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Ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline, the Atlanta Braves are undoubtedly buyers. Alex Anthopoulos has already brought in outfielder Joc Pederson. Pederson has only started two games and has already homered & beat the shift. Already a win. The Braves General Manager also brought in catcher, Steven Vogt (pronounced “Vote”). Admittedly I don’t know much about him since 2016, but his first game as a Brave was a multi-hit effort; something unfamiliar lately from the backstop position.
Alex Anthopoulos should be looking to add another outfield bat as well as bullpen help. Even though Atlanta is a buyer, they have to sell somebody; deals aren’t one-way.
So who on the Braves MLB roster should be available? Short answer: everybody in the bullpen. Seriously. None of them should be off limits. But what team would send Atlanta an impact player in exchange for what has been the weakness of the 2021 ball club? That’s the balance Anthopoulos has to strike, how to bring in an impact player by moving assets the Braves won’t miss in the short or long term.
I’ll give you three outfielders I’d like to see the Atlanta Braves target.
Gallo has been linked to multiple teams in recent weeks; the Braves, Yankees, & Padres being the perceived frontrunners. Gallo is an Alex Anthopoulos unicorn. By that I mean: he’s a highly impactful bat, he’s young (27 years old), & he’s under team control past this season (becomes a free agent in 2023). He’s only making $6.2 million this season, meaning he’s affordable within the confines of the financial burden Marcell Ozuna has cast on Atlanta.
He will be costly. Texas’ pitching struggles are no secret, so they’ll at least want an MLB/Debut-ready arm in the return package.
Joey Gallo, OF
William Contreras, C
Kyle Muller, SP
Bryce Elder, SP
It was made public Sunday evening that the Marlins were looking to make a trade that included Marte. This only coming after the two sides weren’t close on a contract extension for the almost-33 year old outfielder. He will be a free agent after this season, which is good & bad. Good because that will lower his price because he’s essentially a rental unless he signs an extension with his new team. Bad because he’s just a rental.
Starling Marte, OF
Anthony Bender, RP
Dylan Floro, RP
Dansby Swanson, SS
Tyler Matzek, RP
The young Orioles outfielder would be the most expensive of the three targets. He’s only in his second year of service time & won’t be a free agent until 2026. He won’t even be arbitration-eligible until 2023. The Campbell University product made his first All-Star Game last week, starting for the American League. His abundance of team control and early success could bring in franchise-altering value to the rebuilding Orioles.
Cedric Mullins, OF
Cole Sulser, RP
Drew Waters, OF
Mike Soroka, SP