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Braves trade Evan Gattis to Astros

The Braves have sent catcher and outfielder Evan Gattis to the Astros for a trio of prospects.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have traded Evan Gattis and James Hoyt to the Astros for Michael Foltynewicz, Rio Ruiz, and Andrew Thurman.

For the Astros, this is one of their first major additions as they come out of a long rebuilding process that has seen their farm system rise from near the bottom of the league to the top five. Gattis, who is under team control through 2018, will reinforce a major league team that has an intriguing young core based around Jose Altuve, George Springer, and, soon Carlos Correa.

Still, the addition of Gattis seems to create something of a logjam; Houston already has first base and designated hitter filled with Chris Carter and Jonathan Singleton, and neither seems likely to be displaced. The Astros also have significant depth at catcher, with Jason Castro, Max Stassi, and Hank Conger all on the 40-man roster. It would seem Houston plans to deploy Gattis in left field, where his defensive limitations (career -24.1 UZR/150) will severely reduce his value.

Hoyt, the second piece in the deal, is a 28-year-old pitcher who has yet to reach the majors. He does have strong strikeout numbers in the minors, but his control was troubling at Triple-A in 2014 (4.5 BB/9).

In a continuation of their rebuild, the Braves have added several more interesting prospects to a revamped farm system. Foltynewicz (pronounced Fol-ten-eh-vich, usually abbreviated to Folty) has an extremely live arm with a fastball that can hit 100 MPH, but has struggled with control throughout his minor league career and had an uninspiring debut in the Houston bullpen last season, registering a 5.30 ERA and 4.85 FIP in 18.2 innings. Atlanta could try to use him as a starter, but it seems more likely Foltynewicz will get a chance in the bullpen for the major league team.

Ruiz, a 20-year-old third baseman snagged for a big bonus in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, has posted strong numbers in each of his first three minor league seasons, reaching High-A in 2014. He's still a ways away from the majors and a lack of strong secondary skills limits his upside, but there's a potentially above-average major league third baseman here.

Thurman is another wild arm who struggled in Single-A ball as a 23-year-old. His upside is likely a middle reliever if he reaches the majors at all.

Ultimately, this seems like a very good return for the Braves. Gattis likely had no long-term roll given his defensive limitations and the presence of top prospect Christian Bethancourt. By trading Jason HeywardJustin Upton, and David Carpenter, the Braves have added a slew of interesting prospects without giving up many long-term assets. Though they haven't added any marquee talents, the Braves may have set themselves up for a quick turnaround.