In the last 30 minutes of the MLB Trade Deadline, one of the top closers in baseball finally got moved. The Detroit Tigers unloaded on All-Star Closer Shane Greene, sending him to the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.
Greene initially came into the big leagues as a starter for the Tigers. But the last five seasons, the 30-year-old has transitioned into one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball. This season, the Tigers closer has generated 22 saves, with a 1.18 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and 43 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched. In his 225 games pitched as a reliever, Greene has posted a 3.83 ERA, with 65 saves, and limiting opponents batting average to an astonishing .229.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2019
Shane Greene Makes Atlanta Braves Instant Contenders
The Atlanta Braves have been on the hunt to enhance their bullpen depth. In addition to Greene, the Braves also acquired Mark Melancon from the San Francisco Giants. This season, Melancon is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA. For his career, the relief pitcher has posted a 2.82 ERA. Having both Melancon and Greene in the bullpen makes the Atlanta Braves a dangerous team to face come postseason time. With the talented hitters of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman expected to put runs on the board, Atlanta is a team that no one would want to face in the playoffs.
The Detroit Tigers, on the other hand, are in selling mode. On track to lose over 100 games this season (currently 31-72), the Tigers are looking to shop for prospects in order to build for the future. It is not yet known what the return was for Shane Greene, but the Tigers organization obviously believed that trading him would be more beneficial for their rebuild than keeping the closer.
By getting Shane Greene, the Braves also retain his $4 million contract. This makes him controllable through arbitration until the end of the 2020 season. This move was just not a rental for the Braves, but rather an opportunity to have a strong bullpen for years to come.
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