING NEWS: Billy Wagner is in negotiations with Liberty Media to purchase the Atlanta Braves franchise. More info to come.

FJR

March 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

in the above post, I was saying that Diamond, though he’s a starter now, is probably a MLB reliever. It was kind of ambiguous. Bullock profiles as a closer.

Smoltz's Cousin's Sister

March 28th, 2011
4:16 pm

Double post ?

I was hoping the Braves had traded Conrad.
How does Conrad “not have to earn a roster spot” according to Fredi Gonzalez ? All players should earn a roster spot.

Smoltz's Cousin's Sister

March 28th, 2011
4:18 pm

So Conrad (who we know is all thumbs fielding) is gonna be counted on to pinch hit but he hits .200 in spring training but is guaranteed a job ? Does Conrad own a Harley or something ???

Evel Knievel

March 28th, 2011
4:18 pm

I heard that Wagner wants to wait and see what the NFL is going to do. Rumor is that since he had accomplished everything that he wanted to in MLB, he now wants to try out as a replacement player and see if he can “save” the NFL.

FJR

March 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

Conrad is good at what he does, which is provide a switch hitting bench bat with some pop. He’s bad at what he shouldn’t be asked to do, which is play a lot of innings in the field.

Fans yelling at Conrad for last year’s defensive collapses is something akin to yelling at Gary Coleman for not posting up strong on the low post against Dwight Howard.

Bill Buckner

March 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

You guys need to get off Conrads behind! We hired Gonzalez to manage this team. Maybe we need to let him make the call!

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2011
4:29 pm

Are those who criticized Braves for not protecting Diamond from the Rule 5 draft now thinking maybe they what they were doing?

In exchange for a back-of-rotation or situational lefty (Diamond), the Braves got a closer prospect who’s a year younger and throws in the mid-90s.

Ghostrider

March 28th, 2011
4:29 pm

@Jimmy

i have Tickets to Wed. Game…looking at the Weather I dont think there will be a Game…

ncb34

March 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

i heard wagner was going to be playing point guard for the hawks?
wouldnt hurt anything.

Matty D

March 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

A blog so nice it was posted twice! This is a straight up mugging. Frank Wren must have dirt on every other GM in baseball.

FJR

March 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

Frank Wren’s autobiography title: The Audacity To Ask (sometimes other GM’s are really stupid)

NY's Best

March 28th, 2011
4:38 pm

Those Braves fans that post “First” do it just cause they ain’t gonna ever have a first place team to cheer for.

NY's Best

March 28th, 2011
4:39 pm

Jimmy

March 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Ghostrider – Sorry about that.

I just don’t like the quick turn-around for the opener. I know we usually have a couple of games in Atlanta before the season, just don’t like the timing this year.

Robin Of The Hood

March 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Actually guys, as part of a rare retirement trading deal Billy Wagner is gonna be the starting QB for the Vikings next year and Brett Farve is gonna pitch in the Braves pen this year….When asked about why this trade was made Braves Front office members said “Well, we gave Linebrink a change to make the club, not like Brett can do any worse”

Kyle

March 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

Wow what a great move by Wren

southern hope

March 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

I truly wish we had “Likes” on these blog comments….because there are some excellent Wagner zingers in here today….

joekill

March 28th, 2011
4:51 pm

dob what do we know about this kid

iFrech

March 28th, 2011
5:00 pm

I actually heard Wags was gonna play soccer in KC with Chad Ochocinco.

Jimmy

March 28th, 2011
5:00 pm

William Bullock Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 6″, Weight: 225 lb.

Born: February 27, 1988 in Riverview, Florida, US (Age 23)

Two seasons from Rookie ball to AA.
107 inn, 150 K’s, 56 Walks, 1.458 WHIP, 3.18 Era.

FJR

March 28th, 2011
5:05 pm

He throws in the mid-high 90’s. Was Minn’s 2009 2nd round draft pick. Was rated as high at 10th in Minnesota’s farm system. Has control issues. If he can cut the walks down some, he profiles as a quality closer or elite setup man.

