The Atlanta Braves’ rebuilding effort has claimed another fan favorite.
The Houston Astros acquired right-handed slugger Evan Gattis from the Braves on Wednesday in return for three minor league prospects: right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, third baseman Rio Ruiz and right-hander Andrew Thurman.
Atlanta also sent right-hander James Hoyt to Houston in the deal. Hoyt split last season between Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi.
Gattis, who primarily played catcher and left field for the Braves, batted .263 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs in 369 at-bats last season.
He has 43 home runs in his first two seasons (723 at-bats) after breaking onto the scene as a relatively unknown rookie in 2013.
Gattis, 28, was slated to take over as the Braves’ starting left fielder in 2015 in place of Justin Upton, who was traded to San Diego in December.
Instead, Gattis becomes the third Braves outfielder to be traded during the offseason. Right fielder Jason Heyward was dealt to St. Louis in November.
In acquiring Foltynewicz, 23, the Braves continued an offseason campaign to add talented young arms to their farm system.
The 6-foot-4 Foltynewicz, the 19th overall pick of the 2010 draft, was rated the No. 3 prospect in Houston’s farm system by Baseball America. He struggled last season during stints at AAA and the major league level, posting an ERA above 5.00 at both stops, following two consecutive strong seasons in the minors.
Ruiz, 20, was ranked eighth among all Astros minor leaguers. He batted .293 with 11 home runs and 77 RBIs for the Lancaster Hawks in High Class A.