The Braves already had a weak farm system prior to the Sean Murphy trade, but the deal sent a handful of prospects to Oakland and Milwaukee — William Contreras, Justin Yeager, Kyle Muller, Freddy Tarnok, and Royber Salinas. Contreras’ departure hurts the most out of the bunch, while Salinas and Muller’s respective potential was intriguing. Murphy’s production should pay dividends. Unfortunately, the roster still has holes, chiefly shortstop and left field. With the free agent market thinning as we get deeper into the offseason, teams will be turning to the trade market to tweak rosters. And the Braves still have pieces left that should intrigue other clubs.
Grissom was considered off the table in the Murphy deal, which reveals how Alex Anthopoulos and the front office feel about the young man. The Braves could be forced to move on from Dansby Swanson, given his robust market, and Grissom would be the first logical successor. However, taking over for a guy like Swanson, a Gold Glove winning leader, is easier said than done for a kid. Grissom would only be moved if the trade netted a future at the position, which is unlikely.
Honestly, Soroka’s value is a mystery. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2020, but there would be some inkling of interest in an All-Star caliber pitcher. At one point, Soroka would’ve been the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade. Now, he could be attached to a deal to make a salary dump like Marcell Ozuna more palatable for another club.
Elder, along with Soroka, will be competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, and he’s coming off a productive season. In nine starts and 10 total appearances, he posted a 3.17 and 1.0 WAR with the Braves. Sure, he might not ever ascend to be the ace of a staff, but he’s projecting to be a reliable option in a rotation.
Anderson is the most attractive trade piece here and is the favorite to land the final spot in the starting rotation. This is a player who was the third-best starter on a World Series team. When the lights are the brightest, Anderson seemingly pitches his best. He’s been nearly unhittable in the postseason, but the 2022 campaign is one he’d like to forget.
After posting an even 5.00 ERA over 22 starts, the Braves moved him to Gwinnett, where he turned in similar results. Still, the Braves have no reason to believe he won’t regress to the mean. And AA would be selling at Anderson’s absolute lowest value. He’ll almost certainly begin the season on the Opening Day roster, but to deny his value as a trade piece would be asinine.
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