The Texas Rangers have acquired right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for left-hander Kolby Allard, the teams announced Wednesday night, just hours before the official start of free agency.
Odorizzi, 32, split last season with the Braves and the Houston Astros, traded to Atlanta midseason in exchange for left-handed reliever Will Smith.) In 22 starts overall, he amassed a 4.40 ERA (90 ERA+) and a 2.46 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Odorizzi posted those numbers while averaging fewer than five innings per appearance. His contributions were worth an estimated -0.1 Wins Above (or, in this case, below) Replacement, according to Baseball Reference's calculations.
Odorizzi will reportedly exercise a $12.5 million player option for next season. That clause included a $6.25 million buyout, but he evidently didn't feel confident he could net a $6.25 million or richer contract on the open market, thereby allowing him to come out further ahead. The Braves, in turn, will send $10 million to the Rangers to help offset the salary, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. Odorizzi will provide the Rangers with a back-end starter at a low cost while the Braves save a few million bucks that they can use elsewhere throughout the winter.
Allard, 25, was originally drafted by the Braves in 2015, then shipped to Texas in 2019 in exchange for reliever Chris Martin. He's had trouble establishing himself in the majors, as he's tallied a 6.07 ERA (75 ERA+) and a 2.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 232 career big-league innings. Allard was, presumably, a candidate to be designated for assignment or non-tendered by the Rangers over the coming weeks.
This is the second trade the Braves have made this week. They previously acquired outfielder Sam Hilliard from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for a minor-league pitcher.