The Braves have signed right-hander Luke Jackson to a Major League contract, the team announced via Twitter. Jackson will return to Atlanta’s roster in place of Luiz Gohara, who was optioned to Triple-A.
Jackson was designated for assignment by the Braves earlier this week, and had elected to become a free agent rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A. That would have been the fourth time in the last six months that Jackson had been outrighted off Atlanta’s 40-man, so now he has a bit of extra security in the form of an MLB deal. The 26-year-old tossed 50 2/3 innings out of the Braves’ bullpen last season, and has an overall 4.66 ERA, 6.8 K/9, and 1.83 K/BB rate over 56 total IP in a Braves uniform.
Gohara will head down to Triple-A to get some regular action as a starter, as the Braves are looking to get one of their top young arms back on track after a rough start to the 2018 season. Gohara was hampered by injuries in Spring Training and in early April, and since being called up in early May, he has made just seven appearances for the team (though he also spent a week on the bereavement list). Gohara made just one start and otherwise worked as a long reliever, struggling to a 6.89 ERA over 15 2/3 innings of work.
Acquired as part of a deal with the Mariners in January 2017, Gohara made a rapid rise in his first year in Atlanta’s farm system, going from high-A ball to a September call-up to the big leagues. His strong performance (2.62 ERA, 10.7 K/9, 3.34 K/BB over 123 2/3 combined minor league IP) put him on the radar as a big prospect in not just the Braves’ system, but in the minor leagues as a whole. Gohara began to emerge on top-100 prospect rankings last summer, and Baseball America considered him to be the 23rd-best minor league in baseball in their pre-2018 prospect listings.