The trade deadline is days away, and it’s one of the most exciting times of the year for competing baseball teams. Braves fans know all too well how these upcoming days can change the course of history. Last year, Alex Anthopoulos worked a masterclass at the trade deadline, acquiring Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, and Jorge Soler for almost nothing. All four of those players were pivotal in the Braves turnaround, as they went on to win their first World Series since 1995.
Much like last season, this Braves team needs to make some moves if they want to win a championship, and they have a lot of the same needs. Priority number one is outfield help. Everything after that is secondary, but the Braves could also add a utility piece, as well as another starting pitcher and reliever.
Per usual, the star players that could be dealt at the trade deadline are the focus of conversations amongst Braves fans. Everybody is hoping Anthopoulos can figure out a way to land someone like Luis Castillo or Ian Happ. However, Anthopoulos has laid out a pretty consistent blueprint for how he likes to approach the trade deadline, and I don’t expect him to deviate from that approach this time around.
When it comes to mid-season trades, AA is rarely one to make a single big splash. And even if he wanted to go in that direction this year, it would be nearly impossible. The Braves have arguably the worst farm system in baseball and can be outbid by nearly every other organization when it comes to prospects. So, players like Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas, and Ian Happ — all of whom will be coveted by every competing team — probably aren’t in the picture for the Braves.
Instead, Alex Anthopoulos likes to attack with volume at the trade deadline, acquiring several high upside guys that won’t gut the farm system. Last season was a perfect example, and 2019 wasn’t much different when the Braves needed bullpen help and addressed it by trading for Shane Greene, Mark Melancon, and Chris Martin.
Think of it like a death by 1,000 cuts strategy. The Braves have one massive hole in the outfield and several other smaller ones. With a bludgeoned farm system barren of talent, don’t expect Anthopoulos to put all his eggs in one basket. Instead, he will make several under-the-radar additions that nobody else is likely even considering right now. That’s why Anthopoulos gets paid the big bucks, and I’m excited to see how things shake out over the next several days.
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