After days of mixed signals, the Braves and Dodgers have completed the previously-cancelled deal centered around Alberto Callaspo and Juan Uribe, according to a report from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. As reported by Rosenthal and MLB.com's Mark Bowman, the deal will send Uribe and right-hander Chris Withrow to Atlanta in exchange for Callaspo and pitchers Eric Stults, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime.
Although the deal was reportedly agreed upon as early as Monday, Callaspo vetoed it earlier in the day, invoking his right as a newly-signed free agent who could cancel any trade before June 15. After many perceived the trade to be completely dead, Callaspo apparently changed his mind in recent hours, and will join the Dodgers as part of what appears to be a creative and complex move for both teams.
Uribe, 36, is an interesting fit for the Braves, who are expecting injured third baseman Chris Johnson to return later in the week and may decide to use Uribe as a backup option. Uribe lost his job in Los Angeles due to the emergence of Alex Guerrero and the expected call-up of recent Cuban signee Hector Olivera, and was rumored to be available on the trade market after hitting .247/.287/.309 in 29 games to start the season.
Withrow, 26, underwent Tommy John surgery a year ago and is expected to return in the second half of the season. The right-handed reliever was the Dodgers' first-round pick (20th overall) in the 2007 draft and has been effective in parts of two major-league seasons, posting a career 2.73 ERA in 46 appearances since breaking into the majors for the first time in 2013.
Callaspo's role on a Dodgers' team with plenty of infield depth is unclear, so his addition may be part of a larger motive for the Dodgers. Team president Andrew Friedman has been creative in finding ways to gain assets and move salary around since taking over the team last fall, so the move may be a way to acquire much-needed pitching depth while taking on the sunk cost of Callaspo's $3 million contract, as the Braves were planning on designating the infielder for assignment if they were unable to work out a trade.
Stults, 35, signed with Atlanta as a free agent in February and has struggled in eight starts so far this season, posting a 6.34 ERA in that span. The veteran southpaw was designated for assignment by the Dodgers upon being acquired, but is likely to clear waivers and become a non-40-man roster depth option for the team in the wake of injuries to Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy, giving the team an added arm behind stopgaps Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger. In a bizarre twist, Stults appeared out of the bullpen for the Braves against the Dodgers on Tuesday night, pitching 3.2 innings of scoreless relief against his new team.
Thomas, 28, has made 21 appearances out of the Braves' bullpen over the last two seasons, posting a 3.94 ERA in that span. The southpaw originally went undrafted out of VCU before hooking on with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the independent American Association and signing as a free agent with the Braves in 2012. He is reportedly going to work as a starter in the minors for Los Angeles, potentially throwing another arm into the rotation mix.
Jaime, 27, made his major-league debut in relief for the Braves last season and has made eighteen appearances in the majors over the last two seasons. His 5.93 ERA in that span led to him being designated for assignment and sent to Double-A earlier in the season, meaning that he will not join the Dodgers' 40-man roster as a result of the trade and will provide bullpen depth in the minors.