Braves acquire reliever Brad Brach from Orioles

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Update (5:05 PM ET): The trade is official as both teams have announced the deal.

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The Orioles’ sell-off continues apace. Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O’s are trading reliever Brad Brach to the Braves. The O’s will receive international slot money in exchange for Brach, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Brach, 32, has pitched to a 4.85 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 19 walks in 39 innings this season. This is the worst season of Brach’s career, but he has a track record of being a very dependable reliever, so that is likely what intrigued the Braves. From 2013-17, Brach pitched 319 2/3 innings and compiled a 2.79 ERA with 336 strikeouts and 133 walks.

The Braves, who won today and sit just 1.5 games behind the first-place Phillies, bolster their bullpen with the addition of Brach. Entering Sunday, the Braves’ collective bullpen ERA of 4.25 was 19th-best in baseball. Closer Arodys Vizcaino has been on the disabled list since mid-June, so Brach could handle some save situations with his new team.

Brach is eligible for free agency after the season, so this is purely a rental for the Braves.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.