The Braves have traded single-A catcher Max Ramirez for Bob Wickman. A few thoughts:
1. This is a pretty good trade, mainly because the Braves gave up so little. Reds fans have to be scratching their heads right now how their team gave up two quality position players for bullpen help, while the Braves got bullpen help and only had to give up a single-A catcher in return. The Braves are set at catcher for the foreseeable future with Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, so even if Ramirez turns out to be Jeff Bagwell (a highly unlikely possibility), it's not really a big deal because he would have been blocked from being a major league catcher anyway.
2. That said, Wickman is not going to be a panacea. He has a decent ERA and some saves, but his numbers don't indicate that he's going to be anything close to a lights-out closer. 5.46 K/9 is not great. That said, he's allowed only one homer in 28 innings, which makes him a wee bit better than our current "closer" Jorge Sosa. He's certainly an improvement over what the Braves currently have in the pen and even if he can't close, using him in the 8th inning as a bridge to Ken Ray (or using the two of them interhangeably late in games) ought to make this team a little better. Plus, there ought to be some sort of salutary "management is doing their best for us" morale effect in the clubhouse, although the team doesn't appear to need much encouragement these days.
3. Kudos to David O'Brien for referring to Wickman as the Braves' "first established veteran closer" since John Smoltz returned to the rotation. It's good for DOB's sanity that he's completely blotted the existence of Dan Kolb out of his memory.