Braves still view Kolby Allard as a high upside piece

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The Braves made a very weird trade a couple of nights ago, sending Jake Odorizzi and cash to the Rangers for Kolby Allard, who came up through the Braves farm system. My initial reaction was excitement. Allard was once a top prospect in the organization, and Odorizzi had no place on the roster in 2023 and is owed $12.5 million. Unfortunately, my excitement lessened when it was revealed the Braves would be sending $10 million to the Rangers in the trade.

In the end, the Braves saved $2.5 million and picked up a project pitcher that they are familiar with. It’s a pretty meh trade, but if Allard can find a way to contribute at some point in the future, we could look about this deal much differently. Alex Anthopoulos believes in the former first-round pick’s talent.

“We like him,” Anthopoulos said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I think there’s still swing-and-miss if you look at the strikeout totals and so on. We know him, we have familiarity with the competitor.”

Allard made his debut with the Braves in 2018, appearing in three games that season. It didn’t go well, but he was only 20-years-old. A year later, he was traded to the Rangers for Chris Martin, who became a key contributor in Atlanta for a couple of seasons.

With Texas, Allard mostly struggled, posting an 8-22 record with a 5.85 ERA. If there is a promising aspect about his last year, he did strike out 113 batters over just 89 AAA innings. I’m hesitant to believe he’ll ever contribute in Atlanta, especially with all the talented arms the Braves already have at their disposal, but he’s worth a flier in a trade that was primarily about dumping salary.

Photographer: Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire

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