The Braves need to add a bullpen arm. While getting back a healthy Darren O’Day should give the unit a boost, there is a clear need for the Braves to bring in a late inning guy. Arodys Vizcaino is very talented, but his health concerns suggest that he should not be deployed on such a frequent basis that the closer role requires. Of course, the Braves have money to spend, and there are great free agent options, such as Craig Kimbrel. However, it is yet to be seen if the organization will invest a pretty penny in a closer. It seems unlikely, so let’s take a look at some trade candidates to fill that hole:
The Indians just traded for Hand, but circumstances are different now, as the team finds itself in the midst of a swirl of trade rumors. Hand could be the type of reliever the Braves need, and he would come at $7 million the next two years with a $10 million team option for 2021. That seems like a good investment for the Braves.
Yates is not a household name… yet. If he continues to pitch the way he has in a closer role for a contending team, it will only be a matter of time. The Padres are rebuilding, and getting value for relievers can be a big emphasis during that process. A switch to the NL and further development time saw Yates put together one of the finest seasons for a reliever, and many were surprised he was not moved at the deadline. He posted a 2.14 ERA in 65 appearances and got his first taste of being in a closer role (granted he did not get many opportunities). Yates seems like a realistic trade candidate and is controllable under arbitration until 2021.
The Reds actually have some pieces, and it is perplexing as to just how bad they are. Raisel Iglesias is a budding star at the end of their bullpen, and while it would not be surprising to see the team hold on to him, it would be surprising to see him get moved as well. Iglesias has proved he can be a star in this role already and is under contract until 2022, for around $5.5 million annually in his prime. He has, by far, the highest value of any of the listed pitchers.