The Braves are among the hottest teams in baseball, tied with the Diamondbacks for the most wins in the league. There aren’t many clubs that are as well-rounded and feature the amount of depth that Atlanta boasts, but there are always ways to improve.
Despite having one of the most productive lineups in baseball, the left field position is worth exploring an upgrade. Marcell Ozuna is probably only a DH at this point, but Eddie Rosario and Kevin Pillar have held their own. Still, there’s no guarantee the pair continue at this rate.
The rotation has somehow maintained its status as one of the best in the MLB without its ace, Max Fried, and Kyle Wright. A.J. Smith-Shawver, Jared Shuster, and Michael Soroka are candidates to permanently establish themselves among Atlanta’s starters. However, if Fried and Wright don’t return this season, the Braves could wind up scouring the trade market for a proven starter.
However, what’s not debatable is the need to address the bullpen. The relief core is rounding into form as Raisel Iglesias and AJ Minter look more like themselves. It’s just not as deep as I’m sure Alex Anthopoulos would like. Moreover, it’s one of the most readily available positions at the deadline, and The Athletic’s Jim Bowden believes it will once again be a deep market. Here are some names Bowden believes will be available:
A) Alex Lange, RHP, Tigers — 10 saves, 3.42 ERA, 27 games
B) Scott Barlow, RHP, Royals — 7 saves, 4.18 ERA, 23 games
C) Kendall Graveman, RHP, White Sox — 6 saves, 2.86 ERA, 29 games
D) Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Royals — 2 saves, 2.82 ERA, 24 games
E) Kyle Finnegan, RHP, Nationals — 11 saves, 4.56 ERA, 26 games
F) Pierce Johnson, RHP, Rockies — 11 saves, 7.20 ERA, 27 games
G) Liam Hendriks, RHP, White Sox — 1 save, 5.40 ERA, 5 games (on the IL)
H) Jason Foley, RHP, Tigers — 2 saves, 2.63 ERA, 28 games
I) Justin Lawrence, RHP, Rockies — 2 saves, 3.22 ERA, 30 games
J) Carl Edwards Jr., RHP, Nationals — 1 save, 3.14 ERA, 29 games
K) Zach Jackson, RHP, A’s — 1 save, 2.50 ERA, 19 games (on the IL)
L) Trevor May, RHP, A’s — 2 saves, 7.04 ERA, 17 games
The Braves will surely look to add at least one arm at the deadline, and he might not even appear on this list. AA is constantly assessing the team and the prospective moves to upgrade it. I imagine the front office already has an idea of what and who they’ll target at the deadline.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire