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With all four trade deadline additions, one thing remained constant throughout: the Braves didn’t give up anything or anyone that was a part of Atlanta’s long term plan. Let’s get that straight right off the bat. When you analyze each deadline addition the Braves Front Office made, keep in mind that what the organization gave up was never going to be an MLB staple for the Braves.
So unless you value Minor League Baseball contributions more than the product that the Atlanta Braves put on the field, every transaction was a win for Atlanta. So now let’s get into each move individually…
Soler was one of the first guys to debut in the Majors for the Cubs as part of that group of prospects that was supposed to break the Cubs World Series curse, which they did in 2016.
Soler is most known for his mammoth power. I mean, this guy absolutely loses baseballs. He’s the guy that makes people in line at the concessions have to watch their back so they don’t get hit with a homerun ball. He’s hit double-digit homeruns in five of his nine MLB seasons, hitting 48 homeruns in baseball’s most recent full season (2019).
He is a free agent after this season. It remains to be seen whether or not Alex Anthopoulos plans to re-sign him because all he gave up for him was a minor league pitcher who projected as a reliever in the Majors if he made it that far. BUT, with the new CBA this offseason that is anticipated to implement the universal DH, Soler is a prime candidate to take that role for Atlanta.
What the Braves gave up: Kasey Kalich.
Unless you just started watching the Braves play baseball this season, you know Adam Duvall. He’s been a part of the Braves each of the last three seasons. He spent half a season with a foster-ball club (Miami Marlins), but he’s back home now in Atlanta.
His re-addition adds plugs the biggest hole the Braves had after Acuña’s season-ending ACL tear. Since then, they’ve not had an MLB-caliber outfield. The addition of Joc Pederson made up some ground, but having only one of three outfielders who should be there wasn’t going to get this club to the postseason. A path that’s going to have to go through the division, as the wildcard is just too far out of reach.
Duvall has a mutual option in his contract for next year, so he’s not exactly a rental. What’s different about his contract is that he’s also arbitration-eligible next season, should he decline his option. He becomes a free agent again in 2023.
What the Braves gave up: Alex Jackson
This 31-year old reliever has already logged fourteen saves this season. Playing for the Pirates, there weren’t many chances for anybody to get saves. He’s got a 2.82 ERA, 33 strikeouts, & a 1.5 WAR through 38.2 innings pitched in 37 games this year.
Rodriguez was the lone pitching addition made by Alex Anthopoulos on Friday, but he was a good one. He’s signed through the end of this season, becoming arbitration-eligible in 2022, & a free agent in 2024.
Richard is a prime example of Alex Anthopoulos addressing an area of need for the 2021 Braves as well as the Braves beyond this season. The package to get Rodriguez was the steepest in terms of MLB experience, but no one the Pirates received had s place on healthy Braves rosters from this point forward.
What the Braves gave up: Bryse Wilson & Ricky DeVito
Rosario is currently on the Injured List with an intercostal strain, but is expected to be activated sooner rather than later. It’ll be interesting to see what Rosario’s role will be when he returns. His addition brings the corner outfield group to three MLB starter-players: Soler, Duvall, & Rosario (Joc will likely play center field). My best guess is the trio of Soler, Duvall, & Rosario will restate off days based on matchups and rest days.
Rosario may be the least-known player out of this bunch of outfield additions, but he’s the most consistent one in the group. He’s hit at least ten homeruns in each of his seven MLB seasons. He’s never finished a season batting under .257. He’s had a triple-digit OPS+ every year except his sophomore season (2026). And he’s only grounded into more than five double plays twice in his career, the most recent season being 2019.
What the Braves gave up: Pablo Sandoval