Atlanta Braves: Kelly Johnson traded to Mets for Akeel Morris


For the second consecutive season, the New York Mets have acquired infielder Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves. The Braves received minor league pitcher Akeel Morris and cash considerations in exchange.

The Atlanta Braves have traded yet another veteran player in order to obtain another young prospect. On Wednesday, June 8, the Braves traded Kelly Johnson for right-handed minor league pitcher Akeel Morris.

Last year the Atlanta Braves traded Johnson, along with Juan Uribe, to the Mets for pitchers Robert Whalen and John Gant. Johnson then returned to the Braves in the offseason, when he became a free agent. Now, after a less than impressive performance this season, the Braves are sending him back to New York.

Via David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution,

"Johnson was traded Wednesday for right-handed prospect Akeel Morris, 23, who’s 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 22 relief appearances this season in Double-A, with 36 strikeouts and 16 walks in 25 1/3 innings.Johnson, 34, struggled in his third career stint with the Braves, batting .215 (26-for-121) with one home run, 10 RBIs and a .273 on-base percentage and .289 slugging percentage (.562 OPS) in 49 games this season.“Great guy in the clubhouse,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “Kelly is special to me, I’ve known him for years since I had him as a kid (on Snitker-managed Double-A team in 2003-2004). Wonderful person, amazing career. And I’m glad for him that he’s going somewhere that he’s familiar with, where he’s wanted and he’s comfortable going. It’s a great opportunity for him.”"

Who is Akeel Morris? Morris, 23, was born in the Virgin Islands, and managed an impressive pitching career throughout  high school. So impressive that his parents sent him to the Dominican Republic to try out for the New York Mets in 2009.

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Morris impressed the Mets too, and was drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. In his first four seasons, he spent time both starting and relieving.

It wasn’t until June of the 2015 season, when he was promoted by the Mets, that Morris saw any time in the major leagues. On his June 18 debut against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Blue Jays would go on to beat the Mets 8-0. Then it was back to the minor leagues for Morris, who went to the Binghamton Mets.

Over a total of seven seasons, Morris has totaled 405 strikeouts and 167 walks in 303 innings over the course of 154 appearances, or 26 starts. He is being assigned to Double-A Mississippi to begin his career with the Atlanta Braves.

Next: Atlanta Braves: A bad week for Erick Aybar

Considering recent struggles for the Braves, could Morris factor in to a bigger picture in the future? Wednesday evening, the Atlanta Braves went on to defeat the San Diego Padres 4-2, making them 17-42 and 5th in the National League East. Is their luck turning around already? At this point, any change for the Braves is probably a good one.