Recapping Braves' busy day at the deadline

Associated PressHouston Astros starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday in Houston.

The trade deadline has come and gone in Major League Baseball. The Atlanta Braves' moves were minimal. Of course, they didn't need much.

But were the few moves that were made enough to keep pace with the rest of the National League's elite like the Dodgers, Mets and now the Padres? That remains to be seen.

The Braves didn't really need to overhaul the look of the team like they did last year with their revamped outfield. But they were once again buyers with the hope of improving a second-place team for the stretch run of the regular season and into the playoffs. 

It worked last year en route to the World Series championship. Maybe the Braves struck mid-season gold again at the trade deadline.

San Diego's acquisition of Juan Soto stole the show on Tuesday, making the Padres an instant contender. The Braves' moves, while few, were made were of necessity.

The trade for Houston Astros pitcher Jake Odorizzi provided the Braves another arm in the starting rotation. The team now has six starting pitchers which should lessen the strain on any starter being overused over the final couple of months. He has pitched effectively this year, recording a 3.75 ERA in 12 starts for the defending American League champs.

The Braves acquired depth for the outfield with Robbie Grossman. While he shouldn't supplant Michael Harris II, Ronald Acuna Jr. or Eddie Rosario in the starting lineup, Grossman provides another option in case of an injury. His stats are underwhelming with a .205 average and 23 RBIs, but maybe a change of scenery is all he needed.

The Braves acquired closer Raisel Iglesias to finish the busy day. The move was necessary following Will Smith's departure to the Astros for Odorizzi.  Iglesias provides a tough 1-2 punch in the backend of games with Kenley Jansen.

Arguably, the biggest move for the Braves this week was not even a trade. They locked up their third baseman with the biggest contract in team history, inking Austin Riley to a 10-year, $212 million extension. It was much deserved for a player very much in the middle of the Most Valuable Player conversation this year with 29 homers and 68 RBIs.

It was a great day for Riley and the Braves' newest acquisitions, who now find themselves playing for the defending champs. Now it's time to make that playoff push. It happened last year at this time. No reason to think it can't happen again.

Clint Thompson is a special contributor to the Valdosta Daily Times.

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