Braves: Mychal Givens is a trade candidate to watch

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There will be tons of relief pitching on the market. Some will cost an arm and a leg, others will cost pennies, and everything in between. Mychal Givens of the Orioles will be one in the upper echelon of the category, but he’s the type of power arm with a consistent track record the Braves need in their bullpen – and Alex Anthopoulos is interested

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports Atlanta is one of three teams in on Givens, with the Dodgers and  Indians being the others. The Orioles will be selling, and their hard-throwing, controllable reliever should bring them a healthy haul. Although, he’s in the midst of the worst season of his career.

In 33 games, Givens has a 4.23 ERA and an even worse FIP of 4.63. A lot of that has to do with the high number of home runs he’s allowed, surrendering eight long balls in 38.1 innings pitched. That is a 1.9 HR/9 rate – almost double the amount he’s allowed in any other year. The previous four seasons – Givens has been a top-of-the-line relief arm for Baltimore. He’s appeared in at least 66 games in each of the last three seasons and owns a career ERA of 3.23, playing in the AL East.

It’s also worth mentioning most of Givens poor performances came in April and May. He recorded a 3.68 ERA in June and has been lights out in July, allowing no runs in five appearances (6.1 innings). His strikeout numbers have been astronomical, and walk numbers have dropped considerably.

The righty pounds the zone with fastballs, throwing it over 70% of the time and averaging a hair north of 95 mph, according to FanGraphs. Givens compliments it with a slider and changeup, and the results are a ton of strikeouts. He owns a career-high 12.2 K/9 rate (52 Ks in 38.1 innings) this season

Most importantly, Givens is controllable for the next two years and is only under contract for $2.15 million in 2019 – that means prospects. But with the Braves planning on competing for the foreseeable future, they are going to have to invest in their bullpen at some point and won’t want to wait with so much on the line this season. Givens is a trade candidate to watch over the next week.

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