According to Mark Berman of FOX 36 in Houston, the Atlanta Braves have sent reliever Will Smith to the Houston Astros in exchange for starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. The Braves have also acquired outfielder Robbie Grossman from the Tigers, according to Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic. Minor league pitcher Kris Anglin will be headed back to Detroit.
Braves make two trades for starting pitching, outfield help
Despite being one of the best teams in the American League, the Houston Astros had been rumored to be listening on Jake Odorizzi and the Cardinals were a team that was interested in him. Since then, they have traded for Pirates starter Jose Quintana.
On the season, Odorizzi has struggled. In 2022, he has made 11 starts and he has a 4.25 ERA (92 ERA+). He is averaging less than five innings per start with an average of 6.5 K/9, which is the lowest in his career. He is also a free agent at the end of this season.
Will Smith has had a rough season too. In 41 appearances, he has a 4.38 ERA but his 5.23 FIP suggests that he has actually had good luck. He is averaging 5.1 walks and 10 strikeouts per nine innings. The walk rate and his home run rate (1.7 HR/9) are what’s worrisome for Smith and the Astros going forward.
In 2021, Smith had a 3.44 ERA in 71 games and 37 saves. He has a team option for $13 million next season so the Astros could decide to exercise that.
For Grossman, he struggled with the Tigers this season. In 83 games, he has hit .205/.313/.282 with a 73 OPS+. They did not have to give much back to the Tigers, though, as Kris Anglin was drafted in the 16th round of the 2021 Draft. Between Rookie-ball and Single-A this season, he has a 4.64 ERA in 17 games (11 starts).
Odorizzi is a backend starter/long reliever and Grossman is a bench bat so they are good depth for the Braves but they need to do a bit more to shore up their depth before the trade deadline lapses at 6 PM E.T.