This is what it would have felt like if the Braves traded for Jim Leyritz in 1997. Or if the Hawks go out and get Paul Pierce in the offseason. Or how Falcons fans felt when Joe Horn threw on an Atlanta jersey.
Let’s all say this together: Juan Uribe is now a member of the Atlanta Braves. Yes, that Juan Uribe. The guy who all but eliminated the Braves from the playoffs back in 2013 with a moonshot that probably hasn’t landed yet.
Craig Kimbrel is still warming up, a buddy of mine posted on my Facebook wall yesterday, in response to the trade. But we’re not still hurt deeply about that game or anything.
The rumors began to swirl 24 hours ago, when MLB writers reported the Braves were working on a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that would send the third baseman to Atlanta. At first, the deal was put on hold when Braves second baseman Alberto Callaspo vetoed the trade, as he is contractually obligated to do.
But on Wednesday, Callaspo reversed his decision and the deal was done, and the guy who was at the forefront of one of the most heartbreaking Atlanta sports moments is coming to Atlanta to play for the home team.
The Braves will send Callaspo, Eric Stults, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime to L.A., MLB.com reported, and Atlanta will also receive right-handed relief pitcher Chris Withrow in the deal.
Withrow is not currently healthy; he’s had Tommy John and back surgeries in the past year, and he’s still recovering from the latter, at least, MLB.com also reported. But once he returns, the Braves will get a solid power reliever who has a high strikeout rate, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Uribe’s stay in Atlanta will probably be temporary, since he’ll be a 36-year-old free agent at the end of this season. For the rest of this season, he will share time at third base with Chris Johnson, who will come off the disabled list in time for Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers.
And while it’s going to take some time getting used to watching Uribe swing without getting PTSD, Braves fans will also be happy to learn that their young ballclub is adding another strong leader in the clubhouse.
So let’s all just take a deep breath and accept the fact that it’s a smart move for the franchise to bring in another strong leader to help raise all this young talent.
But maybe, once we get acquainted, we Atlantans can all work up the courage to ask for our hearts back after he tore them out on that October night back in 2013.
Photo: AP/Danny Moloshok