Chase Irle’s Predictions
First off, I’m selling all trades for a third baseman. I think the Braves are just fine in that area with Austin Riley, who has shown considerable improvements in August. There’s no reason to risk his development when he’s slugging this well and avoiding strikeouts. The primary focus for Anthopoulos has to be starting pitching.
In my Braves trade deadline wish list that I posted yesterday, I wanted Anthopoulos to land two starting pitchers. That need is not quite as significant after how Ian Anderson eviscerated the Yankees lineup in his MLB debut. He looks like the real deal. The Braves could also have Cole Hamels ready for the postseason, and their bullpen should be able to handle a significant load, as they have all season.
Given how much controllable starting pitchers generally cost at the trade deadline, I think Anthopoulos will add just one guy that could help the team win a championship this year and possibly next season. There won’t be a ton of game-changing arms available, but I think Lance Lynn makes sense for both the Braves and the Rangers.
As far as Atlanta is concerned, he could slot in right behind Max Fried, and the Braves should feel very confident in their one-two punch. It would also allow Brian Snitker to choose between Cole Hamels (if he’s healthy) and Ian Anderson (if he continues to look like he did on Wednesday) for Games 3 and 4. On top of that, the Braves would also have Lynn in 2021, giving their rotation a much brighter outlook while some young pitchers continue developing.
The Rangers have to feel some pressure to deal Lynn after what happened with Mike Minor last season. They opted not to trade Minor when his value was at his highest, and now teams won’t even be calling about him this year. With an 11-19 record, they can’t risk that again, and Lynn’s value is as high as possible. I think Lynn’s the best arm that gets dealt at the deadline, and the Braves make too much sense as a trade partner.
Of course, that’s only half the battle. For Alex Anthopoulos to acquire Lynn, he’s going to have to give up some prospect capital. And it will take a pretty penny to pry away a pitcher with a 4-0 record and 1.59 ERA over seven starts, especially considering he has another year of control.
I don’t think Lynn is worth giving up a top-five prospect for, but there are some arms the Braves could be willing to part ways with, like Bryse Wilson, Touki Toussaint, or perhaps Tucker Davidson after his stellar season in the minors last season. Here’s what I think it might take to land Lynn:
Braves trade Tucker Davidson and Touki Toussaint to Rangers for Lance Lynn
Jake Gordon’s Predictions
I wrote earlier about how I didn’t think Evan Longoria was a fit, and that stands for any other third baseman Atlanta may be considering. Kyle Seager is also likely out of play. With all of the revenue lost this season, I don’t see Atlanta’s ownership ponying up big money in a trade. It feels like the Braves need one more high quality starter to make a serious postseason run with Mike Soroka out of the mix. It’s a shame too, after Ian Anderson’s showing yesterday, the team could have stood pat.
I think they still do.
I don’t think Atlanta makes any move at the deadline. I can’t conjure up many available quality arms worth dealing for on teams that are 100% out of the playoffs. The Angels, Pirates, Giants, Royals, Mariners, and Red Sox all have atrocious rotations. Maybe Atlanta picks a guy off of the scrap heap like a Joe Musgrove, but other than that, I don’t see it.
I’d like to see them call up a guy like Tucker Davidson or Kyle Muller and hope they can replicate what Anderson gave the team yesterday. There is one potential name I wouldn’t mind buying low on — Robbie Ray.
Arizona messed up inking MadBum to a massive deal this past offseason, and they also fumbled not trading Ray when his value was sky-high. He now has a 7.84 ERA in seven starts, and as an impending free agent, he won’t cost much. Is he worth throwing out there in exchange for a guy like Touki Toussaint? Sure. He was an All-Star in 2017, going 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA, but his ERA has climbed every year since — to 3.93 in 2018 and 4.34 in 2019. However, his K-rate has remained consistently around 12, even this season. If he can be had for dirt cheap, I wouldn’t mind rolling the dice on Ray during what has been a disaster of a contract year.