ATLANTA -- The writing was on the wall, but the Braves made it official Monday morning.
Atlanta traded third baseman Juan Francisco, who played 35 games for the Braves this season, to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league left-handed pitcher Tom Keeling.
The two-player deal will send Keeling to Double-A Mississippi.
Though Francisco has served in a platoon role at third base -- even competing for the starting job outright in spring training -- this news comes as no surprise. With the Braves dealing with injury issues to their bullpen, they called up 2012 draftee Alex Wood last week and designated Francisco for assignment. Strong starts by Chris Johnson (1.0 WAR) and Ramiro Pena (0.8 WAR) made the free-swinging slugger expendable.
That the organization received a lefty reliever in return is no accident, either.
With left-handed setup men Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty relegated to the disabled list due to Tommy John surgeries, the search for a southpaw (even a minor league on...