Braves get Olivera in huge 3-team deal

Johnson, top prospect Peraza go to Dodgers in trade

Braves get Olivera in huge 3-team deal

PHILADELPHIA -- Though the Braves did not have the financial means necessary to compete for the six-year, $62.5 million deal the Dodgers provided Cuban free agent infielder Hector Olivera this past winter, they remained interested in him and ultimately got him at the expense of losing both Jose Peraza and Alex Wood.

With the three-team trade they completed with the Dodgers and Marlins on Thursday, the Braves received Olivera, left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez, Minor League pitcher Zach Bird and the 2016 competitive balance Draft pick (No. 34 overall) the Dodgers received from the Marlins in exchange for Mat Latos and Michael Morse.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves seem content to make no more trades

Braves seem content to make no more trades

PHILADELPHIA -- Though Braves president of baseball operations John Hart admitted that he has continued to receive calls from teams interested in veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski, he indicated that he is not actively attempting to complete another deal before the non-waiver Trade Deadline arrives today at 4 p.m. ET.

But given how active Hart, assistant general manager John Coppolella and their staff have been dating back to the offseason, it certainly would not be wise to dismiss the possibility that they could stir the trade market yet again by finding the value they would need to be persuaded to trade either Julio Teheran or Cameron Maybin.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

GM Hart happy to bring in a talent like Olivera

GM Hart happy to bring in a talent like Olivera

PHILADELPHIA -- When Hector Olivera stood as one of the most attractive Cuban free agents this past winter, he drew the attention of some Braves fans who hoped he'd end up with their club. But that interest paled in comparison to the attention he received once it was learned that the Braves had actually acquired him on Thursday at the expense of losing both Alex Wood and Jose Peraza.

The Braves sent Wood, Peraza, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan and Bronson Arroyo to the Dodgers in exchange for Olivera, left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez, Minor League pitcher Zach Bird and the 34th selection in next year's Draft, a competitive balance draft pick the Dodgers acquired in this three-team deal that included the Marlins.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller, Braves fall to Phillies

Miller, Braves fall to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Harang and Shelby Miller came into Thursday night's Braves-Phillies game a combined 0-14 since May 17. Harang broke his streak. Miller didn't.

Harang threw five innings in his first start since July 1 -- when he went on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis -- in the Phillies' 4-1 win at Citizens Bank Park. The winning decision for Harang ended a streak of eight straight starts in which he registered the losing decision and nine straight winless starts in total. He allowed just one run despite the nine hits he surrendered and struck out three.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves sad to see teammates traded away

Braves sad to see teammates traded away

PHILADELPHIA -- The usually upbeat Braves clubhouse had a somber feel to it on Thursday afternoon as the players arrived at Citizens Bank Park and dealt with the fact that three more of their teammates had just been traded.

Though the Braves might have enriched their future on Thursday by acquiring infielder Hector Olivera in a trade that sent Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan and top prospect Jose Peraza to the Dodgers, some members of the current team viewed this simply as a deal that forced them to bid adieu to friends and be reminded that the team is likely destined to struggle over the season's final two months.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez returns from DL to take on Phillies

Perez returns from DL to take on Phillies

The Braves have rarely fared well when facing a Cole Hamels-led Phillies team. Luckily for Atlanta, they probably won't have to deal with him much anymore.

Hamels was scheduled to start for the Phillies on Friday, but with a trade to the Rangers all but confirmed, the chances of Hamels -- who has a 3.11 ERA in 225 2/3 innings versus Atlanta -- matching up against the struggling Braves are growing increasingly slim. This comes at an opportune time for an Atlanta offense that has lacked output in recent days. The Braves had scored a grand total of 15 runs in their last nine games, being shut out as many times, twice, as they have won.

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Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foltynewicz shows progress in return to Braves

Starter allows 2 runs, strikes out 8 over 6 innings vs. Orioles

Foltynewicz shows progress in return to Braves

BALTIMORE -- The Braves optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz to Triple-A Gwinnett on July 12 to work on his stuff and focus on becoming a power pitcher. His spot start for Atlanta on Wednesday was a strong step in the right direction.

