The Atlanta Braves made a trade on Monday to bolster their bullpen, adding reliever Scott Downs from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for pitcher Cory Rasmus.
The Angels' official Twitter account verified the move:
The #Angels have acquired RHP Cory Rasmus from the Braves in exchange for LHP Scott Downs.— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 29, 2013
On the season, Downs is 2-3 with 22 strikeouts, a 1.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 18 holds. In his 12-year career, mostly spent as a reliever, Downs has accumulated a 36-35 record with 535 strikeouts, a 3.47 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.
Atlanta desperately needed another lefty arm in its bullpen, so the addition of Downs makes a ton of sense for the team. Downs is a solid option out of the bullpen, as the Braves' official Twitter account noted with a few stats:
Downs made 29 consecutive scoreless apps. (5/5-7/23) this year while notching 13 holds and holding opps. to a .183 clip during that stretch.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 29, 2013
Since the start of the 2008 season, the Kentucky native ranks fourth among all major league relievers with a 2.28 ERA (min. 200 IP).— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 29, 2013
Rasmus, 25, has made three appearances for Atlanta this year as a long reliever with six strikeouts, an 8.10 ERA and 1.65 WHIP.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post has more on Rasmus' future:
While Atlanta leads the National League East by 8.5 games, this deal could signal the Angels are about to become sellers. The team is currently in fourth place in the American League West, 13 games out of first place, and 8.5 games back in the wild-card chase.
Who won this deal?
With the very real possibility of Albert Pujols missing the remainder of the season with a partially torn plantar fascia, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (h/t Sporting News), any postseason hopes for L.A. have grown much dimmer.
In other words, Downs could be the first of several Angels to be shown the door before the July 31 trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET.