The two teams that squared off in the 2021 World Series paired up for a reported pre-deadline trade on Monday. According to Mark Berman, the Houson Astros are sending right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves for left-handed reliever Will Smith.
Odorizzi, 32, this season has a 3.75 ERA and 2.71 K/BB ratio in 12 starts for Houston this season. He missed roughly six weeks earlier in the year because of lower leg discomfort. Odorizzi is owed the balance of an $8 million salary for this season, and his contract includes a $6.5 million player option/$3.25 million buyout for 2022. The Braves have a full rotation at the moment, but Odorizzi gives them an option in the event that they decide Charlie Morton or Ian Anderson isn’t passing muster.
For Houston, their rotation depth allowed them to part with Odorizzi for a needed lefty arm in the bullpen. The 33-year-old Smith has a 4.38 ERA and 1.95 K/BB ratio this season, but in Atlanta he’s been overexposed to the opposite side. If Dusty Baker with the Astros is able to confine him, at least mostly, to platoon-advantaged situations, then he should fare better. For his career, Smith has limited left-handed batters to an OPS of .645. Smith’s contract includes a team option for 2023.
At present, the Astros are 67-37 and in first place in the American League West. The reigning-champion Braves, meantime, are 62-41, firmly in possession of a wild-card spot, and still within range of the first-place Mets in the National League East.
Elsewhere, the Braves on Monday also acquired outfielder Robbie Grossman from the Detroit Tigers, Joel Sherman reports. Grossman, 32, has struggled in Detroit this season with a slash line of .205/.313/.282 and two home runs in 83 games. He’s a pending free agent. Going to the Tigers will be lefty pitching prospect Kris Anglin, reports Cody Stavenhagen. Anglin, who soon turns 21, has a 5.23 ERA over parts of two minor-league seasons. He’s a former 16th-rounder.