The Orioles announced Monday they have traded left-hander Brian Matusz to the Braves in exchange for minor-league pitchers Trevor Balicek and Brandon Barker. As well, the Braves will receive the Orioles' Competitive Balance Round B pick (76th overall) in the upcoming June MLB Draft.
Matusz, 29, has this season pitched to a 12.00 ERA in seven relief appearances for the Orioles. He's been used sparingly of late in large part because of his 2016 struggles against same-side hitters. For his career, Matusz has pitched to an ERA+ of 86 across parts of eight big-league seasons. However, he's been more effective as a reliever (he hasn't made a start since 2012).
On the Braves side of things, this is in essence their buying a draft pick. Matusz is owed the balance of a $3.9 million contract for 2016, which the Braves are picking up. As Mark Bowman tweets, though, the Braves are expected to designate Matusz for assignment, which means he'll very likely be released. So the Orioles clear some payroll space at a cost of a draft pick and the slot bonus money associated with that pick.
The Braves now on the Nos. 3, 40, 44, 76, and 80 picks in the First-Year Player Draft that starts June 9.
As for those pitching prospects headed to the Orioles, Barker, 23, pitched to a 2.00 ERA with 40 strikeouts in nine games for Double-A Mississippi this season. In 50 career minor league games, 40 of which have been starts, Barker has gone a 3.08 ERA in 228 innings. He was originally a 16th-round choice in 2014.
Belicek, 23, has a 2.22 ERA with 32 strikeouts and only one walk in 28 1/3 innings split between Class-A Rome and Double-A Mississippi this season. In 26 career minor league games (nine starts), Belicek has a 2.43 ERA with 73 strikeouts against 13 walks. He was originally a 16th-round choice in 2015.