Jim Bowden on what he’s hearing about Braves trade deadline plans

Jesus Luzardo Atlanta Braves

With a struggling offense and the reigning NL MVP out for the season, the Braves all of a sudden are a team to keep a close eye on leading up to the trade deadline. The top priority for Atlanta has to be acquiring a bat, and I would argue one isn’t nearly enough. They need several, and outfielders are the most logical fit, which Jim Bowden noted in his latest piece for The Athletic.

“Three years ago, the Braves lost Ronald Acuña Jr. to a season-ending ACL tear but went on to win the World Series because president of baseball ops Alex Anthopoulos landed four outfielders (Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall) at the trade deadline,” Bowden writes. “This year, they lost Acuña to another season-ending ACL tear, this one to his left knee, and will try to follow a similar formula at the deadline. Although Anthopoulos probably won’t get four new outfielders, don’t be surprised if he lands one or two again this year.”

It’s difficult to ignore the similarities between this year and 2021. The Braves are underachieving and seem to be just barely treading water without their best player. It won’t be easy for Alex Anthopoulos to conjure up that same magic again, but expect him to follow a similar path. One outfielder is not enough, two should be viewed as a minimum.

At this point, Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall have shown nothing to suggest they should be playing everyday. They are better served as platoon options. Bringing in two more guys into the mix will give Brian Snitker the opportunity to play the matchups and the hot hand, just like he did in 2021.

Bowden also notes the Braves could be in the market for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.

“The Braves are also monitoring the market for a veteran back-of-the-rotation starting pitcher in case none of their young starters step up and adequately fill the fifth spot in the rotation.”

I wouldn’t get too excited about this. There will be some high-profile names on the market, like Garrett Crochet and Jesús Luzardo. However, starting pitching at the trade deadline costs an arm and a leg. Anthopoulos has never been one to make a blockbuster trade for rotation help, especially in the middle of the season, and the Braves have had a lot worse rotations than the one that they have right now. If Anthopoulos is to add a starter, expect it to be someone like Jake Odorizzi, who Atlanta acquired at the 2022 trade deadline.

Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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