Braves acquire pitching depth in trade with Royals

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Opening Day may be the talk of the town, but that hasn’t stopped Alex Anthopoulos from working the phones. Earlier today, it was reported that the Braves reached a three-year deal with Orlando Arcia, keeping him with the club through at least 2025. And just a few minutes ago, the Braves announced a trade with the Royals, acquiring left-handed pitcher Richard Lovelady from the Royals in exchange for cash.

As the saying goes, a team can never have enough pitching, and Anthopoulos has done a damn good job of making sure the Braves won’t have any issues with their pitching staff.

Richard Lovelady isn’t a household name, but he actually could end up being a valuable under-the-radar acquisition. In 2021, he posted a very respectable 3.48 ERA and 10.0 K/9 with a 2.6 BB/9 over 20.2 innings with the Royals. Unfortunately, Lovelady missed all of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery; however, he performed very well during Spring Training. Over eight appearances, he didn’t allow a run and struck out ten.

Still, the Royals decided to option Richard Lovelady, which didn’t make him very happy, as he tweeted out, “What I did never even matters,” soon after he learned of the Royals decision. The tweet has since been deleted, but perhaps his frustration was among the reasons Kansas City ultimately decided to find him a new home.

The Braves bullpen is projected to be a strength of the team, but relief pitching is volatile. You never know how guys are going to pitch one year to the next. Injuries are also inevitable, so don’t be surprised if Lovelady becomes another one of Alex Anthopoulos’ patented under the radar gems this season.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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