MIAMI — The Braves sent minor-league reliever Eliecer Cardenas to the Pittsburgh Pirates as the player to be named to complete an Aug. 31 trade that brought outfielder Matt Diaz to Atlanta.
Cardenas is a 23-year-old right-hander who didn’t reach Double-A for the first time until this season. He spent five seasons in the Twins organization before the Braves took him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last winter.
He was dominant at high Class-A Lynchburg this season but had alarmingly bad numbers in five appearances at Double-A Mississippi, allowing 15 hits and 14 runs (nine earned) in just three innings (27.00 ERA), with two homers, six walks and one strikeout.
Cardenas posted an 0.79 ERA with 75 strikeouts and only 31 hits allowed in 56-2/3 innings at Lynchburg, albeit with 29 walks.
In six minor league seasons, he’s 20-10 with a 2.52 ERA in 138 games (26 starts), with 284 strikeouts and 136 walks in 297 innings. Four of those seasons were spent in the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League in rookie ball.