After being called up on from Gwinnett on Wednesday to replace an injured Manny Banuelos, Foltynewicz tossed six innings, giving up six hits, two runs, two walks and a pair of solo home runs while striking out a career-high tying eight batters in Atlanta's 2-0 loss in Baltimore.

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Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Folty solid in return but Braves shut out in finale

Folty solid in return but Braves shut out in finale

BALTIMORE-- Orioles Opening Day starter Chris Tillman continued his dominant second half, pitching 8 2/3 scoreless innings as Baltimore completed the sweep with a 2-0 win over Atlanta Wednesday night.

The O's, winners of their last five, recorded their first three-game series sweep since June 26-28 against Cleveland as they find themselves 51-49, just one game out for the second spot in the American League Wild Card.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banuelos' MRI reveals bone spur on left elbow

Banuelos' MRI reveals bone spur on left elbow

BALTIMORE -- Braves left-handed pitcher Manny Banuelos received some encouraging news on Wednesday, when he learned the inflammation around his left elbow is not a product of structural damage.

Banuelos returned to Atlanta to undergo an MRI exam which showed a bone spur on the posterior of his left elbow. The Braves have not set a timetable for his potential return. But at the same time, they have not ruled out the possibility that he would pitch again before the end of this season.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Regaining timing, Freeman launches homer

Regaining timing, Freeman launches homer

BALTIMORE -- When Freddie Freeman successfully campaigned to conclude his brief rehab stint much earlier than expected, he subjected himself to the frustration he has felt while being reminded that it will take time for him to reacquaint himself and his swing to the speed of a Major League game.

But Freeman did gain a little confidence and comfort courtesy of the two-run homer he hit off Ubaldo Jimenez during the first inning of Tuesday night's 7-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. The opposite-field homer was one of his two hits in 14 at-bats since ending a five-week stint on the disabled list with a sprained right wrist.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Road woes continue to hamper Teheran

Road woes continue to hamper Teheran

BALTIMORE -- Though there is certainly reason for the Braves to explore options to trade Julio Teheran, they do not necessarily want to do it now, when they would be selling low on him. But as the young pitcher continues to struggle, there is also reason to question whether his original value will return.

As Teheran surrendered a pair of home runs to Chris Davis and completed just four innings during Tuesday night's 7-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards, he further distanced himself from the promise he had shown while earning an All-Star selection last year and gaining a second straight Opening Day start this year.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fast start goes for naught as Braves fall to O's

Fast start goes for naught as Braves fall to O's

BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Orioles to their fourth consecutive victory on Tuesday night, a 7-3 series win over the Braves at Camden Yards.

"There's times where we've played really good baseball and times when we've really struggled. I think there's a sense of urgency in here to go now," Davis said of a Baltimore team (50-49) trying to put a run together to get back into the postseason picture. "We know where we are in the standings, and we know the best way for us to move up is to win ballgames, and that's everybody's focus right now."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maybin likely to stay put at Deadline

Teams asking about center fielder, but Braves would need overwhelming offer

Maybin likely to stay put at Deadline

BALTIMORE -- As Cameron Maybin flourished once he gained an everyday role in May, the Braves toyed with the idea of "selling high" on him. But they are now providing clear indication that they would need to be blown away with an offer to trade Maybin, who would stand as a bargain over the next two seasons if he continues to extend his recent success.

Multiple teams have expressed interest in Maybin and will likely continue to do so leading up to Friday afternoon's non-waiver Trade Deadline. But the Braves do not anticipate receiving an offer that would tempt them to trade the 28-year-old center fielder, who entered Monday having hit .282 with eight home runs, 17 stolen bases and a .744 OPS.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's walk off with Markakis' homecoming crown

O's walk off with Markakis' homecoming crown

BALTIMORE -- After watching his team squander a few late-inning opportunities on Monday night at Camden Yards, Matt Wieters opened the bottom of the 11th inning with a home run off Luis Avilan to give the Orioles a 2-1 win over the Braves.

