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Arizona Diamondbacks trade highly-touted prospect Touki Toussaint to Atlanta

First reported by senior baseball writer and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, the Arizona Diamondbacks have officially executed a trade that will send highly-touted pitching prospect Touki Toussaint to Atlanta.

Toussaint is ranked as the organization’s fifth-best prospect according to Baseball America and was the D-backs’ first round pick in last year’s MLB draft. In seven starts with Class A Kane County, Toussaint has posted a 3.69 ERA, but had reportedly been battling command issues.

Saturday was Toussaint’s 19th birthday.

D-backs pitcher Bronson Arroyo will also join Toussaint in Atlanta, while Arizona will receive Braves infielder Phil Gosselin. Arroyo has not pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery last July.

In 14 starts with the D-backs, Arroyo went 7-4 with a 4.08 ERA.

Gosselin, 26, is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb fracture. In 20 games with the Braves this season, Gosselin has hit .325 to go along with four doubles and two RBI.

D-backs senior vice president and general manager Dave Stewart addressed members of the media in the moments following the trade.

“[The trade] has to do with where we’re taking our starting rotation,” Stewart said. “Bronson is due to pitch, we’re thinking, mid-to-late July, maybe August. We’re getting some pretty good showings from our young pitching and that’s where we think where we’re probably going go and stay.

“In order to move a contract [like Arroyo’s], Touki had to be a part of it.”

Though Stewart believes Toussaint will ultimately develop into a big league pitcher, he admitted that clearing Arroyo’s contact was “definitely important” and that the growing dilemma of what to do with Arroyo upon his anticipated return in a matter of weeks was a major factor in executing the deal.

“We’re going to try and do what we can to promote our young pitching, but also give ourselves a chance to make some savings so that we can have an opportunity to do things at a later date,” Stewart said.

Of Gosselin, Stewart called the versatile infielder a “gritty,” “tough” and “competitive” player who the team expects to return from the DL in four weeks time.

“Our scouting reports liken him to (Justin) Turner in Los Angeles,” Stewart said. “Not the same kind of power, but possesses that kind of ability to hit and put the ball in the gaps. We expect him, when he’s healthy and ready to go, to compete on this team and help our team going forward.”