ATLANTA -- If the offseason taught MLB executives anything, it is that the Atlanta Braves' front office is not being shy about making moves to potentially improve the big league club this season.
Now, add veteran Luis Ayala to the mix.
In a two-team trade with the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday, the Braves acquired the right-handed reliever for minor league pitcher Chris Jones, presumably to add depth to a bullpen facing some health issues at the moment. Ayala, 35, has appeared in two innings for Baltimore this season (9.00 ERA), but knows his way around the league: his 497 career appearances have come with six different organizations.
Atlanta becomes lucky No. 7.
Ayala is expected to join the Braves in Washington on Friday for a series against the Nationals, per the club's announcement.
He will wear No. 48.
The Braves pitching staff has been one of baseball's best so far in 2013 -- at least through eight games -- but with top setup man Jonny Venters on the 15-day disabled list for soreness in his left elbow, Ayala gives manager Fredi Gonzalez a few more options at the end of games.
Plus, if Venters' elbow is worse than expected, Ayala provides a fairly cheap stop-gap that the franchise will not be tied to past this season. The veteran is owed 1 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Jones had been a part of Braves Double-A affiliate Mississippi since 2012. The 24-year-old was brought in during the Derek Lowe trade with the Indians.
The Braves are 7-1 after getting off to one of the fastest starts in franchise history with series wins against the Phillies, Cubs and Marlins.