Braves: Could this Rangers outfielder be a trade target?

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According to MLB Trade Rumors, Texas Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun is looking to be traded following a demotion to AAA.

It could be the end to a tumultuous tenure in Texas for Calhoun, who has been hampered by injuries. He’s broken his jaw and his forearm, both as a result of hit-by-pitches. Still, there’s talent there, and perhaps a change of scenery could do him wonders. 

What does he add?

When healthy, Calhoun is a solid left-handed batter who has extremely keen plate discipline. There’s only been one time where he has even matched the MLB average strikeout percentage — his 2018, age 23 season. A quick look at his statcast page reveals how elite his patience is, as he’s in the 90th percentile or higher for K%, BB%, Whiff%, and Chase Rate. 

The 27-year-old also has reliable contact skills, at least against righties. His career-best 2019 season saw him slash .269/.323/.524 with 21 homers in a mere 83 games. That year, he slashed .290/.345/.536 (with 14 homers) against RHPs. Calhoun also plays decent outfield defense, so might the price be right for Atlanta? 

What would it take to get him?

Texas has a young, talented lineup and tons of prospects that play the field. They’d probably be looking for pitching in return, and likely a highly-rated one. Calhoun is under team control through 2025, so this isn’t a case of dumping a player about to leave for free agency. If Atlanta has to give up Muller, Toussaint, Davidson, or another top pitching prospect, it may not be worth it.

However, an outfield platoon with Calhoun and Travis Demeritte could work in Atlanta. I know a lot of people are hoping Michael Harris will be called up this season, but that’s not exactly realistic. With Rosario out of the lineup for the next two to three months, the Braves could use another outfielder, particularly a left-handed one like Calhoun. If all it takes is a mid-tier pitching prospect to land him, Alex Anthopoulos should be on the phone working on a deal. 

Photo: Kamp Fender/Icon Sportswire

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