The trade deadline is coming up in a hurry and the Atlanta Braves have most of their roster pretty well covered. They are clearly still dabbling with changes with the rotation with the Braves making a waiver claim for Yonny Chirinos yesterday. However, the biggest need that the Braves have at the deadline is reinforcements for the bullpen.
Injuries to several guys have tested Atlanta's depth in their relief corps and while the bullpen has performed well, shoring up the depth has remained a priority. True to form, Alex Anthopoulos did not wait until the last minute to start making as Mark Feinsand reported today that the Braves traded for Rockies' RHP Pierce Johnson for a pair of minor leaguers. Shortly after that, we knew the full terms of the trade.
Braves send Victor Vodnik and Tanner Gordon to the Rockies for Pierce Johnson
Pierce Johnson is currently on a one year, $5 million with the Rockies and while his surface numbers are not great this season (6.00 ERA in 43 appearances this season), he gets a lot of swings and misses, has been much better lately, and could benefit from a change of scenery since Colorado is very unkind to pitchers in general.
In exchange, the Braves are sending Victor Vodnik and Tanner Gordon to the Rockies. Vodnik has a ton of arm talent including a big time fastball, but has struggled with injuries and had to move to the bullpen the last couple of seasons in the minors due to command issues. Gordon has put up decidedly meh to bad numbers the last couple of seasons in the minor leagues as a starter and sports a 5.86 ERA in 16 starts this season.
In short, the Braves get a rental reliever with some upside that while there is a bit of risk in trading a talent like Vodnik away, neither Vodnik nor Gordon seemed to be in the Braves' long-term plans and Johnson could be a very useful bullpen piece especially if the Braves can fix his issues with walks and limit the hard contact against him.