The MLB trade deadline is all anyone has been talking about, and for good reason. It’s right around the corner. With the trade deadline just two days away the Atlanta Braves have made their first move by trading for former Baltimore Oriole, Brad Brach. The Orioles will receive $250,000 in international signing bonus allocation money in exchange for Brach, whose contract with the Orioles would have ended at the conclusion of the season. Atlanta didn’t give up a single player. It’s quite the deal, considering that Bach used to be considered one of the best pitchers in the league just two years prior.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 29, 2018
In another effort to reinforce their bullpen, the Braves have also acquired left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters from Tampa Bay on Thursday. Tampa Bay also traded not for a player, but for more international trade money.
Everyone knew that the Braves needed to add depth to their bullpen and it sounds Brad Brach could be the perfect fit for the Braves. Or at least that’s what general manager Alex Anthopolus says of him:
“Look, he’s not having the year he’s had in the past, but we think there is some upside there based on what he’s done in the past,” says Anthopolus “He’s had some bad luck. There could be some things with his mix, some tweaks we could make to get him back to the high level he’s performed at in the past.”
It’s true. The right-handed pitcher was a high-level player in the past, owning an incredible 2.05 ERA in 2016 and topping it off with a starting position in the All-Star game. But in the years since then, Brach hasn’t been putting up those same numbers. Last year he put up a decent 3.18 ERA but has a 4.85 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 39 innings with the Orioles so far this season. And if that isn’t bad enough, Bach owns an astoundingly-horrible 10.80 ERA over the last ten games.
Still, despite the previous few rough seasons that have plagued Brach, he gives the Braves an ample amount of much-needed breathing room. Especially if he can get back into his old playing form. Currently, the Braves’ bullpen has an average of 4.25 (ranking 19th in the MLB) and they need all of the help they can get. Even if that means that their help comes in the form of an inconsistent pitcher with a 4.85 ERA.
Regardless of if Brach is unable to get back into 2016 playing form, it probably won’t matter all that much to the Braves. They didn’t have to give away a single player in the trade to the Orioles and $250,000 dollars doesn’t seem like much in the world of baseball.
Perhaps a change of scenery in Atlanta will do Brach good. If not, it probably won’t matter very much anyway.