"That was a pitch, in that situation, I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes," said Avilan, who allowed the homer on a 1-0 fastball. "I didn't want to fall behind that hitter and have to throw a fastball. I think it was a good pitch. It was just a little bit up. Tough things happen. Sometimes you're going to be good and sometimes you're going to be bad."

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Mark Bowman is a reporter and Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wood running smoothly after change in mechanics

With a shift on the rubber, Braves lefty throws 7 1/3 scoreless vs. Orioles

Wood running smoothly after change in mechanics

BALTIMORE -- Alex Wood might not have a crystal ball that can tell him whether he is destined to end this season in the manner that he did last year, when he posted a 1.92 ERA over his final 11 starts. But the results the Braves southpaw garnered during Monday night's 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Orioles provide him some confidence that his recent mechanical adjustment has him headed in the right direction.

"I hope that what [Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell] and I have been talking about is going to help me move in the right direction," Wood said. "At the same time, you want to be competitive and you hope that will happen because that was a pretty good run I went on last year."

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After charmed time in Charm City, Markakis returns

Veteran receives ovation, bangs two hits in first game back in Baltimore

After charmed time in Charm City, Markakis returns

BALTIMORE -- When Nick Markakis ended his long tenure in Baltimore by signing a four-year, $44 million deal with the Braves in December, he gained a better understanding of baseball's business aspect. But he did not lose the admiration of many of those who spent time with him as he completed the first nine seasons of his Major League career with the Orioles.

Markakis got a sense of this as he played the Orioles for the first time in his career on Monday night at Camden Yards. Though the experience was blemished when Baltimore claimed a 2-1, 11-inning victory, the veteran outfielder will never forget the loud, stirring ovation he received just before he began the game with an opposite-field double.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Freeman, Miller among game's top 25-and-unders

Freeman, Miller among game's top 25-and-unders

If we had to pinpoint the one theme of this 2015 season that stands out above all others, it's unquestionably the dominating impact and the infusion of youth on the Major League scene. Never was this more evident than on Monday night when 23-year-old Cubs rookie Kris Bryant cracked his first career walk-off homer into the Wrigley Field bleachers to give the Cubs a dramatic 9-8 win against the Rockies.

And just an hour or so before Bryant's blast landed, the mere suggestion that the Dodgers might consider trading 24-year-old Yasiel Puig turned social media upside down.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smoltz adds levity to solemnity in Hall speech

Reflective pitcher addresses seriousness of Tommy John surgeries, dons wig to fire back at HOF mates

Smoltz adds levity to solemnity in Hall speech

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- John Smoltz did not intend for his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech to run as long as it did. But it only seemed fitting that the last man to wear No. 29 for the Braves' organization spent a little more than 29 minutes extending gratitude and drawing some laughs with that same sense of humor that made him such a beloved teammate during his legendary pitching career.

"The best way to describe my career is unique," said Smoltz, who was inducted alongside Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez. "I can't think of any other word. It's unique in every way. I have fingerprints on my career from all of those who have touched me and impacted me and helped me along the way. It is a huge army that got John Smoltz from Lansing, Michigan, to where I am today."

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smoltz wore a wig during his HOF induction speech

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Smoltz wore a wig during his HOF induction speech

During his Hall of Fame induction speech on Sunday, John Smoltz took some time to consider the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics by exploring all the different ways his life might have turned out. In one universe, he let his hair grow out. 

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Garcia's first homer helps Braves stop Cardinals

Garcia's first homer helps Braves stop Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- A go-ahead home run by Adonis Garcia helped the Braves halt the Cardinals' five-game winning streak and avoid a three-game sweep with a 3-2 win at Busch Stadium on Sunday.

Having lost an early two-run lead, the Braves got a jolt when Garcia connected for his first home run in his fourth career game. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (11-4) served up the blast in the final inning of his six-inning start.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smoltz's Hall message: Protect 'future arms'

Smoltz's Hall message: Protect 'future arms'

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- As John Smoltz delivered his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech on Sunday afternoon, he took advantage of an opportunity to express his belief that year-round youth baseball programs have influenced the recent rise in young pitchers needing Tommy John surgery.

