Braves Trade For Relief Pitcher Luis Ayala From Orioles

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

The Braves add a veteran to their bullpen.

The Atlanta Braves have acquired right-handed relief pitcher Luis Ayala from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Chris Jones. Ayala is a 35-year old veteran with nine years of Major League experience -- all in relief.

I'm not sure why the Braves felt they needed another reliever, but apparently they wanted to get another veteran in the bullpen. Hopefully this does not mean there's an injury that we haven't been told about.

Chris Jones was acquired from the Indians in the Derek Lowe deal two years ago. His future as a Major Leaguer would be as a LOOGY or lefty long-man out of the bullpen.

The Braves could wait until Friday to make a roster move, as Ayala likely wouldn't make it in time for tonight's game (he's in Boston with the O's), and the Braves have an off-day tomorrow. They could try to make another trade between now and then. The likely odd man out of the bullpen is Cristhian Martinez. He was considered on-the-bubble very late in spring training, but it's hard to say who will go.

This is certainly a curious move so early in the season, with no real hole in the bullpen that needed to be plugged. We'll have to see what the team's explanation for this move is.

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