First on BravesCenter: Braves acquire Diaz

The Braves have acquired right-handed hitting outfielder Matt Diaz from the Kansas City Royals. BravesCenter's Bill Shanks has the exclusive details.

The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Matt Diaz from the Kansas City Royals for minor league pitcher Rico Rodriguez.

Diaz was designated for assignment last week by the Royals. He hit .281 last season in 89 at bats in Kansas City with one home run and 9 RBI. Diaz hit .370 against left-handed pitchers in his short time in the big leagues.

Last year in Triple-A, Diaz hit .371 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 259 at bats, along with a .408 on base percentage.

Rodriguez pitched last season in Myrtle Beach and went 3-9 with a 5.34 ERA in 33 games. Originally signed as an infielder in 1998, Rodriguez made the switch to the mound before the 2003 season. He saved 12 games for Rome in 2004, along with striking out 61 batters in 49.2 innings of work.

Diaz was originally in the Devil Rays' system. He made the big leagues in 2003 and got only nine at bats. Then he got 21 at bats with Tampa Bay in 2004 before going to the Royals. Diaz's best minor league season was in 2003, when he hit .383 in 227 at bats in Double-A Orlando, and then hit .328 in Durham of the International League.

The Braves have been looking for a right-handed batter to compliment the left-handed hitting duo of Kelly Johnson and Ryan Langerhans.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at

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