The Braves and Astros pulled off a late-night trade. Atlanta acquired Jake Odorizzi for relief pitcher Will Smith, who will head to Houston.
A late-night stunner occurred in the MLB Verse on the night before the MLB trade deadline. The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves agreed to a swap of pitchers, a rare 1-for-1 deal of MLB players.
The Astros and Braves are both in contention for the playoffs and World Series which makes this trade even more interesting to grade. Nonetheless, let’s see what the trade entailed so that this grade can happen.
So, the Braves are acquiring RHP Jake Odorizzi in exchange for late-inning LHP reliever Will Smith. This is an ideal swap for both sides in terms of depth. The Astros had an overwhelming amount of MLB-caliber starting pitchers while the Braves had an equally large amount of late-inning relievers.
MLB Trade Grades: Houston Astros – B
The Astros easily get an A+ on this trade. They dealt from an area they are deep in to address a significant need on their roster. With Lance McCullers Jr. soon to be returning to the IL, the Astros would’ve had 7 starting pitchers on the roster.
Meanwhile, in the bullpen, they had no reliable left-handed reliever let alone someone that could save games if needed. Will Smith won the World Series last year with the Braves (and against the Astros) as the team’s closer. In his career, he has 91 saves and 177 games finished.
This season, Smith has 41 strikeouts in 37 innings. He has walked a large number of batters, but I’d imagine the Astros pitching lab can fix that. They desperately needed a reliable late-inning lefty reliever. The Houston Astros got one of the best in the MLB. In addition, it was a name that no one even thought was available.
The 32-year-old Will Smith is just the latest great player on the Astros roster and the latest added in the last 24 hours. Great deal. The only reason this grade isn’t higher is, quite frankly, Smith isn’t what he used to be.
But perhaps Houston can revive him.
MLB Trade Grades: Atlanta Braves – B+
The Braves get an A as well since they dealt from an area of strength to help an area of need. Who knows when Mike Soroka will be back? Spencer Strider is quickly approaching a large number of innings that he hasn’t thrown before. Ian Anderson and Charlie Morton have simply been just “good”.
The team needed a reliable starter that could take the day every day. Meanwhile, they had an overwhelming amount of reliable lefties out of the pen like Tyler Matzek, AJ Minter, and the aforementioned Will Smith. That’s why they could deal Will Smith.
Odorizzi is a playoff-tested starting pitcher that can pitch crucial innings down the stretch preserving the bullpen. He’s got a 3.75 ERA in 12 starts this year and has proven strong at avoiding hard contact. He’s a great No.3/4 starter for a playoff team.
This team helps the Braves far more than Will Smith could with Kenley Jansen entrenched as the closer. This trade was truly a win-win for both the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves.