Dodgers, Braves, Marlins Finish Massive Swap

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins complete a complicated, 13-player, three-team deal on Wednesday that sends Mat Latos to Los Angeles and Hector Olivera to Atlanta.

In a complicated deal that took on many iterations over a three-day period, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins officially completed a 13-player trade on Thursday.

The Dodgers receive seven players in the deal, including starting pitchers Mat Latos, Alex Wood and Bronson Arroyo, as well as first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse, middle infielder Jose Peraza, and relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan. The Dodgers also received cash in the deal.

The Braves receive IF Hector Olivera, LHP Paco Rodriguez, RHP Bird and a competitive balance draft pick.

The Marlins receive three minor-league pitching prospects: Jeff Brigham, Kevin Guzman and Victor Araujo.

The Dodgers’ injury-plagued starting rotation gets a boost with the addition of the veteran Latos, who has a 4.48 ERA in 88.1 innings for the Marlins this season. The former Cincinnati Reds’ ace made only 16 starts last season because of injury, but prior to that season, he had four straight seasons of 31 or more starts and at least 180 innings pitched. Although Latos’ ERA is inflated this season, his peripherals are in-line with some of his better seasons in Cincinnati. He is a free agent at the end of the year.

Wood is a young southpaw who will be under the Dodgers’ team control until 2020. He has a 3.54 ERA and a 90:36 K:BB in 119.1 innings for the Braves this season. Wood will join Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson as lefties in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Arroyo is also a starter, of course, but the veteran right-hander has yet to throw a pitch this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. He is likely included in this deal simply as a salary dump.

Johnson will join the Dodgers’ bullpen in the middle of a revival season after a very poor 2014 campaign. The former Orioles’ closer has nine saves this season and a 2.25 ERA in 48 innings. He has allowed just two homeruns. Avilan should also help the Dodgers’ bullpen. He has a 3.58 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 37.2 innings for the Braves this year.

Morse comes to LA from Miami, but he doesn’t have a natural fit on the Dodgers’ roster unless they make additional moves. Morse won’t play at first ahead of Adrian Gonzalez and the Dodgers’ outfield is already over-crowded. It is possible that the veteran right-handed hitter could be traded again or released in the near-term.

The Dodgers also receive Peraza, who was one of the Braves’ top prospects coming into the season. The middle infielder has always hit for average throughout his minor league career and he has good speed. He can play both second and short and some outfield. He is batting .294 for Triple-A Gwinnett this season.

The Braves cleared a decent amount of salary in this deal and received in return a potentially potent bat in Olivera. The Cuban second baseman was signed to a huge contract by the Dodgers during the off-season, but he has yet to make his major league debut. He was an offensive star in Cuba, but struggled with injuries that limited him to DH his final year in Cuba. He didn’t play in 2014 as he left Cuba and tried to gain approval to play in the US. Olivera has been limited by a hamstring injury this season in the Dodgers’ organization and there are some long-term questions about the health of his throwing elbow. When he has been healthy, Olivera has hit. In 19 games for Dodgers’ minor league clubs, he hit .348/.392/.493.

Atlanta also receives the lefty Rodriguez from LA. He has been dealing with a left elbow injury since late May. The Braves are hopeful he will be available in September. Rodriguez is a dominant reliever when healthy. He has averaged more than a strike-out an inning as a pro and has a career 2.53 ERA in three seasons.

The third player going to Atlanta is minor-league RHP Zack Bird, who is currently pitching at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He is a projectable right-hander who can already touch 95 MPH with his fastball. He just turned 21 this month. The Braves also acquire the Marlins’ competitive balance draft pick, which should give them a pick in the 30s in next year’s draft.

For the Marlins, this deal clears salary and adds three minor league prospects to their farm system. It is a familiar scenario for Miami, which has made a habit of signing veterans to ‘compete’, only to trade them before their contracts are up to save money. All three prospects come from the Dodgers’ system. Brigham and Arajuo are at High-A, while Guzman is at Low-A. Brigham was a fourth-round pick last season and he has a big fastball. He could move quickly if put into a relief role. Araujo has a solid fastball/slider combination, while Guzman is just starting to scratch his potential.

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