The first big news of the trade season for the Atlanta Braves didn’t come until today, the Monday a couple of days before the MLB trade deadline. There had been a ton of rumors about starters and not wanting starters but the one thing that was clearly true was that the Braves wanted a left-handed reliever. In a trade that can only be called amazingly good for the Braves, they brought in Scott Downs from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for sending Cory Rasmus out west.
Rasmus is a good pitcher but still has some time to grow into a completely consistent bullpen guy. He will get there for the Angels but he is also right-handed which the Braves have plenty of. Sending him out to bring in Downs is a perfect solution for the Braves who now have a top left-handed reliever to bolster what has been MLB’s best overall bullpen for a great deal of the season. Because Downs is deadly to left-handers and also very good against righties; he will be an awesome piece to bring in late innings to salvage some innings that have been going towards work-horses Jordan Walden and Luis Avilan.
Rasmus isn’t really a big loss at all for the Braves and they sent Kameron Loe down to make more room for Downs on Monday night. Loe has not been near effective of late so his demotion is a good thing. Replacing him with Downs for the price of Rasmus is such an amazingly great deal it makes you want to pinch yourself if you are a Braves fan. Actually team GM Frank Wren said the same thing in an interview on the official Braves site. It is for real though. The best bullpen in the bigs just got even better.