Braves land prospect Banuelos, ship Carpenter, Shreve to Yanks

David Carpenter had been a rock-solid component of the Braves bullpen, posting two-year tallies of 10 wins, a 2.63 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and sterling ratios with K/9 (10.0) and K/BB (141/36).

Kevin Liles

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves’ offseason of change carried over to the new year on Thursday, with the club trading relievers David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve to the Yankees for pitching prospect Manny Banuelos.

Carpenter had been a rock-solid component of the Braves bullpen, posting two-year tallies of 10 wins, a 2.63 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and sterling ratios with K/9 (10.0) and K/BB (141/36) — admirable numbers for a late-inning setup man.

The 24-year-old Shreve enjoyed a great season with the Atlanta organization, notching a 0.73 ERA in the majors (15 appearances — MLB rookie) and a stellar K/BB rate of 87/12 in the minors (stints with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett).

Even with Shreve on the roster, the Braves still would have seemed unbalanced in the bullpen, in terms of right-handers vs. left-handers. But in the wake of this holiday trade, it’s fair to wonder just how many southpaw relievers will be included on the Opening Day roster.

Luis Avilan and James Russell? Possibly Banuelos? That might be the whole crop.

A one-time top prospect for the Yankees (No. 29 overall heading into the 2012 season — source: Baseball America), the 23-year-old Banuelos compiled a 4.11 ERA and 71 strikeouts (76.2 innings) last season, along three different stops in the minors.

In 2013, Banuelos underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

Since taking control of Braves personnel matters in late September, president of baseball operations John Hart has engineered a flurry of trades with established veterans and key newcomers, shipping Jason Heyward (Cardinals), Justin Upton (Padres), Anthony Varvaro (Red Sox), Tommy La Stella (Cubs), Jordan Walden (Cardinals) to other teams — with the primary intent of restocking the Braves’ system with high-ceiling prospects.

Via free agency, Hart also signed outfielder Nick Markakis to a four-year contract.