Blue Jays have two possible answers for Braves shortstop woes

Bo Bichette Braves

The Atlanta Braves have been consistently inconsistent over the last two-and-a-half months. The primary reason for that has been a struggling offense. The hope is that positive regression from the team’s top stars will eventually turn things around, but the bottom half of the Braves lineup doesn’t inspire a lot of hope.

Alex Anthopoulos needs to add at least one outfielder, if not multiple, but shortstop is also a place that could be upgraded. Orlando Arcia has been miserable at the plate dating back to the All-Star break last season. The Braves have an internal option in Nacho Alvarez, but I’m not sure calling up a 21-year-old prospect after just a few weeks in AAA is the best possible solution. Typically, there aren’t many shortstops available at the trade deadline, but the Toronto Blue Jays actually have a couple of potential fixes that could intrigue the Braves.

This continues a series where I break down every potential trade candidate for the Braves from each team that could end up selling. If you missed any of the previous parts of this series, follow the links below.

Nobody thought before the season the Toronto Blue Jays could end up selling everything prior to this year’s trade deadline, but the writing seems to be on the wall for their current core. This is a group that just hasn’t proven capable of winning together, and they are currently 38-45 in an ultra-competitive AL East. This isn’t a playoff team, and everything should be on the table.

Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette is amid a miserable 2024 campaign in which he’s hitting just .234 with four homers and a .623 OPS. However, that might be what makes him an attainable target for the Braves. This time last year, Bichette would have cost an arm and a leg in a deal, as he’s finished top 16 in the AL MVP race in each of the last three seasons.

For whatever reason, Bichette hasn’t been able to get going this season, but the talent is undeniable, and he’s under contract through 2025. A change of scenery could do him wonders, and even as bad as he’s been this year, he’s still been better offensively than Orlando Arcia. Although there are questions about Bichette’s defense at shortstop, his upside in a potential buy-low acquisition makes him an intriguing trade target.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa

These are two players on totally opposite ends of the spectrum. Bichette is a former All-Star amid the worst season of his career, while Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been a utility piece for most of his career and is amid a breakout campaign. In 82 games this season, Kiner-Falefa is hitting .292 with a .758 OPS and 116 OPS+ (16% above league average). Those are all career-highs, and he’s doing so while playing elite defense all over the diamond.

Kiner-Falefa is on pace to accrue more than 6.0 WAR this season and is under contract for just $7.5 million through the 2025 campaign. Of course, there has to be some concern that regression could be in line, but if the price isn’t ridiculous, Kiner-Falefa would be a tremendous upgrade over Orlando Arcia. It’s also a plus that he can play the outfield as well, which has to be attractive to the Braves, who need help in both areas.

Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire


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