As expected, the trades have finally picked up the night before the deadline. Trevor Bauer is now a Cincinnati Red, while Yasiel Puig is heading to Cleveland along with the likes of Franmil Reyes. And the Braves even made their first move of the trade season, acquiring RHP Chris Martin for LHP Kolby Allard earlier this evening.
Allard was a promising minor leaguer, and ranked #10 on our prospect chart, but was blocked out by several other pitchers with higher ceilings.
Martin is a high-powered arm that the Braves believe will help the back-end of their bullpen. He has saved games for Texas and been unhittable over the last two months, allowing three earned runs since May 24th. On the season, Martin carries a 3.08 ERA in 38 appearances with a 10.2 K/9 rate. More impressively, he doesn’t walk batters, something that has plagued the Braves bullpen for years. He’s only issued four walks all season in 38 innings of work.
In a report by Gabe Burns of the AJC, Alex Anthopoulos said, “We felt with Chris, we know he’s not as well known as the other (relievers available), with longer track records and careers, but we felt he had as much upside as anybody in the trade market in terms of a late-inning arm.”
Anthopoulos also alluded to Martin as a closing option but said it will be up to manager Brian Snitker to decide how to use him.
As for what is next for the Braves; don’t expect them to be silent before tomorrow’s trade deadline. Kelsey Wingert reported on the Fox Sports broadcast the word from Anthopoulos is that they remain in conversations with several organizations and plan to use the time remaining to better the team.
The addition of Martin should not have changed the priorities. The Braves still need a bullpen piece or two, as they showed in tonight’s win over the Nationals. The newly acquired 6’8″ right-hander cannot be asked to pitch every relief inning, unfortunately.
The search for a starter is also on. The Braves were linked to Tanner Roark and Robbie Ray on Tuesday. Neither is the sexy name fans are hoping for, but both will solidify the rotation and help clinch the NL East. Ray also has terrific numbers against the Dodgers in his career, which should be appealing to Atlanta.
What might have become less of a priority is adding another outfielder. Inciarte has been highly productive since returning from injury, and Adam Duvall’s power has followed him from AAA. If the Braves can get anything close to what they got out of Austin Riley when he first came up, they will have plenty of options to turn to.
With less than 17 hours remaining until the trade deadline, moves should be coming in bunches and at any time of the night. Stay tuned to SportsTalkATL for the latest news and updates as we approach 4:00 ET on July 31st.