I recently ranked the Braves’ biggest needs leading up to the trade deadline. Of the four I mentioned, relief help came last on my list. However, bullpen arms are generally reasonably cheap at the trade deadline, and a team can never have enough pitching. I expect the Braves to probably add in this area, so here are my top five bullpen trade targets for Alex Anthopoulos as we approach the trade deadline.
5. David Bednar
Bednar is having another solid year, and he’s been one of the better relievers in baseball over the last two seasons. I would love for the Braves to add another right-handed reliever like him, but his team control may make him far too pricey come the trade deadline. Bednar is under contract through the 2026 season, so whoever wants him will likely have to part ways with a top prospect or two. Given the Braves don’t have many of those and have more glaring needs to fill in an attempt to repeat as champions, acquiring Bednar may not be worth it.
4. Anthony Bass
I’m not sure the Marlins will be willing to trade with the Braves again after they dealt Atlanta Adam Duvall at last year’s trade deadline for essentially nothing. But if they are willing to listen, Bass would be a tremendous addition. He’s posted a 1.51 ERA and 0.96 WHIP on the season, and his peripherals suggest there shouldn’t be a drop down the stretch.
No-brainer trade target if he’s properly priced: Anthony Bass. 34-year old rental.
1.51 ERA, 1.95 FIP, 2.90 SIERA pic.twitter.com/uRadAA0jfg
— Yankees Slut (@YankeesSlut) July 25, 2022
Bass also comes with a $3 million club option in 2023, which is an incredible bargain for a pitcher of his caliber. Every contending team needing a right-handed reliever should be phoning the Marlins regarding his availability.
3. Scott Barlow
Like Bednar, Barlow has a lot of team control remaining, as he’s under contract through the 2025 season. It will take a lot of prospect capital for a competing club to acquire him, but the Royals are nowhere close to playoff contention, so they should be listening on most of their players. I would be much more willing to part ways with top prospects for Barlow than I would Bednar. He has some filthy stuff and currently owns a 1.93 ERA on the season to go along with 16 saves in 18 opportunities. Barlow’s slider is among the nastiest pitches in all of baseball. Adding him would undoubtedly give the Braves the best bullpen in the majors.
2. Daniel Bard
After a forgetful 2021, Bard is having a fantastic 2022, posting a 1.91 ERA and 10.3 K/9. Considering he plays half of his games in Colorado, that’s even more impressive. At 37-years-old and on the last year of his contract, I don’t expect him to cost too much in terms of prospect capital, either. That should make the right-hander a top target for the Braves if they desire to add to their bullpen.
1. David Robertson
Given the Braves’ situation — they have more significant needs than just the bullpen and not a lot of prospect capital to part ways with — they don’t need to be trading away their best prospects for a reliever. However, a reasonable rental like David Robertson makes too much sense. He’s been lights out this season for the Cubs, accruing 2.3 WAR, thanks to a 1.83 ERA and 11.4 K/9. If there’s one area in particular the Braves could use some help in their bullpen, it’s from the right side, and even though Robertson is having an outstanding bounce back campaign, he shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg because he is only under contract through this season. He is my dream target for the Braves as far as bullpen arms go.
Thanks for reading this article about my top bullpen trade targets. Who do you want the Braves to target?
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