A pair of World Series contenders swapped arms on Monday night as the Houston Astros sent starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for reliever Will Smith, according to multiple reports.
With the trade deadline on Tuesday, the defending champions had a busy evening, as the Braves also agreed to a deal that will bring outfielder Robbie Grossman to Atlanta from Detroit.
Though the Braves entered the day sixth in the majors in team ERA, their starters’ 3.86 ERA is 12th in baseball. Odorizzi, an All-Star with Minnesota in 2019, is 4-3 in 12 starts this season with a 3.75 ERA across 60 innings pitched.
He returned from a month-and-a-half long absence on July 4 after suffering a leg injury on May 16 that forced the right-hander to be carted off the field in Boston.
He is 72-66 with a 3.94 ERA over his 11-year career and has appeared in three playoff games — all since 2019. The 32-year-old is 0-1 in those games, surrendering six earned runs over 11 1/3 innings.
Smith, 33, has been with Atlanta since the beginning of the 2020 season and is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA and five saves in 41 games this season.
The left-hander, who was an All-Star in 2019 with San Francisco, saved 37 games and led the league with 60 games finished last season. He then went 2-0 with six saves over 11 appearances in the Braves’ postseason run in 2021.
But the arrival of closer Kenley Jansen in the offseason limited Smith’s save opportunities this season. With Houston, he will join a bullpen that leads the majors in relievers’ ERA (2.77 entering Monday) and is fifth with 31 saves.
Smith is 31-32 with a 3.61 career ERA in 10 seasons with the Braves, Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals. He has also tallied 91 saves.
In the other deal, the Braves sent 20-year-old minor league pitcher Kris Anglin back to Detroit for Grossman.
Grossman, 32, appeared in 83 games with Detroit this season, hitting .205 with two home runs and 23 RBIs. The switch-hitter’s numbers against lefties are particularly impressive, as he is hitting .364 against southpaws this season.
Grossman has started 43 games in left field and 31 in right field this season, bringing versatility to both the plate and the field for the Braves, who trail the New York Mets by 3 1/2 games in the National League East.
The Braves already sport an outfield of Ronald Acuna Jr., rookie Michael Harris II and 2021 postseason star Eddie Rosario, with Marcell Ozuna also spending time in the outfield.
The left-handed Anglin has appeared in 17 games between Class-A and the Braves’ affiliate in the rookie-level Florida Complex League, going 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA.