I said before the start of the season that the one thing the Braves couldn’t afford was an injury to one of their infielders. Their depth in that area is lacking, and it will now be tested with Ozzie Albies hitting the 60-day IL. Hopefully, the Braves All-Star second baseman will be able to return at some point, but if he isn’t, they’ll have to acquire another infielder before the trade deadline. Yesterday, our own Caleb Thomas highlighted a couple of players that could serve as utility men or platoon options to pair with Orlando Arcia, but if the Braves wanted to be a bit more aggressive, there are also a couple of starting-caliber second basemen that could be available.
At 20-41, the Royals are a mess, and the Whit Merrifield situation is even messier. A couple of years ago, Merrifield was an All-Star and on one of the best contracts in baseball, but he’s fallen off a cliff this season, accruing -0.9 WAR over 61 games played. He’s hitting just .223 and boasts an OPS of .574. Still, this is a guy who was an All-Star last season and has played in every game over the last three years, proving to be one of the most consistent contact bats in all of baseball. If the Braves wanted to buy low on Merrifield, now would be the time to do it. He shouldn’t cost much in terms of prospects and would provide the team with another quality option at second base to compete with Orlando Arcia. He also has outfield versatility, which is a plus as well.
The Orioles appear to finally be turning the corner. They have a ton of high-quality young talent, but in a loaded AL East, they are still at least a year away from competing for a playoff spot. Baltimore should be selling at the deadline, and Odor might interest the Braves. He’s nothing spectacular, but he’s a solid veteran with some pop from the left side. I like the idea of platooning him with Arcia, and he should cost next to nothing in terms of prospects. Plus, we know Odor can throw hands, so we have an enforcer in case someone tries to intentionally hit Ronald Acuña again.
3 years ago today, Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista and initiated a historic brawl in Texas. pic.twitter.com/icw62wPFgz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 15, 2019
Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
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