PHOENIX -- The D-backs finalized a deal on Thursday night to send right-hander Trevor Cahill and $6.5 million to the Braves in exchange for Minor League outfielder Josh Elander.
With the deal, the D-backs have saved $5.5 million of the $12 million owed to Cahill in 2015, the final year of his contract, and it also opens a spot in the rotation for top prospect Archie Bradley, who has pitched well this spring.
Manager Chip Hale had previously named Cahill one of the five starters, but he admitted early Thursday that Bradley had made them rethink their plans.
Cahill was acquired from the A's in December 2011 along with lefty reliever Craig Breslow in a deal that sent Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook and Collin Cowgill to Oakland.
Cahill was never able to recapture the form he showed during his tenure with the A's. He pitched decently in 2012 before falling off a bit in 2013.
He hit rock bottom last season when the team bumped him from the rotation in April and eventually demoted him all the way to Class A to work on his mechanics and control.
This spring, using revamped mechanics that featured an arm angle that was more over the top than three-quarters, Cahill showed some improvement. The D-backs, though, jumped on the opportunity to jettison his salary and make room in the rotation.
Selected by the Braves in the sixth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the 24-year-old Elander has played mostly left field in the Atlanta system. He hit .219 last year for Class A Lynchburg.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @stevegilbertmlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.