Carroll County Times

For the Birds: O's trade Ayala to Atlanta

The Baltimore Orioles traded veteran relief pitcher Luis Ayala to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday afternoon. In exchange for the 35-year-old right-hander, the Orioles received pitching prospect Chris Jones.

Jones, a 24-year-old lefty, was optioned to Class-AA Bowie.

Ayala was 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in two appearances for Baltimore this season. He won the home opener against the Minnesota Twins with 1 2-3 scoreless innnings.

In Ayala's first appearance of the season on April 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays, he gave up two runs on two hits in 2-3 innings.

In 2012, Ayala went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 75 innings over 66 appearances. He had 51 strikeouts and a save.

Ayala has switched teams several times in his career, as the Braves will be his seventh different franchise. He began his career with the Montreal Expos, staying with them when they became the Washington Nationals, and pitched for the New York Mets, Twins, Miami Marlins, and New York Yankees.

Jones has never pitched in the major leagues. The 2007 15th-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians pitched five years in the Cleveland organization, never getting higher than Class-A.

The past two years, Jones has been in Atlanta's Class-AA affiliate, the Mississippi Braves. He went 2-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 45 relief appearances last season.

It is expected that outfielder Chris Dickerson will fill Ayala's spot on the roster. Dickerson, who was at Class-AAA Norfolk, has reportedly been sent to Boston.

In order to make room for Dickerson on the 40-man roster, it is possible the Orioles will move Wilson Betemit to the 60-day DL.