Whether Braves fans like it or not, the Juan Uribe/Kelly Johnson trade has made it clear that the team is gearing towards the future and will be sellers at the deadline. With that being said, let’s take a look at potential deals we can make at the deadline to acquire future assets:
Braves Trade Jim Johnson and A.J. Pierzynski to the Astros for Danry Vazquez and Teoscar Hernandez
Many teams will be in need of bullpen help around the deadline, and it looks like there could be a bidding war to see who will end up acquiring Craig Kimbrel now that Jonathan Papelbon is off the market. Teams may look for a cheaper, yet still effective option in Jim Johnson. The Astros are a team that has a serious chance at competing for a championship this season, and are a team that has reportedly had strong interest in Craig Kimbrel. When they realize what the market will be for this guy, they will be calling Atlanta inquiring about Johnson. Oh, and they probably need some catching help too. Yes, they have Evan Gattis, but he has been utilized as a DH all season. This is a team that has gotten zero offensive production from the Catcher position. A.J. would be a huge boost for a team that is hungry to win now. Now, for the return. Danry Vazquez is the Astros’ 25th ranked prospect per MLB.com. He is a corner outfielder, and left field is a huge question mark for Atlanta right now. Vazquez, 21, is a buy-low candidate that has struggled since hitting AA. However, prior to this stint, he has been a nice contact hitter in the minors, making him a perfect candidate for the Braves offensive game plan. Teoscar Henandez is also an outfielder, but it a guy who has hit more for power than for contact thus far in the minors. His speed makes him a multi-tool weapon if he can put it all together. MLB.com has him ranked as the Astros’ 22nd best prospect. His 2015 hasn’t been anything special, but his performance last season and lack of power in our farm system would make Hernandez a huge get for the Braves.
Braves Trade Jonny Gomes for a bucket of balls
Yea, that’s likely the Braves’ asking price for Gomes right now. Some team will probably want a veteran leader who can maybe have some clutch pinch hit appearances in the postseason, despite his dreadful .197 average. If Gomes is moved, it will likely be for a minor league player that we will likely never hear from again. Don’t get your hopes up Braves fans, sorry.
Braves Trade Chris Johnson, Jason Hursh, and Alec Grosser to the Indians for Willi Castro
The Braves continue to look to move Chris Johnson, but there are no takers for his contract. However, John Hart got rid of Melvin Upton Jr., so anything is possible. It was reported that earlier in the season, the Indians and Braves discussed a swap of two faulty contracts between Chris Johnson and Nick Swisher. This deal never got done, thankfully. The Braves are going to have to give up value to get rid of Johnson, that’s just the way it works. Alec Grosser and Jason Hursh have struggled this season, but were still picked high and have upside. With all the arms the Braves have acquired, they’re starting to lose hype as prospects. The time is now to move them, even if it means just getting rid of CJ’s contract. Heck, it will likely take more than my proposed offer to get rid of him. The Braves won’t get any value in return, most likely. I have them receiving Willi Castro, a low-tier “prospect” from Cleveland. However, it’s likely that wherever CJ ends up, the Braves will have to take in some salary in return.