After a demoralizing sweep in Washington, Atlanta has lost 7 in a row to the division leaders. Unlike my other trade articles, these will be focused on selling instead of buying. If the Braves are out of contention at the deadline, they will be trying to maximize value for their veterans and let younger guys play a bigger role in order to help them develop. It’s gonna be tough to see some of these guys go, but these moves will be beneficial in 2016 and 2017 if this is the outcome for Atlanta.
A.J. Pierzynski for Carson Kelly (St. Louis Cardinals)
The redbirds have a sure backstop in Yadier Molina, but as Yadi gets older, he can’t play every day. A.J. has put in good work for the Braves, batting .268 and driving in 24 runs. Pierzynski has a plethora of playoff experience, winning the title as the White Sox’s starting backstop in 2005. A.J. has already played in St. Louis, and is familiar with the starters on their staff. Carson Kelly, a 20-year old Catcher from Chicago, would be what we get in return. The 20 year old was taken in the 2nd round in 2012. Over his short minor league career, he’s batting .235 with 24 HRs and 144 RBIs in 324 games. He’s currently slumping in 2015, so maybe a change of scenery would benefit Kelly.
Chris Johnson and Julio Teheran for Kyle Schwarber and Duane Underwood (Chicago Cubs)
The Cubbies look to be potential buyers at the deadline, and will surely make another run at guys like Cole Hamels and Alex Rios. They need someone who can hit lefties, and Chris is one of the best in the game. He’s batting an even .400 against southpaws, and would be there to give Kris Bryant a rest. Teheran can add playoff experience to a staff that has little to none outside of Jon Lester. (A.J. also caught Lester in Boston.) Schwarber made a few appearances for the Cubs while they were visiting AL clubs, as he got the nod to DH. In 6 games, the 22 year old hit .364 with 1 HR, 1 3B, and 6 RBIs. Duane Underwood is ranked #100 on the MLB.com Top 100 Prospect Rankings. Most of you do not want to see Julio gone, but the club could be losing patience with him and could pull the trigger, especially if it means getting rid of CJ’s contract. We have enough arms in the farm system to plug the void Julio leaves.
Jason Grilli and Kelly Johnson for Sean Newcomb (Los Angeles Angels)
The Angels are always looking to buy at the deadline, and the Halos currently sit 5 games out of first behind Houston, an even .500 at 37-37. Grilli has been a steller closer for the Braves this year, and his stock has gone way higher than anyone expected. What Atlanta would be getting in return is a 6’5″, 245 pound lefty who strikes a lot of guys out. The 2014 first round pick is having a rough 2015, but is still a raw talent. Kelly Johnson provides a solid bat, and Grilli provides pullpen protection for the Angels.