Major League Baseball is counting down the hours to its August 1 trade deadline with Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, Marcus Stroman and possibly even Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander among the big-name players who could have new homes.
This year’s deadline could be one of the more interesting in recent memory – not just for the Ohtani factor, but because several of MLB’s smaller-market teams (Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds to name three) find themselves in the unlikely position of being a potential buyer rather than a seller.
USA TODAY Sports will be on top of all the deals that go down over the final week leading up to the deadline, providing details and analysis of what each trade will mean going forward.
July 24: Braves acquire RPs Pierce Johnson, Taylor Hearn
The Atlanta Braves picked up a pair of bullpen arms for the stretch drive by getting a part-time closer in Johnson from the Colorado Rockies and veteran left-hander Hearn from the Texas Rangers.
FOLLOW THE MONEY: MLB player salaries and payrolls for every major league team
Both will give the Braves additional pitching depth, but perhaps even more important, both have minor-league options remaining, which will give Atlanta additional roster flexibility.
The Braves sent a pair of minor league pitchers to Colorado for the 32-year-old Johnson, who has a 1-5 record and 6.00 ERA with 13 saves for the Rockies this season.
Hearn, 28, arrives for cash considerations from Texas after posting a 10.29 ERA in seven innings with the Rangers, but a 3.66 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings at Class AAA Round Rock (Texas).