Angels Open for Sale, Ship Downs to Braves

"Better brush up on my Tomahawk Chop..." - Jason O. Watson

Being 13 games back of first place and in 4th in the AL West, the Angels have finally embraced their most logical option: selling.

The Angels' likeliest trade piece has been traded.

Long before the Angels announced that they were sellers yesterday, our beloved Scott Downs was oft mentioned as a retooling piece. Now, it is official: The Angels have traded Downs to the Atlanta Braves for minor-league RHP Cory Rasmus.

Rasmus, the middle child of the Rasmus baseball brothers (Colby, the elder, is an outfielder in Toronto; Casey, the baby, is a catcher in the Cardinals system), was the 38th overall pick by the Braves in the 2006 draft, a pick they acquired for the loss of Kyle Farnsworth in free agency. After six years of toiling, Rasmus got his first taste of the majors this past May, and it was bitter: an 8.10 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 4 HR allowed in 6.2 innings.

However, with AAA Gwinnett, Rasmus played in 37 games (30 finished) and posted a 1.72 ERA, a 1.145 WHIP, 11.9 K/9 and 14 saves. His stats are almost independent of a shaky and troublesome 5.4 BB/9, and his career rate of 4.2 suggests this is not a new problem. His control will likely get more work, as the Angels have sent him to AAA Salt Lake and not yet added him to the 40-man roster.

Downs will likely have his first opportunity to pitch in the postseason, as his new team is currently 8.5 games up in the NL East.

To replace Downs, LHP Nick Maronde has been recalled from AA Arkansas and is active on the 25-man roster for tonight's game. As for Rasmus, the Orange County Paywall Register reports Rasmus may be called up before roster expansion.

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