Braves acquire another reliever in trade with Rangers

MLB: MAY 28 Rangers at Athletics

The Hot Stove is burning as the MLB trade deadline approaches. The Braves worked out a deal with the Rockies to acquire Pierce Johnson, whose surface-level numbers aren’t great but has been better of late and should experience some positive regression moving away from Colorado and to a contender in Atlanta.

Shortly after the Johnson deal, the Braves announced another trade. This time it was for Rangers pitcher Taylor Hearn in exchange for cash considerations. To make room on the roster, Atlanta designated Dereck Rodrigeuz for assignment.

Hearn hasn’t been good this season, recording a 10.29 ERA in four appearances — 8 earned runs over 7.0 innings. However, his numbers as a member of the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate are better. With Round Rock, the towering lefty has posted a 3.66 ERA over 39.1 IP.

The Braves bullpen doesn’t have many lefties, so this gives them some insurance in case Dylan Lee doesn’t return to form once he’s activated from the IL.

Pierce Johnson‘s track record is much more extensive than Taylor Hearn, but I like the move of taking a flyer on a low-risk arm. The Braves don’t need much, so I wouldn’t expect a deal for a notable name. However, if there’s one area that I would like to see Alex Anthopoulos address, it’s the high-leverage facet of the relief core.

Atlanta has enough middle relievers. When that group gets healthy, there will be a surplus and not enough high-leverage arms. Raisel Iglesias and A.J. Minter are in a tier of their own; it would be nice if AA went out and got another similar caliber reliever.

Photographer: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire
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