It’s not usually a good sign when it’s only May and we’re already discussing trades, but here we are. I’ve been on the record several times saying it’s probably still too early for Alex Anthopoulos to make any type of significant trade this early in the season. However, the Braves have a glaring hole, and with the way this team is playing, it would behoove Alex Anthopoulos to at least poke around now and see what’s out there.
That hole is in the outfield. Sure, the fifth spot in the rotation has been abysmal for the Braves this season as well, but Spencer Strider could help fix that. Plus, it’s also much more difficult to trade for a high quality starting pitcher this early. Finding a team that might be willing to part ways with an outfielder is much more likely, and it’s also a much bigger need for the Braves.
As things stand, there’s not an outfielder in Atlanta’s lineup that I trust outside of Ronald Acuña. Marcell Ozuna has gotten hot of late, but he should be a permanent designated hitter. There’s a pit in my stomach when I’m forced to watch him play the field. Contreras could be an option, but as we saw last night, he doesn’t look comfortable in left field either, and his bat is due for some regression.
Travis Demeritte was a good story, but he’s become unplayable in May, going 0-for-his-last-28 at the plate without a single walk. If the Braves had any other options, he would be back in Gwinnett by now. As I wrote earlier today, Adam Duvall has also been an automatic out nearly every time he comes to the plate, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. He looks like the guy the Braves traded for back in 2018, but unfortunately, Brian Snitker doesn’t have much of a choice but to continue playing him every day and hope he breaks out of the slump.
The Braves’ outfield situation is bleak, to say the least, and there are no good answers to fix the dilemma this early in the season. They can keep rolling the same guys out there and hope a couple of them find a groove until Eddie Rosario returns, or they can look to add someone before then. The problem with the latter option is the Braves will likely have to significantly overpay to acquire an outfielder that’s worth a damn this early in the season. However, it might be worth it. Because if they don’t, the Mets could run away with the division before the All-Star break.
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