The Atlanta Braves have acquired right-handed reliever Luis Ayala from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league left-hander Chris Jones, the O's have announced.
It was reported close to the start of the regular season that Baltimore was interested in trading Ayala. Over his first two appearances for the club this year, the 35-year-old allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts over two innings.
Ayala was major contributor to the Orioles' strong bullpen last season. The reliever posted an ERA of 2.64 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio (SO/BB) of 3.64 over 66 appearances spanning 75 innings. Over parts of nine seasons in the majors, Ayala owns a career ERA of 3.37, and he maintained a mark of 2.40 from 2011-12 with the Orioles and New York Yankees.
Jones has been used solely as a reliever in the minors since 2010. The 24-year-old owns a career ERA of 3.58 with 2.48 SO/BB over seven seasons in the minors.
Baltimore has announced that Jones will join their Double-A affiliate. The trade allows the O's to call up Chris Dickerson to use as a fourth bench player, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. He adds that the club will also have an easier time keeping Rule 5 Draft pick T.J. McFarland on the roster with one less reliever in the mix.