La Russa expects Cahill to rebound in Atlanta

Bradley's stellar spring pushes D-backs to make trade with Braves

La Russa expects Cahill to rebound in Atlanta

PHOENIX -- In the end, Archie Bradley's performance forced the D-backs to find a way to add him to the starting rotation.

To create room, the D-backs dealt Trevor Cahill and $6.5 million to the Braves for a Minor League outfielder Josh Elander on Thursday. Though the move saves the D-backs about $5.5 million, D-backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said if not for Bradley's emergence, Cahill would still be on the roster.

"I think to accurately reflect our evaluation of Trevor it wouldn't be a surprise if he was the Comeback Pitcher of the Year," La Russa said. "I think he really worked hard during the winter, he was open to some tweaks in his delivery and he made steady improvement. It wouldn't surprise me if Trevor had a great year. In fact, knowing him, I hope he does."

La Russa said dialogue on Cahill picked up as the spring went on and Cahill continued to pitch well.

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.