With spring training barely a month away, the Braves’ overhaul continued Wednesday when they traded traded popular slugger Evan Gattis and a minor league pitcher to the Astros for a package of three prospects.

El Oso Blanco has left the building.

The Braves shipped their popular, power-hitting catcher/outfielder to Houston, along with 27-year-old minor league pitcher James Hoyt, in exchange for third baseman Rio Ruiz and right handers Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman. Ruiz and Foltynewicz were among the Astros’ top 10 prospects.

The deal was finalized Wednesday night, after Gattis traveled to Houston earlier in the day for a physical exam.

His departure made it three of Braves’ best and most popular players who’ve been traded this winter — Gattis and corner outfielders Jason Heyward and Justin Upton.

“I didn’t go out to make this deal,” Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said of the Gattis trade, “but all things considered, we had an opportunity to continue what we’ve been doing this winter, which is really sort of replenish our farm system that needed it. Obviously I loved Evan Gattis and we’re going to miss his bat and he’s a great story, but I think, as I looked at it American League clubs were interested, National League clubs weren’t, for obvious reasons.

“As much as I loved the player and loved the power, we can’t DH him in the National League and you can’t assure yourself you’re going to get 150 games from the guy.”

Unlike Heyward and Upton, who were eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, Gattis was still four years from free agency and not yet even eligible for arbitration. But the Braves believed his trade value might never be higher, after he hit more than 20 homers in each of his first two seasons despite playing fewer than 110 games in each.

Baseball America recently ranked Foltynewicz — pronounced FOLE-tin-eh-vich — as the Astros’ No. 3 prospect and 20-year-old Ruiz as No. 8 in a talent-rich organization. Foltynewicz, 23, could compete for a spot in the Braves’ rotation as soon as spring training. He has a 96-100 mph fastball and above-average breaking ball, and in five minor league seasons he compiled a 3.98 ERA with 478 strikeouts in 562 2/3 innings.

“He’s not a finished product, but this is a kid we feel is very close,” Hart said. “He certainly does have all the physical tools that you want, on top of great makeup. He’s got a big arm.”

Gattis and Upton were the Braves’ top power hitters last season, and it remains to be seen who’ll provide lineup protection for Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and who’ll play left field, where Gattis had been penciled in to handle the primary duties after the Braves traded Upton to the Padres.

Gattis (.810), Upton (.833) and Freddie Freeman (.847) were the only Braves lineup regulars with an OPS as high as .750.

The Braves earlier signed free agent Nick Markakis to replace Gold Glover Heyward in right field and likely will sign or trade for another outfielder to play left field. Hart also mentioned possibly using a platoon that includes offseason signee Zoilo Almonte.

Their only returning outfielder is the one they most wanted to shed: center fielder B.J. Upton, owed more than $46 million over the next three years. The Braves tried to include Upton in a trade with Gattis to Houston earlier this winter, but it didn’t work out, and no other teams seem interested in taking Upton if they must pay any part of his salary.

Among the prospects coming from Houston, Foltynewicz could make the quickest impact. A first-round draft pick in 2010, he made his major league debut in 2014, posting a 5.30 ERA in 16 relief appearances. But the Braves believe Thurman is also not far from being a major league-ready starter, and Ruiz could be their future starting third baseman.

Ruiz, 20, hit .293 with a .387 on-base percentage and 50 extra-base hits (11 home runs) in high Single-A, and Hart said he’ll likely start the season at Double-A Mississippi. He becomes the Braves’ top third-base prospect after they recently traded away Kyle Kubitza.

A fourth-round pick in 2012, Ruiz was a star high school quarterback in the Los Angeles area and committed to play football at USC before signing with the Astros for $1.85 million.

Thurman, 23, was a second-round pick in 2013 and went 7-9 with a 5.38 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 115 1/3 innings last season in 26 games (20 starts) in Single-A.

Gattis, 28, would have switched from catcher to left field in 2015 if he had stayed with the Braves, to make room for rookie catcher Christian Bethancourt. The Braves signed veteran A.J. Pierzynski to serve as backup and mentor to Bethancourt.

Braves officials were concerned about the long-term durability of the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Gattis. He has a knee that twice has been surgically repaired, and a bulging disk landed him on the disabled list in 2014. Also, Gattis struggled on defense when he played 48 games in left field in 2013.

Braves fans view him as something of a folk hero, equal parts Jack Kerouac and Paul Bunyan. He has a remarkable background — four years out of baseball, roaming the West and doing odd jobs — and immense power that translated to some of the majors’ longest home runs.

He hit .263 with 22 home runs in 369 at-bats in 2014, the second-highest homer total on the team behind Justin Upton, who hit 29 in 566 at-bats.

Despite missing about five weeks in 2014 for his back, a viral illness, strep throat and a kidney stone, Gattis tied San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Seattle’s Mike Zunino for third-most homers among major league catchers.

Gattis has 43 homers and a .487 slugging percentage in 723 at-bats during his first two seasons. Nelson Cruz, who led the majors with 40 homers in 2014 for Baltimore, had 34 homers and a .463 slugging percentage after the first 721 at-bats of his career.