Braves bring Allard back into fold, trade Odorizzi to Texas
Left-hander was drafted by Atlanta in first round of 2015 Draft before becoming top prospect
ATLANTA -- Well, it didn’t take the Braves long to find somebody else to account for at least a portion of the money Jake Odorizzi is owed for the 2023 season.
The Braves announced they traded Odorizzi and cash to the Rangers in exchange for their former top prospect Kolby Allard on Wednesday night. This move was made after Odorizzi exercised his $12.5 million player option for next year.
Instead of paying Odorizzi the entirety of this salary to possibly be a sixth starter or long reliever, the Braves at least found some financial relief. A source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that the Rangers received $10 million. So the Braves saved $2.5 million with this deal.
“It made sense for both sides,” Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said. “The way we’re set up for the rotation next year, we just have a lot of depth. Getting a young guy with options, upside and club control made a lot of sense for us.”
The Braves acquired Odorizzi from the Astros in exchange for left-handed reliever Will Smith on Aug. 2. It was a deal that didn’t provide much value to either side. Smith gained a second straight World Series ring, but the Astros didn’t use him during the postseason.
Odorizzi was supposed to be a valuable innings-eater over the season’s final two months. But he posted a 5.24 ERA for Atlanta and completed at least five innings in just four of the 10 starts made after the trade.
Still, Odorizzi ended up meeting all of the thresholds necessary to escalate his option from $6.5 million to $12.5 million with a $6.5 million buyout.
The Braves took Allard (14th overall), Mike Soroka (28th overall), Austin Riley (41st overall), Lucas Herbert (54th overall) and A.J. Minter (75th overall) during the first two rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft. Allard never lived up to expectations, but he was used to acquire an oft-valuable Chris Martin before the 2019 Trade Deadline.
Allard posted a 7.29 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Texas last year. The 25-year-old lefty produced a 29.5 percent strikeout rate and a 9.9 percent walk rate while posting a 4.65 ERA over 20 starts for Triple-A Round Rock. Between his stints with Texas and Round Rock, he combined to surrender a .922 OPS to right-handed hitters and limit left-handed hitters to a .630 OPS.