January 17, 2007
ATLANTA (TICKER) - The Atlanta Braves apparently have continued to rebuild their bullpen.
Citing an official within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's web site reported Wednesday that the Braves traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Pittsburgh Pirates for lefthander reliever Mike Gonzalez.
According to the report, Gonzalez will serve as a setup man along with newly acquired Rafael Soriano to closer Bob Wickman.
Gonzalez set a club record for saves by a lefthander when he converted all 24 of his saves chances in 2006. The 28-year-old finished 3-4 with a 2.17 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 54 innings.
The 27-year-old LaRoche hit .285 with 32 homers and 90 RBI - all career highs - in his third season with Atlanta in 2006. He hit .323 with 19 homers and 48 RBIs after the All-Star break.
Soriano was acquired from the Seattle Mariners during the winter meetings in December for lefthanded starter Horacio Ramirez. Wickman was acquired from the Cleveland Indians on July 20 for a minor leaguer and converted 18-of-19 save opportunities.