Bleacher Report early season trade hypotheticals for the Braves

MLB: MAY 11 Yankees at Rays

It feels like the Braves are in a funk, yet they sit at 26-14 on the season, on pace for over 100 wins, and have won six of their last eight games. That’s the standard they’ve set for themselves over the last couple of seasons, but things would look a lot worse if not for their pitching staff, which has vastly exceeded preseason expectations. A month ago, it looked as if the Braves would be desperately looking for a boost to their rotation at the trade deadline following the season-ending injury to Spencer Strider. That’s no longer the case right now, but Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report does believe there are areas the Braves can improve upon at the trade deadline, providing us with three early-season hypotheticals.

Blockbuster Target: Mauricio Dubón, Houston Astros

When the Braves’ hypothetical “blockbuster target” is Mauricio Dubón, it shows just how few holes they have on their roster. Atlanta could use another starting pitcher, but it’s certainly not a must, and they likely won’t be willing to trade the few top prospects they have on something that is a luxury.

An area they could improve is the bench, and Dubón would go a long way in making that happen. Capable of filling in at second and short as well as in the outfield if needed. He’s fresh off winning a Gold Glove for the Astros and is cut from a similar cloth as Nicky Lopez, who the Braves acquired at the trade deadline last season.

This is actually an area Alex Anthopoulos has attempted to upgrade recently, acquiring Zack Short from the Red Sox. Short’s filled in admirably for Austin Riley, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves tried to upgrade their bench even further, so I don’t believe Joel Reuter is too far off here for Bleacher Report.

Logical Target: Amed Rosario, Tampa Bay Rays

Noticing a trend here? Joel Reuter clearly believes the Braves’ biggest hole to fill is the utility spot on the bench. Rosario is a player I thought the Braves might target to be their starting shortstop before Orlando Arcia grabbed a hold of the job last year. He accrued 6.1 WAR in two seasons with Cleveland from 2021-2022 but had a very underwhelming first half of last year before being traded to the Dodgers, where he was much more productive. Rosario signed a one-year deal with the Rays this offseason and is hitting .300 with 11 extra-base hits through 37 games. He’d certainly be an upgrade over what the Braves currently have in Zack Short.

Outside-the-Box Target: Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies


The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft and one of baseball’s top prospects throughout his time in the Colorado Rockies farm system, Brendan Rodgers has shown flashes throughout his time in the big leagues, but injuries have kept him from fully developing into the franchise player he was expected to become.

The only time he has played more than 120 games came in 2022 when he hit .266/.325/.408 with 30 doubles, 13 home runs and 63 RBI while taking home NL Gold Glove honors at second base in a 4.3-WAR season.

Still only 27 years old, he is controllable through 2025 but could be a trade chip for a Rockies team going nowhere. A change of scenery could do wonders for his career trajectory, especially if he can stay healthy.

Joel Reuter’s last Braves hypothetical for Bleacher Report is by far the most intriguing. These are the kind of savvy acquisitions where Alex Anthopoulos has made other clubs look foolish. Rodgers’ career has been derailed by injuries, but as Reuter mentioned above, he’s shown a ton of promise when healthy.

This reminds me a lot of when the Braves acquired Orlando Arcia a couple of years ago, who was a once-promising prospect for the Brewers before eventually falling out of favor. Arcia spent time as the primary backup utility infielder in his first season before winning the starting shortstop job last year out of Spring Training and going on to make his first All-Star appearance.

If the price is right, Rodgers could make for an intriguing addition that could, at the very least, serve as the team’s utility infielder, but perhaps even give Arcia a run for his money down the line.

Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire


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