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The MLB Trade Deadline is approaching, and with an expanded playoffs this year there are more buyers than on a normal year. There’s a handful of legitimate World Series contenders, whether they’re already at that point or they just need a piece here & a piece there. The Braves are one of those teams.
Operating for most of this year with only one consistent starting pitcher, the rotation is the obvious hole Alex Anthopoulos will try to fill if he makes any deals before the deadline. Ender Inciarte’s bat is a hole that’s reared it’s ugly head here in 2020. And a surprising hole that was thought to have multiple options entering 2020 is third base.
What He Should Want
First, we need an acquisition that moves the needle. Somebody or somebodies that takes this team over the hump currently keeping the Braves from the World Series. Granted, right now the majority of that hump is made up of injuries & an opt out. But with this being a 60 game season, AA shouldn’t move a top prospect in return for a one year rental. If we’re moving a prospect that some day should be in the Majors, Atlanta needs to gain a piece that is under team control for at least the duration of 2021.
Possible Trade Partners
In light of Clevinger & Plesac’s night on the town, everyone outside of Cleveland believes that the Indians are distraught enough with them to the point that they want to move one or both of them. They’re not, they don’t feel as though they HAVE to get rid of both these guys, especially at the discount that a lot of other teams are going to offer them. BUT, with Lindor not staying an Indian in 2021, they’re almost surely about to begin a rebuild. They’re outfield is a mess right now. If Cleveland leaves Clevinger demoted for 16 days, the club gains an extra year of control, so that gives Cleveland all the leverage in talks for Clevinger. Plesac on the other hand, will be much easier to obtain. Plesac won’t hit free agency until 2026, Clevinger not until 2023.
The Mariners feel like they’re in a perpetual rebuild since the days of Griffey & A-Rod. But I digress, the only piece the Braves would be interested in, currently in Seattle in my opinion is Taijuan Walker. Walker isn’t on par with Cleveland’s duo, but with him in the rotation, that’s another day the bullpen can kick their feet up. He’ll eat innings and keep the runs down, plenty enough for this Braves offense.
Kansas City Royals
Another team that has a sneaky effective pitcher that lines up with AA’s usual moves. The man’s name is Danny Duffy. He’s signed through next season, hitting free agency in 2022. He’s a veteran of the game, and would be a great mentor alongside Hamels for our young stars. He’s owed $13 million a year, and would most likely have cash sent alongside him to Atlanta to help out with that.
The O’s looked like 2020’s surprise team early on, but they’re coming down to Earth now. Set to hit free agency in 2022, the 32 year old Alex Cobb will be dangling out in front of any team that approaches Baltimore with deals. Making a cool $14.25 million a season, he’d also be accompanied with cash if he made his way to Georgia. Anthopoulos isn’t usually too keen on digging deep into the pocketbook.