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Braves fill holes with deadline maneuvering

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Atlanta didn’t make a splashy addition but were able to fill a number of holes on their current roster.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

While the Atlanta Braves were unable to make the splashy addition that many were hoping for, they were successful at filling some holes with several moves at the trade deadline. Perhaps the best news, they were able to do so without moving any of their top of the line prospects.

Alex Anthopoulos has shown a patient approach since taking over as the team’s general manager this past offseason. He was unwilling to move prospects for rentals and was proactie is seeking controllable assets that could help the team not only this season but in future seasons as well.

The Braves were reportedly in on Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer who ultimately was dealt to the Pirates although Anthopoulos told reporters after the deadline that their involvement may have been overstated. The price was understandably high for Archer and rightfully so. Luckily Anthopoulos and the Braves were able to switch gears and still bolster the rotation with the addition of Kevin Gausman from the Orioles.

Here is a rundown of the Braves’ trade deadline activity.

Braves acquire Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day from Orioles in exchange for four prospects and international bonus pool money

The Braves sent four prospects and international bonus pool slot to Baltimore for Gausman and reliever Darren O’Day who is injured but under contract for next season. The prospects, Jean Carlos Encarnacion, Brett Cumberland, Evan Phillips and Bruce Zimmerman are all nice prospects but are all outside Atlanta’s Top 15. Encarnacion probably has the highest upside of the group but he was playing at Low-A and is far enough away that there was a high risk factor.

Gausman is 27 years old and is under contract through 2020. He should benefit from a move to the National League and will likely get a boost with the Braves’ defense behind him. Per FanGraphs, Gausman has been worth 1.3 fWAR this season which would be third best on among Braves’ pitchers trailing only Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb.

Acquiring O’Day and his $9 million price tag for next season drags this deal down a bit in my eyes but Anthopoulos liked the idea of having a veteran presence that he can provide in next year’s bullpen.

Braves acquire Adam Duvall from Reds for Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims and Preston Tucker

This deal happened late Monday night and gives the Braves a right-handed power option to add to the outfield mix. The Braves are planning for a platoon situation with Duvall with Ronald Acuna sliding over to center in place of Ender Inciarte against left handed pitching.

Duvall’s overall numbers this season aren’t that impressive but the numbers also show that he has been a bit unlucky. He is carrying a BABIP of just .244 which is about 30 points lower than his career average. Additionally his hard-hit rate and line drive rate are solid which suggest he is making good contact.

The price for acquiring Duvall was three Triple-A players in outfielder Preston Tucker and pitchers Matt Wisler and Lucas Sims. Atlanta acquired Tucker after he was DFA’d by the Houston Astros this offseason. He opened the season as the team’s primary left fielder but eventually gave way to Acuna.

Both Wisler and Sims have failed to make good on numerous opportunities over the last few seasons and could benefit from a change of scenery.

Braves acquire Jonny Venters from Tampa Bay in exchange for international slot money

Anthopoulos’ first order of business was adding some experience and depth to the bullpen. He did so by making a pair of deals involving trading international slot money. The first deal returned fan favorite Jonny Venters to the Braves.

Venters is a much different pitcher from his early days in Atlanta but still possesses a good sinker and had good numbers in 22 appearances with the Rays. He is a solid if unspectacular option against left handers which was a huge need given A.J. Minter’s transition into the closer role along with the struggles of Sam Freeman.

Braves acquire reliever Brad Brach from the Orioles in exchange for international slot money

Brach was having an unspectacular season with the Orioles compiling a 4.85 ERA in 42 games with the Orioles. He however, has a solid track record and is carrying a .371 BABIP against this season which suggests that he could benefit from a switch to the National League as well as having a good Braves’ defense behind him.