May 27, 2024

Another former Braves pitcher involved in the Jarred Kelenic trade has succumbed to injury. Just under a month ago, on February 16th, it was revealed that Cole Phillips would undergo Tommy John surgery. This development carries significance as Phillips was the primary prospect sent to Seattle when the Atlanta Braves acquired Kelenic.

Red-hot Jarred Kelenic gets first start for M's against left-handed pitcher  | The Seattle Times

The trade primarily served as a salary dump for Seattle, involving the departure of Marco Gonzales and Evan White alongside Kelenic to alleviate their salaries. In return, the Braves dispatched Cole Phillips, their second-round pick in 2022. Additionally, the Mariners acquired Jackson Kowar, whom the Braves had acquired earlier in the offseason in exchange for Kyle Wright.

Unfortunately, Jackson Kowar is also set to undergo Tommy John surgery. While Kowar has encountered significant struggles in his Major League career, this setback is undoubtedly challenging for Seattle, especially since both pitchers acquired in the trade will be sidelined for an extended period. Phillips will be undergoing his second procedure and has yet to make a professional appearance since being drafted.

Furthermore, the trade was met with discontent among many Mariners fans, given its nature as primarily a salary dump, which also involved relinquishing a former top prospect. These injury developments only exacerbate the dissatisfaction surrounding the trade.

From the Braves’ perspective, the trade allowed them to shed some of the salary burden incurred from Gonzales and White. They sought a cost-effective move to potentially secure their left fielder for the foreseeable future. However, with both pitchers they traded now facing lengthy recoveries from Tommy John surgery, the Braves’ acquisition of Kelenic can be viewed as an extremely low-cost transaction.

If Kelenic manages to deliver the value similar to what Eddie Rosario provided the Braves, the trade could be deemed successful from the team’s standpoint. There’s also optimism regarding Kelenic’s potential improvement under the guidance of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer.

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