Why Astros and Braves pulled off the most intriguing trade deadline deal

There were 27 trades in all on Major League Baseball trade deadline day on Tuesday with the Colorado Rockies being the only team that did not make a single deal. Of the 27 trades made, the most intriguing deal happened between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. Both squads are en route to making the postseason and tried to improve immediate needs. The Astros, who have had strong starting pitching all season long, traded one of their starters in Jake Odorizzi of Breese, Illinois to the Braves for relief pitcher Will Smith of Newnan, Georgia. The Braves meanwhile thought Smith was expendable because their bullpen his year has been solid.

Jake Odorizzi

Odorizzi will be joining his fifth Major League Baseball team after previously playing for the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros. In 2022 with the Astros, he had a record of four wins and three losses with an earned run average of 3.75. In 60 innings pitched, Odorizzi gave up 52 hits, 25 earned runs, five home runs and 17 walks, to go along with 46 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.15.

Odorizzi’s most notable season came with the Twins in 2019. That year he was an All-Star and posted career-highs in wins (15) and strikeouts (178). Odorizzi also had an earned run average of 3.51. He is expected to replace Ian Anderson in the Braves’ rotation. Anderson is currently the Braves’s fifth starter and has an earned run average of 4.99.

Will Smith

No, not the famous actor or the Los Angeles Dodgers catcher. This is Will Smith, the veteran relief pitcher, who will be joining his fifth Major League team. He has previously pitched for the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves.

This season in Atlanta, Smith pitched 41 games and had a record of zero wins and one loss, with five saves and an earned run average of 4.38. In 37 innings pitched, he gave up 35 hits, 18 earned runs, and 21 walks to go along with a WHIP of 1.51.

Like Odorizzi, Smith is an All-Star from the past. He represented the National League and the Giants in 2019. That year he had a record of 6-0 with 34 saves and an earned run average of 2.76. Last year with the Braves, Smith had a career high in saves with 37.

Other Braves Acquisitions

The Braves made two other notable deals at the trade deadline. First, they acquired reliever Raisel Iglesias of Juventud, Cuba from the Los Angeles Angels for relief pitcher Jesse Chavez of San Gabriel, California and lefthanded pitcher Tucker Davidson.

Iglesias is joining his third team after six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and two seasons with the Angels. He has a record this year of two wins and six losses in 39 games with an earned run average of 4.04. Chavez has pitched in 34 games with the Chicago Cubs and Braves. He has a record of one win and one loss and an earned run average of 2.66. Chavez has previously pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and Texas Rangers.

Then, the Braves acquired outfielder Robbie Grossman from the Detroit Tigers for prospect Kris Anglin. Grossman, a native of San Diego, who has previously played for Houston, San Diego and Oakland, is batting only .205 with two home runs and 23 runs batted in this season.