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Braves Trade Yunel Escobar, Jo-Jo Reyes To Blue Jays For Alex Gonzalez And Two Prospects

After months of frustration, false starts, and disappointment, the Braves have taken this All-Star break opportunity to make a move at shortstop:

The Blue Jays acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar and pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes from the Braves for shortstop Alex Gonzalez and minor leaguers Tim Collins and Tyler Pastronicky, according to a team press release.  The Jays designated Ronald Uviedo for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

After posting three consecutive above-average seasons, Escobar has taken a big step back in 2010, as the 27 year old has batted just .238 with zero home runs. His defense remains perfectly fine, but the Braves decided they could wait no longer for his bat to come around. Hence, Gonzalez, who spent eight years in the NL East earlier in his career when he played for the Marlins. Gonzalez is a plus defensive veteran shortstop who struggles to get on base but who hits for some power, as he's already slugged 17 dingers. In that sense, he's an improvement over what the Braves have been getting.

Reyes - a left-handed pitcher - has battled a few leg injuries, but he throws four pitches and can ramp his fastball into the low-90s, giving him a little bit of potential. Meanwhile, Collins is a 20 year old relief prospect with big numbers and a deceptive delivery but limited raw stuff, while Pastornicky is a 20 year old middle infield prospect who's currently getting by in high-A ball.

Gonzalez has a $2.5m option for 2011, while Escobar will be under Toronto's control for the next three seasons. At first glance, the trade seems to be a win for the Blue Jays, as Escobar is a good candidate to bounce back and provide a solid contribution from short on the cheap. On the other hand, Bobby Cox and the rest of the Braves are likely thrilled to be relieved of a very frustrating young player.

Be sure to check out reactions to the trade over at Bluebird Banter and Talking Chop.