The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have acquired pitchers Juan Cruz and Steve Smyth from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Andy Pratt and infielder Richard Lewis. Cruz, a 25-year-old righthander, has appeared in 78 major league games and owns 185 strikeouts in 203.0 innings pitched. He has made 23 starts in the big leagues and has a career record of 8-19. He pitched 25 games (six starts) for the Cubs last season, when he went 2-7 and notched 65 strikeouts in 61.0 innings pitched. Cruz posted a 4-0 record and a 1.95 ERA in nine games (all starts) for Triple-A Iowa in 2003.
Smyth, a 6-foot-1 lefthander, has started 97 of his 99 career minor league games. He appeared in eight games (seven starts) for the Cubs in 2002 and went 6-11 in 25 games for the Iowa Cubs last season. In five minor league seasons the 25-year-old has gone 36-32 with a 4.11 ERA. He has 450 strikeouts and only 234 walks in 568.2 innings of work.
"We have added a real power arm to our pitching staff," said Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager John Schuerholz. "Anytime you can get a pitcher of Juan's caliber you feel good about that. Smyth has a good track record and we're happy to have him in our organization."
Pratt, Lewis sent to Chicago
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