We are a week away from the MLB trade deadline, which will take place on August 1st at 6:00 PM ET. It’s one of the best times of the year for baseball fans, particularly ones of contending teams like the Braves. Currently sporting the best record in baseball, Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t have to make any blockbuster trades to make this team a championship contender. As currently constructed, the Braves will be the favorites to win the World Series; however, Anthopoulos isn’t one to sit on his hands, and there are some tweaks that can be made to ensure the Braves don’t have any glaring weaknesses come October.
Even after yesterday’s additions, I tend to side with Alex Anthopoulos placing an emphasis on the bullpen ahead of the trade deadline. The Braves are currently without four of their top guys, and even when fully healthy, a true shutdown closer could make this unit far and away the best bullpen in baseball. With that being said, I understand why many believe starting pitching should be the focal point moving forward.
Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton, and Bryce Elder have been carrying this group all season. Thankfully, Max Fried looks to be a week away from returning, but Elder’s recent struggles are a little concerning. Do the Braves trust him to take the ball in a playoff game? If they are even unsure, adding another high quality arm has to be in the realm of possibilities.
The issue is starting pitching tends to be wildly expensive at the trade deadline. Alex Anthopoulos isn’t going to overpay if the value is not there. Plus, he’s watched his team win the World Series while starting Tucker Davidson and Dylan Lee. This year’s rotation is already far better than the one that won it all in 2021. However, if the opportunity presents itself, Anthopoulos is going to leave no stone unturned in trying to improve this roster over the next week.
Bleacher Report recently did an article where they laid out eight predictions for the MLB trade deadline. Featured on the list was the Braves, who they have landing Lucas Giolito from the White Sox.
As the clear-cut best team in baseball by winning percentage, Atlanta does not have any clear and obvious weaknesses.
Max Fried, Atlanta’s ace, is going through a rehab stint from a strained forearm. His return should bolster Atlanta’s rotation, but adding Lucas Giolito from the White Sox would make things even scarier in the NL.
Giolito has been the most consistent starter for a White Sox group clearly lacking consistency, though he labored through his most recent start, giving up eight runs on six hits (three of them homers) and five walks in just 3.2 innings. His ERA prior to Tuesday night’s outing against the Mets was 3.45.
Giolito is the second-most valuable starter on a White Sox team headed nowhere. He would be the third-most valuable starter among this Atlanta rotation without Fried and provides depth once the ace returns.
Giolito may not be the Cy Young candidate he once was, but he owns a 3.79 ERA over 21 starts for the White Sox. He’s also on the final year of his contract, so he shouldn’t cost a king’s ransom in terms of prospects.
I would love to add Giolito. He would put to bed any concerns surrounding the Braves rotation, and it would allow Brian Snitker to go with the hot hand come the postseason. A move like this would also serve as insurance in case someone else goes down with injury. I’m sure Anthopoulos will call the White Sox about a number of their pitchers, Giolito included, but he won’t overpay for a rental. In a seller’s market, it might be difficult for the Braves to land a pitcher of his caliber for a reasonable price.
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