The Braves are acquiring LHP Brad Hand from the Rockies for Double-A RHP Alec Barger, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 1, 2023
Hand, 33, joined the Rockies late in Spring Training on a one-year. $2 million deal in the wake of Lucas Gilbreath’s season-ending Tommy John surgery.
In 40 games this season, Hand has pitched to a 4.54 ERA across 35 2⁄3 innings of work. He has enjoyed an uptick in his strikeouts with a 26.1% rate while issuing just 16 walks. He’s been especially tough on left-handed batters with opponents slashing .143/.276/.204 against him.
Hand was primed for a $7 million team/vesting option (contingent on him finishing 25 games) with a $500,000 buyout for 2024. That deal becomes a mutual option now that he has been traded.
Barger, 25, was originally drafted by the Braves out of North Carolina State University in the 17th round of the 2019 draft. Barger has spent the entire 2023 season in Double-A where he has enjoyed the best season of his professional career. Coming out of the bullpen, Barger has posted a 3.29 ERA across 38 1⁄3 innings of work and a 1.357 WHIP. He’s been a consistent strike thrower and features a mix of two breaking balls along with a sinker and four-seam fastball.
Barger becomes the sixth pitching prospect the Rockies have traded for this season leading up to the Trade Deadline. This is also the second recent trade the Rockies have made with the Braves after sending Pierce Johnson to Atlanta for a pair of pitching prospects.
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