LWells2000

March 28th, 2011
5:19 pm

Anybody know what television coverage, FSSOX1 and whether tonite’s game is available in Atlanta on whatever it is~?

stew

March 28th, 2011
5:19 pm

I don’t understand the deal. Where is Diamond ranked amongst our starting pitchers in the minor leagues? Are these two prospects not expected to make it to the show? I mean Diamond has at least Teheran/Delgado/Vizcaino/Oberholtzer and Lowe/Hanson/Hudson/JJ/Beachy/Minor/Medlen to pass before he even sniffs the rubber (and probably four other pitchers I haven’t mentioned). I imagine that if Bullock were anything he couldn’t be had so easily. Why would the Braves expose Diamond if he truly had any value? It seems to me both teams are looking for lightning in a bottle.

BrandonW

March 28th, 2011
5:21 pm

Rumor is Wags, Roger Clemons, Andy Pettitte, and Mike Hampton will sign with the Houston Astros/Colt 45’s ala LaBron…

LWells2000

March 28th, 2011
5:22 pm

…make that FSSO1G, above …re TV coverage[?]…

ray

March 28th, 2011
5:27 pm

this was a very good deal. Twins have a good draft track record. most guys they take in the first few rounds are good prospects. they are always in the playoff mix with a low payroll because of their scouting.
also. I believe Bullock won’t have to be added to the 40 man roster yet as a 2009 college draftee.
Diamond was a 5th starter or middle reliever as a finesse lefty.

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2011
5:33 pm

I don’t understand the deal. Where is Diamond ranked amongst our starting pitchers in the minor leagues? Are these two prospects not expected to make it to the show? I mean Diamond has at least Teheran/Delgado/Vizcaino/Oberholtzer and Lowe/Hanson/Hudson/JJ/Beachy/Minor/Medlen to pass before he even sniffs the rubber (and probably four other pitchers I haven’t mentioned). — stew

You’re right, you really don’t understand the deal. The Braves didn’t get Diamond in this trade, they got the behemoth closer prospect Bullock. Diamond stays with the Twins, who basically traded Bullock to the Braves so they could keep Diamond without having to keep h im on their 25-man roster. Diamond is in Twins organization, just as he was yesterday.

stew

March 28th, 2011
5:34 pm

Conrad performed well last year offensively in big spots. Does anyone think he can duplicate his late inning thunder this year? As for him being a switch-hitting pinch hitter, most of his damage came from the left side. We have Hinske for that role. Who do we really have to provide us with that type of explosiveness from the right side in a clutch situation?

Smiling Jack

March 28th, 2011
5:43 pm

Looks like the Braves are set for an outstanding season! WOW!!! I believe in the players…and I believe in the management. They really do know what they are doing! Go Braves!

Nuck Chorris Juneya

March 28th, 2011
5:44 pm

Rumor has it that Billy Wagner will be participating in the upcoming WrestleMania event here in Atlanta as a masked ‘Wrassler’ named ‘The Golden Hushpuppy’…

Him Tudson

March 28th, 2011
5:47 pm

This article was so nice, it got posted twice, eh?

stew

March 28th, 2011
5:52 pm

DOB

I meant from the Twins angle.not the Braves. Is the cupboard so bare (their rotation) that they’re willing to part with the behemoth (I like that term remember The Giant Behemoth the monster movie from the fifties?). Believe me, I get it from the Braves angle. They’re getting raw talent. All I’m suggesting is that maybe the Twins don’t think he’s so talented or they wouldn’t be parting with him for someone way down in our pecking order.

Homer "Wagner"

March 28th, 2011
5:56 pm

Well Stew, a good pinch hitter is kinda like a good relief pitcher. Really not a bad idea to have more than one.

stew

March 28th, 2011
6:02 pm

I agree with you. I just want a righty who can do damage. I don’t know that we have one.

Mark (another one)

March 28th, 2011
6:12 pm

I would bet that Diamond was close to making the Twins opening day roster, and they need someone that can start in AAA just in case. Bullock probably didn’t figure as strongly in their bullpen plans. Not all teams have the depth of the Braves.

