The Cardinals traded veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia to the Braves in exchange for prospects, the teams announced Thursday. The three prospects headed back to St. Louis are infielder Luke Dykstra and right-handers Chris Ellis and John Gant.
Garcia, 30, is coming off a 2016 season in which he mostly struggled across 30 starts and a pair of relief appearances. For his career, he owns a strong 109 ERA+ and a K/BB ratio of 2.77. He flashes strong ground-ball tendencies, but on occasion Garcia has had trouble staying healthy. He's in the final year of his contract and owed $12 million for the upcoming season.
Despite an active offseason in terms of adding starting pitching, the Braves may still be in the mix to add an ace on the order of Chris Sale or Chris Archer.
On the Cardinals' side of things, Dykstra, 21, has batted .300/.335/.385 across parts of three minor-league seasons. He spent 2016 in the Class A South Atlantic League. The son of former big-leaguer Lenny Dykstra, he was a seventh-round draft choice in 2014.
Ellis, 24 and a former third-rounder out of Ole Miss, has a 4.61 ERA and 1.73 K/BB ratio in 63 minor-league games, 56 of which have been starts. He reached Triple-A last season.
The 24-year-old Gant worked 50 big-league innings for the Braves in 2016 (4.86 ERA, 2.33 K/BB ratio).