Atlanta Braves General Manager John Coppolella announced tonight that the Braves and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have completed a five-player trade, as the Braves have acquired infielder Erick Aybar, top minor-league pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis and cash considerations in exchange for shortstop Andrelton Simmons and minor-league catcher Jose Briceno.
Aybar, 31, earned the American League Gold Glove Award at shortstop in 2011 and was on the A.L. All-Star team in 2014. The switch-hitter has clubbed at least 30 doubles in each of the last five seasons and has posted a .276 career batting average in 10 seasons (1,220 games), with 313 extra-base hits and 417 RBI. Over the course of his career, Aybar has posted 162-game averages of 76 runs scored, 41 extra-base hits and 55 RBI. A native of Bani, Dominican Republic, Aybar was originally signed by the Angels as an amateur free agent in 2002.
Considered the Angels' top prospect, the 6-foot-5 Newcomb pitched at three levels in 2015 and went a combined 9-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 27 games. He posted an incredible 168 strikeouts in 136 innings pitched and held opposing hitters to a .199 batting average. The 22-year-old lefty was taken 15th overall in the 2014 draft out of the University of Hartford, where he posted an 8-2 record with a 1.25 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 93.2 innings pitched (14 games) in his final collegiate season.
Ellis, 23, has been rated by MLB.com as the Angels' No. 2 prospect. He split the 2015 season between High-A Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas, combining to go 11-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 26 starts in his second season of professional baseball. The 6-foot-4 righty notched 132 strikeouts in 140.2 innings of work this past season. Ellis was selected in the third round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Mississippi.