The Braves acquired left-hander Tommy Milone from the Orioles for two players to be named later prior to the Aug. 31 deadline. A little over two months after the fact, those players’ identities are now known. The Orioles are getting infielders AJ Graffanino and Greg Cullen, per an announcement from the Braves.
AJ Graffanino, the son of former major league infielder Tony Graffanino, joined the Braves as an eighth-round pick in 2018. He has since ascended to Single-A ball, where he slashed .301/.333/.378 in 153 plate appearances during his draft year. MLB.com ranked the 23-year-old as the Braves’ No. 23 prospect before the trade, writing that “he has very good hands and a strong arm suited for shortstop.” However, with just one professional home run so far, it’s unclear how much of an offensive impact Graffanino will make in the majors.
Cullen entered the pros in the same draft class as Graffanino as a 15th-round pick. He was not a high-ranked Braves prospect, but Cullen, also 23, did slash .270/.393/.401 (138 wRC+) with nine homers in 568 PA in Single-A ball in 2019.
However these prospects turn out, the Milone acquisition didn’t go as planned for the Braves. The soft-tossing veteran posted a disastrous 14.90 ERA in 9 2/3 innings with Atlanta. Between the two teams, the now-free agent logged a 6.69 ERA/4.76 FIP over 39 frames in 2020, though he did record excellent strikeout and walk numbers (9.23 K/9, 1.38 BB/9).