Braves: Three potential trades for Matt Olson

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If you read my latest article about the best free-agent fits at first base for the Braves, you know there’s not much else on the open market outside of Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo. If Freeman walks in free agency, the only way the Braves avoid a significant downgrade is through a trade. There are a few names they’ve been linked to in that regard, primarily A’s first baseman Matt Olson.

Olson slugged 39 homers and accumulated 5.8 WAR for Oakland last season, finishing inside the top ten for the AL MVP award. At 28, he’s just entering his prime and won’t require the lengthy financial commitment that Freeman is asking for in free agency. Olson has two more years of arbitration remaining on his contract — the first of which is projected to pay him around $12 million in 2022, according to Spotrac. That’s a bargain for a player of his caliber, but because of that, The A’s will be looking for a lot of prospect capital in return.

Potential Matt Olson Trade #1

 

Braves trade Michael Harris, Freddy Tarnok, Kyle Muller, and Sean Newcomb to the A’s for Matt Olson

 

If the Braves were willing to put this on the table, the A’s would have to seriously consider it. Harris has the best tools in the organization, which is why most outlets have him as the Braves’ top prospect. Muller is another prospect with a ton of upside, and he’s already MLB-ready, which should be appealing to a team like Oakland that is looking to retool rather than rebuild. Tarnok and Newcomb don’t carry nearly as much value as the other two, but they’re both arms that could contribute at the major-league level sooner rather than later. Who knows? Perhaps a change of scenery could do wonders for Newk.

Potential Matt Olson Trade #2

 

Braves trade Drew Waters, Kyle Muller, and William Contreras to the A’s for Matt Olson

 

This is another trade that should intrigue Oakland. A lot of scouts are down on Waters after an underwhelming 2021, but I’m higher on him than most. I still believe he could be a starting outfielder in the majors for a long time. Muller and Contreras are also two MLB-ready players that could contribute every day as early as next season. Perhaps Oakland would ask for a little extra, but this should be more than enough to get the conversation started.

Potential Matt Olson Trade #3

 

Braves trade Cristian Pache, Drew Waters, William Contreras, and Tucker Davidson to the A’s for Matt OlsonĀ 

 

No matter how you slice it, the Braves will have to include one of their talented outfield prospects in any deal for Matt Olson. In this hypothetical trade, Oakland gets two of them. Some Braves fans may not be very fond of this deal, and understandably so. This time last season, it was believed that Pache and Waters would be major-league staples in Atlanta for years to come. However, the unfortunate reality is the stock of both players took massive blows after they severely underachieved in 2021. I don’t like the idea of the Braves selling low on these guys, but if it helps get Matt Olson to Atlanta, it may be worth it.

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