"I've been given an opportunity as the only player right now to be inducted to the Hall of Fame after undergoing Tommy John surgery," Smoltz said. "It's an epidemic. It's something that is affecting our game. It's something that I thought would cost me my career. But thanks to Dr. James Andrews and all those doctors before him, performing the surgery with such precision has caused it to be almost a false read, like a Band-Aid you put on your arm."

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler conquers jitters, beats baseball's best

Wisler conquers jitters, beats baseball's best

ST. LOUIS -- The preamble to Matt Wisler's seventh Major League start and its beginning provided reasons for concern, but the results were impressive once again as the Braves' rookie picked up his fifth win in Atlanta's 3-2 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Sunday.

Wisler didn't feel sharp in the bullpen, and he admitted to feeling nervous facing the club with baseball's best record. The 22-year-old righty needed a strikeout to escape the first inning with two runners in scoring position after leadoff batter Kolten Wong singled and former Brave Jason Heyward poked a two-out double down the left-field line.

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David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves getting first-hand look at what Garcia can do

Fredi hopes to get 30-year-old rookie in the lineup more after past two days, including decisive HR

Braves getting first-hand look at what Garcia can do

ST. LOUIS -- Fredi Gonzalez didn't know a lot about Adonis Garcia beyond what Triple-A Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker told him of the 30-year-old's plate prowess.

Now the Braves manager has seen it first-hand.

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David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smoltz among quartet inducted into Hall

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Biggio take their places in Cooperstown

Smoltz among quartet inducted into Hall

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- For anyone who has been there to make the comparison, Sunday's induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame was much like a World Baseball Classic contest with the defending-champion Dominican Republic participating.

Dominican flags were waving in clusters as the rhythmic sound of cymbals clanging and congas beating resounded throughout the grounds behind the Clark Sports Center.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

They said it: Quotes from HOF quartet

A selection of memorable remarks made by Biggio, Smoltz, Johnson and Martinez during the induction ceremony

They said it: Quotes from HOF quartet

On Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, N.Y., Major League Baseball welcomed four new members into its National Baseball Hall of Fame ranks. The 2015 class -- featuring greats Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez-- was enshrined before thousands of fans at the Clark Sports Center.

Here's some of what they had to say at their induction ceremony.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller, Braves drop duel to Martinez, Cardinals

Miller, Braves drop duel to Martinez, Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- With an eighth-inning sacrifice fly off Braves reliever Luis Avilan, rookie Stephen Piscotty interrupted a pitchers' duel between former teammates and lifted the Cardinals to a 1-0 win over Atlanta. The victory, which came in front of a Saturday night sellout of 45,862 at Busch Stadium, gave the Cards their sixth five-game winning streak of the season.

Returning to St. Louis for the first time since being traded away last November, Shelby Miller matched Carlos Martinez through seven scoreless innings. The Cardinals finally broke through in the eighth, which opened with a Yadier Molina single and a walk to Randal Grichuk. With one out, Piscotty delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to give the Cardinals their 11th final at-bat win of the year.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller supported by former crowd, not current offense

Former Cardinals righty allows one run on two hits, but remains winless since May 17

Miller supported by former crowd, not current offense

ST. LOUIS -- After 7 1/3 innings of brilliant pitching and two standing ovations from the crowd at Busch Stadium, all Shelby Miller could do was watch as the Cardinals snuck a run across the plate for a 1-0 victory over the Braves on Saturday night.

When Cardinals pinch-hitter Stephen Piscotty lifted a sacrifice fly to right field in the eighth inning off Braves reliever Luis Avilan, Miller took a loss he hardly deserved in an impressive return to the city where he began his career.

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David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves call up infielders Castro, Garcia

Braves call up infielders Castro, Garcia

ST. LOUIS -- To fill the roster holes left by Friday night's trade of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets in exchange for a pair of Minor League pitchers, the Braves recalled Daniel Castro and Adonis Garcia from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday.

Garcia, a 30-year-old utility player, earned his first Major League start at third base in Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Cardinals. He went for 1-for-3, with his single in the second inning his first career hit.

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David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.