Wren did his job on this one because the Braves would most likely lose Diamond in a year anyway. This way they get a power pitcher for a couple of years from now.

Mark (another one)

March 28th, 2011
6:17 pm

Conrad has shown what he can do and what he should not be expected to do. He played a few games on defense during the year last year and was fine. It was at the end when he was asked to play every day with the end of year pressure that he blew up.

Given the same situation but this year, Diory or Young or Lucas would be the position replacement at short or second and Prado would take third. Conrad is being asked to hit from the bench. It is not a common ability, and he was successful last year.

predsjack

March 28th, 2011
6:24 pm

Charlie Sheen available to play the part of Wags?

wiki

March 28th, 2011
6:25 pm

I’m sure this theory has been mentioned and I’m not fond of speculating on matters that allegedly don’t exist…..but regarding Wagner’s inclusion on the roster, maybe they have a mutual agreement to keep him on this year in case he gets the itch to play. I don’t know, seems like they could have the same arrangement without having him on the roster……..nevermind.

Brave New World

March 28th, 2011
6:30 pm

I like this trade. Bullock has averaged more than a strikeout per inning at every minor league level thus far (150 strikeouts in only 107 innings). He also has a issued 56 walks, but with seasoning, his strikeout to walks ratio should improve. The Braves are loaded with young arms that have very high upside potential. We are stocked at the major and minor league levels with pitching – not a bad situation! GO BRAVES!

Johnny Bravo

March 28th, 2011
6:31 pm

116 baserunners in 73 innings isn’t too good …

If Bullock isn’t striking them out he’s putting them on base

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2011
6:32 pm

stew, cool. I misinterpreted what you were asking.

Mekons5

March 28th, 2011
6:33 pm

So did the Braves also get the Twins’ wallet, wedding ring and pocket watch during this mugging? Tell them to use the credit cards before the Twins call and cancel them.

Bob the Blogger

March 28th, 2011
6:38 pm

I wouldn’t want to play poker with Frank Wren.

Servin' 5-10

March 28th, 2011
6:43 pm

Just pawn the ring & watch, dump the wallet & credit cards. DAs ain’t messing with identity fraud these days.

ChillyMutt

March 28th, 2011
6:55 pm

Mike Hampton Inn retired from the disabled list and MLB last week. Maybe Wags was just waiting on him to make the first move.

jch

March 28th, 2011
7:02 pm

Looks like Wren is stocking up on high-quality pitching prospects to use for a mid-season/pennant push trade.

bfred

March 28th, 2011
7:04 pm

The Twins gave him up so they wouldn’t have to start the season with Diamond on the major league roster. It sounds like the original sin was claiming Diamond. Minn’s GM really messed the bed with this one. And cleaned himself with the $50k he originally paid for a potential set-up man.

Nice job Wren.

ATL FAN

March 28th, 2011
7:15 pm

Who cares because Scott Proctor and George Sherrill will kill our season anyway…

wiki

March 28th, 2011
7:17 pm

Braves’ preview on MLB tonight @ 8.

Peter

March 28th, 2011
7:30 pm

Jim Bowden (the former Reds GM, now on MLB network radio) said today he is picking the Braves to win the World Series. Hes basically in love with our team, pretty much saying we have no weaknesses, not even defense. I’m not sure I agree with him there, but I know I cant wait for Thursday. I think this is one of the best Braves teams in recent memory. And I include the 90’s teams in that comparison. I’m flying to DC Thursday morning, with tickets to all three games in hand. GO BRAVES!!

Mekons5

March 28th, 2011
8:10 pm

Who cares because Scott Proctor and George Sherrill will kill our season anyway…

Another low-information voter heard from.

northbeach Scott

March 28th, 2011
8:19 pm

ATL FAN, wow, you are suggesting that even though Scott Proctor is no longer on the Braves roster that he will still kill the season for the Braves? He must have some powerful mojo. YIKES!

