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Braves acquire Ayala from O's to replace Venters

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06:02 PM ET 04.10 | In response to the uncertainty surrounding Jonny Venters' elbow, Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves acquired 35-year-old right-handed reliever Luis Ayala from the Orioles in exchange for 24-year-old, left-handed pitcher Chris Jones. Ayala was extremely effective in 2012, posting a 2.64 ERA over 75 innings with Baltimore, and though he is right-handed, his career splits indicate a particular effectiveness against left-handed batters. Ayala's acquisition in the bullpen helps to battle a bullpen that already has two dominant lefties (Eric O'Flaherty and Luis Avalan) along with RHP Jordan Walden, who has been more effective in his career against left-handed hitters. There is some cause for concern in Ayala's repertoire, as advanced stats indicate (3.67 FIP last year) that he's been a little lucky over the past two seasons, and when you combine that with a lackluster strike-out rate (5.97 per nine for his career), it doesn't inspire awe. With that said, however, the potential loss of Venters for the season leaves a bit of a hole, and I wholeheartedly endorse bringing in a legitimate, veteran option into the bullpen. As far as the Braves' loss in the deal, many people believe that Chris Jones will be a major-leaguer one day, and there's some upside in the 24-year-old. He pitched 60 innings over 45 games in double-A last season with pretty good success, posting a K/9 of 9.15 and a FIP of 2.38. There is likely a middle-relief ceiling there, so the "downside" in this trade isn't really there, but it's not as if Ayala was acquired for absolutely nothing.

ATL All Day

Luis Ayala, AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Luis Ayala, AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
April 11, 2013  03:27 AM ET

Ayala is a much travelled pitcher.

April 11, 2013  12:19 PM ET

Insurance.

 
April 12, 2013  08:23 AM ET

It is one of those deals that good be good for the O's down the road, give up a veteran you really don't need, get a 24 year old that could turn out to be a gem, but if not will fill in a space at Triple A.

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