Braves deal RHP David Hale to Rockies in 4-player trade

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ATLANTA (AP) — The Braves pulled off another trade in their busy offseason Friday, dealing right-handed pitchers David Hale and Gus Schlosser to the Colorado Rockies for minor league catchers Jose Briceno and Chris O'Dowd.

Hale pitched 45 games for Atlanta last season, going 4-5 with a 3.30 ERA, and had been expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

He became expendable after the Braves reached agreement on a minor league contract with left-hander Eric Stults, according to his agent, Joe Bick. Stults will be invited to the major league camp.

The 35-year-old Stults started 65 games for San Diego over the last two seasons, going 8-17 with a 4.30 ERA in 2014. He will compete for the fifth spot in the rotation with hard-throwing prospect Michael Foltynewicz, acquired from Houston, and perhaps veterans Wandy Rodriguez and Chien-Ming Wang, both looking to come back from injuries that sidetracked their careers.

The Braves also finalized a $4 million, one-year contract with Jonny Gomes. The deal, which includes a vesting option, was completed Friday after the free-agent outfielder passed a physical.

Gomes played for Boston and Oakland in 2014, hitting only .234 with a career-low six homers. He could be part of a left field platoon in Atlanta with former Yankees prospect Zoilo Almonte.

Schlosser worked 15 games in Atlanta with a 7.64 ERA.

The 22-year-old Briceno played in Class A Asheville, hitting 12 homers with 50 RBI in 84 games. He also threw out 44 percent of attempted basestealers.

O'Dowd split the 2014 season between Class A Modesto and Double-A Tulsa, combining to hit .271 with five homers and 48 RBIs. He is a son of former Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd.

Under new general manager John Hart, the Braves have undergone a major overhaul this offseason, dealing away three of their top hitters — Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis — while receiving mostly prospects in return.

Atlanta is coming off a disappointing 79-83 season that cost former GM Frank Wren his job. Hart has said rebuilding the farm system is one of his top priorities.

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