Downs, 37, is 2-3 with a 1.84 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 43 appearances on the season. He has never appeared in the postseason, and is almost guaranteed his first opportunity with the NL East-leading Braves, who currently hold an 8.5 game lead over the Nationals.
Downs is in the third year of the 3-year, $15 million contract he signed with Los Angeles before the 2011 season, and will hit the open market this winter.
The Braves have been in search of a left-handed reliever all month, and have been interested in almost every name on the market. Joe Thatcher (Padres), Mike Gonzalez (Brewers), James Russell (Cubs), Oliver Perez (Mariners), Charlie Furbush (Mariners), Wesley Wright (Astros), Glen Perkins (Twins), Michael Dunn (Braves) and Matt Thornton (White Sox) were among the names linked to Atlanta, but Downs' recently discovered availability made him the best option for the Braves to pursue.
As reported yesterday, the Angels are looking to trade veterans at the deadline after deciding that it may be time for some turnover after a disappointing start to the season.
Rasmus, a 25-year old reliever, is 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA, 11.8 K/9, and 5.4 BB/9 in 36.2 innings of work with Triple-A Gwinnett on the season. He made his major league debut this season for the Braves, and has surrendered six earned runs in 6.2 innings of work in the big leagues.
Rasmus, who is the brother of Blue Jays' center fielder Colby Rasmus, was previously ranked as a top 20 prospect in the Braves' system, but Baseball America did not include him in the team's top 30 before the season.
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