The Atlanta Braves are trying to surpass the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East, and they’ve made a trade that could help. According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Braves have traded for Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman.
sources: braves have deal for gausman
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2018
But that’s not all! The Braves are also getting Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, and sending four minor leaguers back to Baltimore.
The Atlanta #Braves today acquired RHP Kevin Gausman and RHP Darren O’Day from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor leaguers RHP Evan Phillips, INF Jean Carlos Encarnación, C Brett Cumberland, LHP Bruce Zimmerman and international signing slots.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 31, 2018
Gausman, 27, has spent his whole career with the Orioles, and it’s been an up and down affair. His best year came in 2016 when he had a 3.61 ERA over 179.2 innings and 30 starts. Currently, he’s made 21 starts and has a 4.43 ERA, and he’s under team control until 2021.
O’Day lands on the other side of the pitching spectrum from Gausman. He’s a 35-year-old righty reliever who is owed $9 million for 2019. But the most important thing about O’Day is that he won’t pitch again in 2018. He’s been on the disabled list since late June with a Grade 2 left hamstring strain, and had season-ending surgery to correct it. While O’Day could help the Braves in 2019, for now it looks like the Orioles just want to clear his salary from their payroll.
The Braves had a strong start to the season, but they’ve slowed down a bit as a team. They’re just under .500 over the last 30 days, and their overall ERA during that time is an unimpressive 4.66. When you narrow it down just to starters, it’s an even higher 4.90. With the NL East turning into a dogfight, the Braves needed to improve somewhere, and their rotation was the obvious place. They had been involved in the Chris Archer trade talks, but with the price for Archer insanely high, they obviously opted for a cheaper yet controllable option.
Atlanta acquired Adam Duvall from the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, an outfielder who’s had a disappointing year. However, Duvall is a power threat, and that’s just what the Braves are looking for. Neither Duvall or Gausman are major, mind-blowing moves, but they could be what the Braves need to overtake the Phillies and fend off the Washington Nationals.
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