James Russell is the lefty reliever Atlanta was coveting. Although, to be fair, that is pretty much in name only. He throws left-handed and had been on the list of available lefties who could be had prior to the deadline. However, he isn't having nearly the season as someone like Tony Sipp or Andrew Miller is. Also, and most alarmingly, Russell has not been good when facing left-handed batters.
In 2013, he was masterful at the task. In 115 at-bats, the vast majority of his duties, lefties managed just a .543 OPS against Russell. In 2014, the story is far more bleak. In 65 at-bats, roughly half of his workload, lefty opponents are walloping Russell to the tune of an .889 OPS. The difference is astounding.
The other player coming over in the deal is utility man Emilio Bonifacio. Having just returned from an extended stint on the disabled list, Bonifacio is batting .279 with 15 steals in 280 at-bats on the year. He is also capable of playing all over the diamond, which greatly helps a lineup like Atlanta's.
Of course, Bonifacio is not the stellar bat good enough to garner everyday playing time, and Russell is clearly not pitching like a shutdown, matchup lefty.
There are still a few more moves the Braves could make in August to set themselves up for a successful playoff push.
August Trade Reminder: Any player Atlanta wishes to obtain must either pass completely through waivers or not be claimed by anyone with a worse record than the Braves. If the player in question is placed on waivers from an American League club, though, he would have to be passed over by every AL team AND any NL club with a worse record in order to reach Atlanta.