All kidding aside, Sherrill is really aweful. I believe he will be gone by June when he blows saves after some great efforts by the starters. I saw him in couple of ST games last week and he was ineffective, especially against righty batters.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

March 28th, 2011
8:28 pm

How will Proctor kill our season? He is gone. The Mets can pick him up and he can play 2nd sack instead of Luis Castillo….

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

March 28th, 2011
8:32 pm

Just heard that the Phil’s picked up Castillo to replace Utley…

Maddux Fan

March 28th, 2011
8:38 pm

If anyone wants to be added to the listserve of a brand new Braves newsletter e-mail me at jared.s.isaacson@gmail.com. The first issue has a summary of the 2010 season as well as things to watch for as Spring training winds down and the season starts up. Thanks and Go Braves!

ISH

March 28th, 2011
8:49 pm

All this Wagner BS is starting to feel like a gov’t conspiracy… Somebody call Alex Jones.

NorthGaDawg

March 28th, 2011
9:03 pm

Whatever the deal is with Wags, I for one wouldn’t mind hearing Enter Sandman a few more times on the way to a title…………

In Fredi I Trust

March 28th, 2011
9:06 pm

NY’s Best,

When your team wins 14 consecutive division titles, come talk to us. Besides, why are you trolling on a Braves website when you are a so called Mutts fan? Oh, probably because your team doesn’t have a fan site.

old timer

March 28th, 2011
9:45 pm

Hard to believe anybody is talking Mets smack on this site or anywhere else. I got a kick out of it when, about nine division titles into the run of 14, the Mets mounted a challenge down the stetch one year, and some of the talking heads on ESPN were referring to the Mets as a bitter rival of the Braves. Seems like a rival should compete with you more than once a decade.

Rick

March 28th, 2011
9:52 pm

The Braves probably got Bullock for breeding purposes . I often wondered when teams would start to breed and raise their own bullpen pitchers . When I lived on the farm we used to pay fees to use bulls for breeding but it is better if you can own your own bull . We found that Shorthorn and Hereford were good to breed together . Frank Wren has surely checked out which breed Bullock is already .

headley lamar

March 28th, 2011
10:25 pm

You know its April when you see Mets fans on here.

You know its June when you don’t anymore.

reckingball

March 29th, 2011
1:55 am

It’s more like May, when you stop hearing from the Metropolitan’s fans.

Bartman n Orlando

March 29th, 2011
6:03 am

predsjack – No, but I think Wags is ready to play Charlie (Harper) Sheen.

guest

March 29th, 2011
6:55 am

ray
March 28th, 2011
5:27 pm

this was a very good deal. Twins have a good draft track record. most guys they take in the first few rounds are good prospects. they are always in the playoff mix with a low payroll because of their scouting.
also. I believe Bullock won’t have to be added to the 40 man roster yet as a 2009 college draftee.
Diamond was a 5th starter or middle reliever as a finesse lefty.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

While I agree with most of your post, the Twins payroll was over $97 million in 2010 and projects to be over $110 million in 2011 according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. I don’t think that we can say they are a small payroll team anymore.

TheMaskedBrave

March 29th, 2011
8:57 am

I heard that Atlanta needed a backup first baseman and were going to trade Brooks Conrad for Casey Kotchman.

BravesFrontOfficeMole

March 29th, 2011
8:58 am

Our next deal, if any, will be for a bat off the bench. We’re looking hard.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

don

March 29th, 2011
9:45 am

Using the majority of past history as a guide, I suspect the Twins got the better end of the trade.

D man

March 29th, 2011
10:36 am

MLB network showed the Braves last night on 30 clubs in 30 days. It was a good look at this years club. I’m excited about our team and so are the analyst’s. They pick us to come in a close second behind the phills. They say we have a better pitching staff than the phills. I say pitching wins divisions and so will the Braves…

hangman

March 29th, 2011
11:03 am

wagner will be the next UGA baseball coach

hangman

March 29th, 2011
11:04 am

the best rumor would be that Wagner will become the Braves pitching coach and that’s why he’s still hanging around.

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