Earlier this week, I ranked the four biggest needs for the Braves heading into the trade deadline, and starting pitching was near the top. If you missed the first two parts of this series, follow the links below:
Top 5 Starting Pitching Trade Targets
5. Jose Quintaina
There might be a couple of better options than Quintana, but I don’t find them fitting what the Braves are targeting. Quintana is having a nice bounce back season with the Pirates, posting a 3.70 ERA and on an expiring contract. He should cost next to nothing in terms of prospects, so it would make sense if the Braves are in on him.
4. Martin Perez
Perez is on an expiring contract and is having the best year of his career out of nowhere. The Rangers aren’t competing, so they would be fools not to trade him at the deadline. Perez owns a 2.59 ERA and 3.12 FIP over 118 innings this season and was named to the American League All-Star team. He’s an intriguing candidate to keep an eye on for sure.
3. Tyler Mahle
Coming out of Cincinnati, all the buzz is surrounding Luis Castillo, which is more than understandable, but the Braves will probably have much more interest in Tyler Mahle, who is a more realistic target. Fresh off an IL stint, Mahle looked pretty good against the Cardinals, tossing six innings of three-run ball with five strikeouts. He has a 2.81 ERA over his last eight starts and comes with an extra year of control. If the cost is reasonable, expect the Braves to be interested.
Montas is a long shot, but he’s more realistic than Castillo. He’s undoubtedly the second-best pitcher available at the trade deadline and would give the Braves a relentless five-man rotation. On the season, Montas boasts a 3.18 ERA, 1.127 WHIP, and 9.4 K/9.
1. Luis Castillo
I’m fairly confident the Braves don’t have enough to pry Castillo away from the Reds. He’s by far the best pitcher available at the trade deadline, and every team, even ones that aren’t desperate for starting pitching — like the Braves — should be interested. Castillo is a game-changing arm with Cy Young stuff. It would take at least one major-league piece and much more for the Braves to acquire him, but if Anthopoulos could somehow pull it off, it would make the Braves favorites to repeat.
Thanks for reading about the top 5 starting pitching trade targets for the Braves. Who would you like them to target?