The Braves sold high on Thursday when they opted to deal pitcher Bud Norris to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for two minor league pitchers. Though he got off to a rough start in 2016, in his last 15 games (5 starts) he has compiled a 2.30 ERA. Norris served his purpose for the Braves. He was an effective innings eater and provided some value on the trade market when it was all said and done. He will certainly help the Dodgers, as Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 15-Day DL earlier today. Norris can offer the Dodgers quality starts and they will also have the option of putting him in their bullpen come playoff time. Dian Toscano was also sent to the Dodgers in the deal.
As far as the Braves’ return goes, they did pretty well considering Norris had zero value just a couple months ago. They acquired Caleb Dirks an Phil Pfeifer, both guys who have solid minor league numbers and project to help our bullpen in future years.
Dirks may be a familiar name for some fans, as he was sent to the Dodgers last season in exchange for a international pool slot. The right-hander has put together a 1.44 ERA in 28 appearances for AA Tulsa, and has a career 1.43 ERA in the minor leagues. He has a 10.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 on the season.
In Phil Pfeifer, the Braves acquire the Dodgers’ 3rd round pick just a year ago. He has put up good numbers in his own right. So far in the minors he has a 2.67 ERA and a very high 12.4 K/9 rate, but he will have to bring down his walk numbers if he wants to be successful at the big league level.
Overall, this a good move for the Braves. They get two guys who could help our bullpen for half a decade, and Norris was on a one-year deal during a lost season. This also opens up a rotation spot for the young guys, though the timing is a tad bit unfortunate due to the Braves’ rotation recently catching the injury bug. This is a classic example of a trade that benefits both sides.