Alex is from my hometown of Charlotte, NC. The only other MLB player I can remember that played high school ball here in town was the White Sox's Ray Durham. When Ray was playing I had just started collecting cards and I only knew how to be a set collector...if that makes sense. I didn't realize people collected their favorite team or player or for other reasons outside of completing the base set of cards.
What was fun about collecting Alex Wood's cards was that I got to see him grow as a pitcher. I got to watch this young, skinny kid come in from the bullpen after being called up from AAA Gwinnett. I got to watch him battle for a spot in the starting rotation. I witnessed his progress as a major league pitcher and hone his knuckle curve ball. Yes, this is one of those trades, at least for me, is tough to accept.
However I'm not Braves General Manager John Hart. I don't claim and never have claimed to know what it takes to run a professional baseball team. I'm putting my faith in the GM that he is making the right move for the future of this team. It's been hard seeing so many fan favorite Braves leave the team this year and during the offseason. Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis, Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrell and even Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe last week.
The Braves weren't supposed to be good this year...and they aren't. However they aren't bottom of their division either. I can still see promise in this team. They've amassed a good bit of young pitching and have some young international flavor in the farm system I know they are relying on in the future.
However the Braves gave up 5 players today in exchange for basically one, Dodgers prospect 3B Hector Olivera. I need to do a quick Google search on this guy to see what all the buzz is about. Or maybe the nightowl or one of my other Dodgers buddies can give me the 411 on this guy. Looks like the team is also getting LHP Paco Rodriguez and a minor league pitcher by the name of Zach Bird and a 2016 competitive balance draft pick (#34 overall).
On the back end the Braves also gave up Bronson Arroyo, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan and top prospect Jose Peraza. To be honest I don't mind losing these guys, even Peraza. I think the acquisition of Jace Peterson from the Padres helped make Peraza a little more expendable, that and Peraza's on the field performance this season. I don't think Bronson has even suited up for the Braves due to injury and Jim Johnson and Avilan have been horrible out of the bullpen.
From a collecting perspective I'll probably still pick up Wood's cards because I think he's a great young guy with lots of potential...I just wish he would've been traded to a club that isn't on the west coast as it'll make it harder for me to follow his career now. Brandon Beachy signed w/ the Dodgers some time ago and I really haven't heard much of him either with him being out west.
Thank you Alex for your time you spent in Atlanta. I know I'm not the only fan that is sad to see you go, but I wish you all the success in the world...unless your team is playing the Braves...and even then I still may secret root for you a little. Just a little.