Braves trade international pool money to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jonny Venters
This was a great move. The Braves parted ways with an asset they literally could not use for a fan favorite who fills a huge need. Venters has made a historic comeback this season. He has bounced back from 3 and a half Tommy John Surgeries. Sure, perhaps health could be a concern here. But Venters has legitimately been dominant since his return. He has given up just one earned run in 23 outings of relief this season. For a team that desperately needed bullpen help, this is a great addition with zero risk involved.
Braves trade international pool money to the Baltimore Orioles for Brad Brach
Brad Brach has been absolutely dominant throughout his whole career. If a team had made a move for him a couple years ago, they would have had to give up serious assets. While Brach has had the first down year of his career, the Orioles have had just an absolutely helpless team and environment this season. We all know Brach is better than the stat sheet has shown this year and could prove to be a great pickup. Rumor has it he resides in Braves Country as well, so it would be nice to see him stick around past this season. the Braves have been linked to Brach for a few seasons now, so that would not be surprising. Oh, and like Venters, the Braves got him for free.
Braves trade Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims, and Preston Tucker to the Cincinnati Reds for Adam Duvall
This was another great move for Alex Anthopolous. There is no denying Adam Duvall has not been great this season. However, there is also no denying that he is an upgrade from Preston Tucker and that this deal opens up rotation spots in AAA for bodies who will play a much larger part in the future of this team than Sims or Wisler. Sims may benefit from a change of scenery but has the makings of a AAAA guy. The team has long given up on Wisler. However, they get a two-time former 30 home run hitter and former all-star in Adam Duvall, who is under contract until 2022. it just seems as if it is nearly a guarantee he will rebound by then. This move gives the Braves the ability to platoon matchups in the outfield for this season, and also give the team Nick Markakis insurance in free agency this winter. The Braves got a much needed power bat, even if they did go discount shopping.
Braves trade Jean Carlos Encarnacion, Evan Phillips, Bruce Zimmermann and Brett Cumberland for Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day
This one was a bit harder to swallow than the others because the Braves actually gave up something. Now, they did not give up any headliners or anything, like the Pirates did for Chris Archer. So you cannot complain here. However, the Orioles did get some quantity and quality of prospects. Jean Carlos Encarnacion has had a great year for Rome, and while he does not walk much and could have a low OBP in the future, he is still a promising piece. Bruce Zimmermann and Evan Phillips have both come into their own this season and could be major league regulars in the future, though probably not stars or anything like that.
At first, I was not too crazy about the move. Then I watched Kolby Allard last night. He looked solid, but it is clear the 20-year old could use a bit more seasoning. Thus, I have no problem with bringing in Gausman. He has unrealized potential and the Braves have historically been good at developing pitching, and the Orioles have been historically bad at it. The Braves get a solid arm here who is under control for the new couple seasons, and a guy in Darren O’Day who has been dominant and can contribute to the bullpen next year. Gausman’s floor makes him worth having out there instead of rushing prospects, and he has the potential to be even better.