LOS ANGELES — Alberto Callaspo has been scratched from the Atlanta Braves’ starting lineup by manager Fredi Gonzalez for the second consecutive night, an indication the proposed multiplayer trade that would send the infielder to the Los Angeles Dodgers for third baseman Juan Uribe may be back on.
The Braves announced about 15 minutes before the first pitch that Pedro Ciriaco was replacing Callaspo at third base and batting in the seventh spot.
Callaspo, who played for the Los Angeles Angels from 2010-13, originally nixed the trade. A collective bargaining agreement provision states any player who became a major league free agent cannot be traded without his approval until after June 15. Callaspo agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Braves in December after spending last season with Oakland.
“I have no thoughts, other than it didn’t happen,” Gonzalez said about 2 1/2 hours before the game. “I’m sure it happens a lot when teams talk back and forth with a deal that’s almost ready to go, and then at zero hour somebody decided not to do it.
“Unfortunately, it was found out about because he was taken out of the lineup. And that’s the right way to do it,” Gonzalez added. “You don’t want a player that you’re possibly going to trade get hurt. I talked to Albert this morning just before I came to the ballpark, and he’s fine with it. It’s all good. He’s a good teammate and a popular guy in our clubhouse.”
Uribe, who has the same agent as Callaspo, lost his starting job due to a hitting slump and the emergence of veteran Justin Turner and rookie Alex Guerrero, who has eight home runs in 81 at-bats.
“There are some things that some guys aren’t going to like. And within our organization, I’m the guy who delivers that news and I’m the guy that writes that lineup,” manager Don Mattingly said before the game. “Juan’s a professional. And in professional sports, the guy that performs is the guy that plays. Justin has swung the bat well, Alex has swung the ball well, and we’ve been trying to find playing time for him.”
Uribe, who helped the Dodgers win consecutive NL West titles after winning World Series rings with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and San Francisco in 2010, is making $6,925,000 this year. Perhaps his biggest contribution to the club was in Game 4 of the 2013 NL division series at Dodger Stadium, when he hit a decisive two-run homer against the Braves in the eighth inning.
“I respect their decision,” Uribe said through a translator. “One never knows what’s going to happen. If I play for another team, then I play for another team. I can’t control what happens. You have to take things as they come. It’s happen to me before. One day you’re here, one day you’re not. Thank God there are other teams that are interested in me.”