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Braves get Jenkins in four-player deal

Atlanta also picks up Miller in exchange for Heyward, Walden
November 17, 2014

As Atlanta's new president of baseball operations, John Hart didn't take long to shake up the Atlanta lineup.

One day after dealing a position player to the Cubs, Hart and the Braves announced a blockbuster trade sending outfielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden to St. Louis in exchange for right-handers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.

Jenkins is the only Minor Leaguer in the deal. A 22-year-old right-hander acquired with a 2010 Compensation A Draft pick, Jenkins was also recruited by Baylor to play quarterback. He worked slowly through the lower levels of St. Louis' farm system, reaching Class A Advanced Palm Beach in 2013 before undergoing shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the first half of 2014.

He returned to Palm Beach in June and posted some of the best control numbers in his career, walking just 2.80 batters per nine innings over 13 starts. He also made six starts with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League -- the Javelinas are also the Braves' AFL affiliate -- where he posted a 2.22 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks over 24 1/3 innings. In two starts tracked by Pitchf/x, his fastball averaged just under 94 mph.

The Braves hope Jenkins will one day join Miller in the Major League rotation. Miller, a 24-year-old righty, was a first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2009 Draft and has just over two years of Major League service time, meaning the Braves will retain his rights for another four seasons. Miller has a 3.33 ERA over 69 Major League appearances (63 starts).

Heyward is the prize return for St. Louis. The 25-year-old is coming off a season in which he was worth 5.1 Wins Above Replacement (per Fangraphs) thanks largely to contributions in the field and on the bases. The right fielder hit .271 with 11 homers and swiped 20 bases while earning his second Gold Glove. Heyward is slated to become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Walden is a 27-year-old right-handed reliever who managed a 2.88 ERA in 50 innings for the Braves in 2014. Drafted by the Angels in the 12th round in 2006, Walden debuted with Los Angeles in 2010 and has a 3.10 ERA over 211 2/3 career innings, all as a reliever.

Monday's trade comes a day after the Braves swapped second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino and international bonus pool slot money.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner.