Eric Stults broke into the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2006. (Getty Images)
DENVER — Left-handed pitcher Eric Stults, whom the Dodgers acquired in the recent trade that sent Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves, will report to Double-A Tulsa.
Stults had been designated for assignment immediately after the trade became official. By accepting an outright assignment, Stults returns to the club that drafted him in 2002 and employed him at the major league level from 2006-09.
In nine games (eight starts) for the Braves this season, Stults went 1-5 with a 5.85 earned-run average.
The Dodgers were ultimately able to keep all four players they acquired for Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow in the organization. Pitcher Ian Thomas is in Triple-A, pitcher Juan Jaime is at extended spring training and infielder Alberto Callaspo is with the Dodgers.
Chris Cotillo of SBNation.com first reported that Stults accepted the outright assignment.
Dodgers pitcher Chris Withrow was the last member of the 2007 draft class still in the organization. (Getty Images)
Logan White had some great drafts as the Dodgers’ amateur scouting director. He found Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley and A.J. Ellis in one year. In another, Dee Gordon and Nathan Eovaldi. In another, Zach Lee and Joc Pederson — in the 11th round.
Oh, and Clayton Kershaw.
None of these years was 2007, which is a forgettable outlier as baseball draft classes go. It’s kind of like the scab you keep picking at that never seems to go away. We’re picking at it today because, well, it sort of went away.
The Dodgers will stretch out Ian Thomas, the left-hander acquired in the Juan Uribe trade, as a starting pitcher.
The 28-year-old made 21 appearances out of the Atlanta bullpen the last two years, going 1-2 with a 3.94 earned-run average.
“You’ll see him up here,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “This guy’s a very serviceable pitcher in the big leagues.”
Gonzalez said the Braves never envisioned Thomas as a starter after signing him out of the independent Northern League in May 2012 but added “he’s got enough pitches that he can start.”
Friedman’s opinion of Thomas is even higher. He began talking to the Braves about Thomas in spring training, and liked the lefty enough that he threw in fireballing right-hander Chris Withrow along with Uribe.
“We feel like his floor is as a good major league reliever,” Friedman said. “He actually has a chance to pitch in our rotation and serve as depth for us, at a time that’s a big emphasis of ours.”
Thomas has one option year remaining on his contract.
Withrow had Tommy John surgery in June 2014. The Dodgers were not counting on him returning until 2016, “in terms of him getting back to what he was,” Friedman said.
Juan Uribe is tagged out sliding into third base in the seventh inning of Monday’s game at Dodger Stadium, a 6-3 Dodgers win over the Atlanta Braves. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers have traded Juan Uribe
and pitcher Chris Withrow
to the Atlanta Braves for Alberto Callaspo
, Eric Stults
, Ian Thomas
and Juan Jaime
. The trade became official Wednesday afternoon once the terms were approved by the commissioner’s office.
The terms of the deal were the same as reported last night.
Stults was designated for assignment, ending his second tenure as a Dodger before it really began. Jaime was sent to extended spring training and Thomas was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Only Callaspo joins the Dodgers’ active roster — wearing number 5, Uribe’s old number.
In an unrelated move, pitcher Sergio Santos was designated for assignment (thus clearing a 40-man roster spot for Thomas). Outfielder Chris Heisey was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is expected to be in uniform for the Dodgers tonight.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is expected to discuss the trade prior to today’s game — against the Braves, so Uribe and Callaspo could be in opposite lineups at Dodger Stadium tonight.
I spent the first six innings of Tuesday night’s game standing in the hallway connecting the Dodgers and Braves clubhouses. That was a waste of time. So far as I can tell, only a bat and a little black book are going to Atlanta — not Juan Uribe, who must have watched the entire game from the Dodgers clubhouse, since he wasn’t in the dugout (or the hallway) after the National Anthem. Maybe he and Hyun-jin Ryu watched the game together. You all can use your imaginations.
Uribe is, of course, about to be traded to the Atlanta Braves. You don’t get choked up about trades that don’t happen. Teammates do not say their goodbyes if you’re going to be their teammate tomorrow.
If Uribe is a Dodger tomorrow, he’ll need a locker.
Multiple reports have the Dodgers receiving Eric Stults, Alberto Callaspo, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime in return for Uribe and Chris Withrow. I can’t offer anything more than that, other than the fact that I saw more Dodgers front office officials hovering around the clubhouse today than any single day since the regular season began.
Check that. I can offer two more things: