Braves named top landing spot for five blockbuster trade targets

MLB: MAY 10 Red Sox at Braves

The Braves have lost three All-Stars in as many weeks, which has the national media pondering the idea of them being aggressive in the coming months prior to the trade deadline. While the Braves have had success at the trade deadline in the past, particularly in 2021 when they went on to win the World Series, it has not been Alex Anthopoulos’ M.O. to swing blockbuster trades in-season. Perhaps the loss of Spencer Strider for the season changes that, which is why Tim Kelly of Bleacher Report sees the Braves as a potential fit for as many as five top trade targets that could be sold before July 30th.

Jesús Luzardo, Miami Marlins

Intra-divisional trades don’t happen often, but that rule doesn’t apply to the Marlins. They’ve done it several times in recent years, trading Adam Duvall to the Braves in 2021 and All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies prior to that. The Fish are terrible and don’t need to be worried about anything but getting the best possible offer in return, so it’s not insane to believe the Braves could strike a deal again.

Luzardo would be a dream. He’s off to a tough start in 2024, but he’s one of the bright young arms in the game with incredible stuff. Replacing Spencer Strider is impossible, but if anybody could come close, it would be Luzardo. He’s that talented, and he’s under team control through 2026. However, the price tag for his services is going to be insane. I’m not sure the Braves have the prospect capital to make a deal of this magnitude, especially inside the division.

Kenley Jansen, Boston Red Sox

Kelly suggests a reunion between the Braves and Kenley Jansen could be in line. If the Braves decide they can’t afford to swing a blockbuster trade for a starting pitcher, bolstering the bullpen as much as possible would make a lot of sense. Jansen is on the final year of his deal and shouldn’t require any of the Braves top prospects in return. Having him along with A.J. Minter and Raisel Iglesias to polish off games would be special.

Paul Blackburn, Oakland Athletics

At the end of last season, Oakland Athletics general manager David Forst cracked a joke regarding Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos. 

“I told Alex to lose my number,” Forst said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, referring to the blockbuster trades the two teams have made in back-to-back offseason. 

It was a light-hearted comment, but in every joke, there’s a little bit of truth. The Braves absolutely robbed the Athletics of Matt Olson and Sean Murphy. So much so, that Forst really may not be interested in going back to the well for a third time. But if he is, Blackburn is a name that could intrigue the Braves. He’s yet to allow a run for the Athletics in three starts.

Tanner Scott Miami Marlins

Another Miami Marlin makes this list, this time closer Tanner Scott. Most recently, Braves fans might remember Scott for this moment, when Marcell Ozuna hit a go-ahead three-run homer against him in the ninth a few days ago.

That’s inflated Scott’s early season numbers, but he’s coming off a season in which he recorded a 2.31 ERA and 12.0 K/9 in 74 appearances for the Fish. Scott would go a long way in giving the Braves one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball.

Lane Thomas, Washington Nationals

This one doesn’t make much sense. Lane Thomas is coming off a career year for the Nationals, recording a .783 OPS with 28 homers and 20 steals. I’m not sure that kind of production is sustainable, but even if it is, the Braves don’t have a need for another outfielder. Jarred Kelenic has begun the year splendidly, and Adam Duvall might be the best fourth outfielder in the game, capable of starting if needed. Unless there is an injury, I would be shocked if the Braves traded for another outfielder.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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