Braves Acquire Scott Downs

The Braves found their left-handed reliever, acquiring veteran Scott Downs from the Angels for righty reliever Cory Rasmus, according to Halos communications director Eric Kay.

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Downs, 37, has a 1.84 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.31 HR/9, and 63.1% groundball rate in 29 1/3 innings this year.  The 12-year veteran has split his time fairly evenly against righties and lefties, but has been quite good in facing left-handed hitters 55 times this year.  Prior to the 2011 season, Downs signed a three-year, $15MM free agent deal with the Angels.  The first-place Braves were known to be in the hunt for a lefty reliever after losing Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters for the season, with the Cubs' James Russell high on their wish list along with Downs.  Luis Avilan had been the team's lone southpaw reliever.  Downs has yet to pitch in the postseason in his career, notes Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Cory Rasmus, younger brother to Colby, made his big league debut in May but has spent most of the season as a closer at Triple-A.  There, the 25-year-old posted a 1.72 ERA, 11.8 K/9, 5.4 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 36 2/3 innings.  Rasmus works around 93-94 miles per hour.  He was drafted 38th overall by the Braves in '06.  Rasmus can be a long-term piece for the Angels, who as MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez notes have lefty Sean Burnett signed for next year and Nick Maronde waiting.

Braves GM Frank Wren and Angels GM Jerry Dipoto last matched up on a trade in November, when Atlanta sent starter Tommy Hanson to Los Angeles for reliever Jordan Walden.

Another first-place team added a reliever earlier this morning, as the Tigers acquired Jose Veras from the Astros.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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