Braves linked to two-time World Series champion ahead of trade deadline

MLB: APR 20 Rangers at Braves

The Braves lost in heartbreaking fashion last night and now sit 8.5 games back in the NL East again. With the All-Star break looming, most of the conversation will revolve around the trade deadline and what Alex Anthopoulos is going to do to upgrade the roster over the next few weeks.

This continues a short series where I highlight individual trade targets who CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson mentioned the Braves as potential suitors for, moving onto a veteran starter and former All-Star that could help solidify the rotation for the second half of the season. Below are past pieces from the series

Tarik Skubal, LHP, Tigers

Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays

Zach Eflin, RHP, Rays

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP, Rangers

The Braves don’t have an obvious need for a starter, who are notoriously expensive at the trade deadline. The club sent two starters to the All-Star game in Reynaldo Lopez and Chris Sale. While Max Fried is turning in another elite-level campaign that will also surely earn him Cy Young consideration at the end of the season, and the rest of the rotation is holding its own as well.

Spencer Schwellenbach has been so good that he may eventually push Charlie Morton, who is the most experienced fourth starter in the league, down in the rotation. Ian Anderson and AJ Smith-Shawver are returning from injury, and Bryce Elder has proven to be solid depth.

With all of that being said, the Braves know better than most that you can never have enough pitching. They’ve been short-handed at different points of the last three postseasons. Moreover, the future of the rotation is in doubt, with Max Fried set to test free agency and Charlie Morton most likely retiring. Those are some massive holes to fill, but Nathan Eovaldi isn’t a target that suggests the Braves are focusing on the future.

The 34-year-old is likely headed for free agency next winter, though he does have a $20 million vesting option in 2025 that has the potential of triggering if he can stay healthy in the second half of the season.

Eovaldi is already a postseason legend that has helped two teams to World Series titles, including the Rangers last season. He’s earning $16 million this year and boasts a 3.10 ERA with an impressive 1.034 WHIP. In the playoffs, he owns a 3.05 ERA in nearly 80.0 postseason innings. Eovaldi, with the help of current Braves ace Chris Sale, helped the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series.

Might we see a reunion of Sale and Eovaldi in Atlanta?

Photographer: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

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