The Atlanta Braves are jumping in a time machine to address their bullpen's left-handed pitching need. He previously played for the Atlanta team from 2009 to 2013. The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded left-hander Eric O'Flaherty to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for cash considerations, the clubs announced.
Last season was O'Flaherty's first coming off of Tommy John surgery.
The Bucs had signed O'Flaherty to a minor-league deal, and he sort of did his part in competing for a role in their bullpen, allowing eight runs (though only three were earned) while striking out eight and walking two over 9.1 innings this spring.
Instead of the minors, O'Flaherty will be a part of the opening day 25-man roster for the Braves. The trio, nicknamed "O'Ventbrel", became one of the most effective back-end combinations in baseball, especially in 2011, when O'Flaherty posted an ERA of 0.98 in 73.2 innings pitched.
It could end up proving to be a low-risk, high-reward deal for Braves, since O'Flaherty struggled last season and the Braves only had to surrender cash. The Braves acquired Krol from Detroit in hopes that he would be ready to fill a spot in the Atlanta bullpen, but with his ineffectiveness this spring, the Braves must have felt that a move was necessary.
The 31-year-old lefty served as the setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel until he blew out his elbow in May of 2014.