Braves pitcher Ian Anderson will be sent down to Triple-A

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – The Atlanta Braves optioned struggling right-hander Ian Anderson to Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday prior to their series finale with the New York Mets.

Anderson, who was sent to Triple-A along with outfielder Guillermo Heredia, allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings with four walks and three strikeouts Friday. Atlanta ultimately won 9-6 after leading 8-1 through two innings.

The 24-year old Anderson has been a key member of the Braves’ rotation over the last three seasons, posting a 21-13 record with a 3.99 ERA in 51 career starts. He also has been a force in the postseason, going 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA over eight playoff starts, including a victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the 2021 World Series.

This season, Anderson has struggled: a 5.11 ERA over 21 starts, tied for the major league lead with 53 walks and not getting through seven innings in a game this season.

“It’s tough,” Anderson said. “I haven’t thrown the ball all that well.”

Anderson will remain on Atlanta’s taxi squad and serve as the 27th man for the Braves’ doubleheader in Miami on Aug. 13. Braves manager Brian Snitker indicated that Anderson would start one of the two games.

“We need to get him right,” Snitker said. “He’s a big part of what we’ve got going on. Hopefully he can take a step back and reassess things and get himself going.”

Right-hander Huascar Ynoa was recalled from Triple-A and catcher Chadwick Tromp was selected to the major league roster in corresponding moves.

Tromp will serve in a backup role while Travis d'Arnaud recovers from a right lower leg injury.

D’Arnaud was lifted in the seventh inning in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader after colliding with New York slugger Pete Alonso. He was in a walking boot Sunday, but Snitker indicated that he expected d’Arnaud back prior to Friday’s series opener with the Marlins.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.