Brad Brach Traded to Braves from Orioles for International Slot Money

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2018

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brad Brach throws against the Minnesota Twins in a baseball game Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Minneapolis.(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves added reinforcements to their bullpen as they continue to pursue a National League East title.

On Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles announced they traded relief pitcher Brad Brach to Atlanta in exchange for international signing bonus slot money. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Baltimore received $250,000 in international slot money in the trade.

Rosenthal also added context to the move, noting it "further reinforced" a report from The Athletic’s Emily Waldon suggesting Baltimore had its eye on coveted international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.

Brach, 32, has been something of an innings-eater in recent years for the Orioles, appearing in 62 contests in 2015 (79.1 innings), 71 contests in 2016 (79.0 innings) and 67 contests last year (68.0 innings).

The right-hander has pitched 39 innings over 42 games this season and sports a 4.85 ERA, 1.77 WHIP and 38 strikeouts. The ERA would mark his highest total in the statistic since he was a rookie pitcher for the San Diego Padres in 2011 and appeared in just nine games.

According to Zachary Silver of MLB.com, Brach is excited to be headed toward a contender but was still sad to leave Baltimore and its "incredible" fans.

The Braves and their fans are hoping Brach resembles the 2015 and 2016 versions of himself down the stretch rather than the one who has struggled for much of this season. He posted a 2.72 and 2.05 ERA in those two years, respectively, and was part of a formidable Orioles team that reached the playoffs in 2016.

Atlanta’s bullpen is a mere 19th in the league in ERA, per ESPN.com, and could use a bounce-back effort from Brach.

As for the Orioles’ interest in Mesa, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun noted "they have the international bonus slot availability to pursue a player such as Mesa, who could be seeking a signing bonus in the range of $3 million to $4 million, which would be an unprecedented international investment for the Orioles."

This trade will give them even more financial resources to make a run at signing him.