Braves: Who Says No — Andrew Benintendi Trade Package (Part 1) – This is the start of a new series where I’m going to do something that’s admittedly very difficult — create a trade package for some Braves’ trade-deadline targets. I could see Atlanta making a push for a left-handed bat and a bullpen piece, but I’m not going to constrain myself to these parameters. We’ll start with three of my top targets — Andrew Benintendi, former Braves prospect Brandon Drury, and Cubs’ utility man Ian Happ. After that, I have a few more guys in mind. Let’s get started!
Andrew Benintendi reaches base for the fourth time tonight and extends the Royals lead! pic.twitter.com/q7Ochkn0dE
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 7, 2022
Andrew Benintendi Highlights
OF Andrew Benintendi (2022)
Slash Line: .318/.387/.403
Home Runs: 3
Runs Batted In: 34
Benintendi really kills two birds with one stone. Not only do the Braves need to add a left-handed bat, they could also use an upgrade in left field. You won’t mistake Benintendi for a Gold Glove left fielder, but he can hold his own out there, especially in a platoon situation. Eddie Rosario has looked pretty good since returning from optic surgery, but Benintendi is on another level this season. He’s on an expiring deal, so the Royals will be motivated to move him. The Braves have to be careful not to overpay him, but Benintendi will be coveted on the open market.
#8 LHP Jared Shuster, #15 RHP AJ Smith-Shawver, #16 SS Cal Conley
The Royals are clearly rebuilding, so I won’t be focusing on their needs as much as a team that may be closer to contention. Although the Braves have a depleted farm system, they still have plenty to offer a team like Kansas City. The Royals need just about everything, but this is a package that I wouldn’t mind headlining with lefty Jared Shuster. Shuster is a steep price to pay for a rental, but we know the Braves can win a championship right now. Shuster has been fantastic for the Mississippi Braves, earning himself a Future’s Game Selection in 2022. Altanta will have another first-round pick under their belt by the trade deadline, so it could soften the blow of losing Shuster.
Does Shuster alone get a deal done? Maybe, but I’m willing to throw in a sweetener to get the Royals to listen. Switch-hitting shortstop Cal Conley has a .731 OPS to start 2022 after being taken in the 2021 Draft. Another 2021 Draft class member, righty AJ Smith-Shawver, may help get this deal done.
So, who says no?
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