Frank Wren has pulled off some trade magic yet again acquiring a quality lefty reliever for the bullpen. The Braves have traded minor league reliever Cory Rasmus for veteran lefty Scott Downs. I see this as nothing but a big WIN for the Braves.
Downs has pitched really well for the Angels this season with a sparkling 1.84 ERA in 29.1 innings over 43 games. Downs has become a great reliever over the past 7 seasons after middling as a starter for his first few years. Over the past 7 seasons, including this one, Downs has appeared in 422 games, pitching 365.1 innings and totaled a 2.27 ERA. I would say he is a pretty nice piece to add to the pen. The deal is especially good since we didn’t have to give up anything of value really. Rasmus was really bad in his stint with the Braves earlier this season and probably didn’t have much of a future with them anyway.
Downs will most likely face lefties exclusively. He has held left handed batters to a .196 BA this season and has been better facing lefties his entire career.
I personally like this deal because he was a pitcher of need for the Braves pen and we essentially got him for nothing. On a personal level I have followed Downs career because he is from my home town and I actually faced off against him back in my youth.
Since we didn’t give up very much for Downs, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wren looks for another quality reliever also. Keep an eye out for another move.