Braves reportedly looking for high leverage bullpen arms ahead of trade deadline

MLB: JUL 19 Padres at Blue Jays

As the MLB trade deadline rapidly approaches, the Braves are scouring the market for pitching help, particularly for the back end of the bullpen, according to Jon Heyman.

The Braves have hammered out deals in recent days, but they’ve been mostly inconsequential. They acquired a trio of pitchers in Pierce Johnson, Taylor Hearn, and Yonny Chirinos via waivers. They then flipped Hearn, who was acquired for cash considerations, for super utility piece Nicky Lopez.

Johnson is likely in for the most significant role, but it seems the club isn’t done. If the deal makes sense, Braves Country can absolutely expect Alex Anthopoulos to bring in a high-leverage arm to bolster the bullpen.

The starting rotation has gotten a lot of grief since the All-Star break, but Bryce Elder looked much better in his last outing, and Max Fried is set to pitch on Friday for the first time in more than two months. When it comes to playoff baseball, clubs generally only need four horses, which the Braves have in Fried, Elder, Spencer Strider, and Charlie Morton.

Moreover, as we’ve seen in recent deals, the asking price in this seller’s market for starting pitchers is sky-high. The Braves, led by AA, won’t overpay. However, if there’s one area that could be significantly upgraded and wouldn’t cost as much as a starter, it is the bullpen.

Josh Hader is obviously the hottest name on the market and would give Atlanta the most intimidating 7th, 8th, and 9th inning core in baseball with A.J. Minter and Raisel Iglesias. Realistically, a trade for someone like Hader isn’t going to become a reality, but it’s encouraging to see AA leaving no stone unturned.

I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw an 11th-hour trade come to fruition at tomorrow’s deadline.

Photographer: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire
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