Braves close to a trade with Dodgers

The Braves may be getting a big bat in a trade with the Dodgers.

The Braves and Dodgers are reportedly close on a huge trade that would send Atlanta starter Alex Wood, relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan and prospect Jose Peraza to Los Angeles. The Braves would get Hector Olivera, reliever Paco Rodriguez, pitching prospect Zach Bird and a competitive balance draft pick next June in the trade.

Olivera picked the Dodgers over the Braves in March. The Dodgers have already paid Olivera's signing bonus, which is around $28 million. So the Braves would only be responsible for around $32 million for the life of his contract. The Cuban defector can play second base, third base and even left field, but the Braves would likely pencil him in as their third baseman to start the 2016 season.

Paco Rodriguez had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on July 2. He started a light throwing program earlier this week. The Dodgers had expected him back in early September. He was the Dodgers’ second round pick in 2012 out of Florida. The 24-year-old Rodriguez had his best season in 2013, when he appeared in 76 games for the Dodgers. He had a 2.32 ERA with only 30 hits allowed in 54.1 innings, with 19 walks and 63 strikeouts.

Bird was recently ranked as the Dodgers' 15th best prospect by MLB.com. Baseball America had him as the 19th best prospect prior to the season. He's 6-4 and weighs 205 pounds. Bird just turned 21 on July 14. He's in High-A Rancho Cucamonga and has a 4.75 ERA in 19 games (17 starts), 74 hits allowed in 89 innings, 48 walks and 95 strikeouts.

The competitive balance draft pick is coming from the Marlins through the Dodgers. It is now around a mid-30s pick between the first and second rounds next year.

Wood is 7-6 this season with a 3.54 ERA in 20 starts for the Braves. He's allowed 132 hits in 119.1 innings, with 36 walks and 90 strikeouts. Wood is in his second full season in Atlanta's rotation. He made 11 starts in his rookie season of 2013 and then 24 last season.

Johnson has a 2.25 ERA in 49 games for the Braves. He took over for Jason Grilli as the closer and has nine saves this season.

Avilan has a 3.58 ERA in 50 games, with 35 hits allowed in 37.2 innings, with 10 walks and 31 strikeouts.

There is also talk that Bronson Arroyo's contract could go to the Dodgers in this trade. The Braves got Arroyo from the Diamondbacks in May.

This trade is expected to be completed Thursday.

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