Houston has been seeking outfield help, and according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Astros brought Braves backstop Evan Gattis in for a physical on Wednesday afternoon. Nightengale was told of the physical by a person close to Gattis, and after the physical the Braves agreed to send Gattis to Houston in exchange for three prospects.
While the Astros will receive Gattis in the deal, the Braves are expected to land right-handed pitching prospects Andrew Thurman and Mike Foltynewicz and third baseman Rio Ruiz, according to Nightengale.
Gattis, 28, posted a .263/.317/.493 batting line in 108 games with the Braves in 2014. He did strike out 97 times, and could be a defensive liability if he is not asked to catch. Gattis is the third notable Atlanta player to be dealt, joining Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, who were traded to the Cardinals and Padres, respectively.
In just a pair of full major league seasons, Gattis has established himself as a power threat. He posted 22 home runs last season and 21 in 2013. With the Braves officially adding A.J. Pierzynski, Gattis was expected to be asked to move to the outfield.
Gattis is a versatile piece, and will likely see time in left field for the Astros. Los Angeles sent catcher Hank Conger to Houston, but the Astros have consistently been looking to trade Jason Castro. Gattis adds power to a Houston outfield that has lacked it at times, most notably in left field. Houston is confident in a lineup that features Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Chris Carter, and is relying on a young pitching staff. Gattis can also serve as the club's designated hitter.
Although they lost Gattis, the Braves may see Ruiz as their future starting third baseman. Ruiz posted a .293/.387/.436 batting line with Houston's Single-A affiliate in 2014.