Could the Braves make another trade with the A’s before the start of the season?

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Life for A’s fans has to be tough. They are constantly developing young talent only to trade the players before their contract is up to avoid paying them, but at least they fully commit to their rebuilds. In a couple of years, they’ll be reaping the benefits of the trades they’ve already made this offseason, and they’re not done yet. According to several MLB insiders, the A’s are still trying to move starting pitchers Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea.

The Braves don’t have many holes left on their roster, and just yesterday, Alex Anthopoulos said nothing more was close in terms of signings or trades. However, he did say the Braves would continue to explore their options, and if this team has one area where they could improve, it’s the rotation.

Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Ian Anderson are formidable at the top, but after that, there are no clear answers. The Braves do have a number of young options, but adding another proven veteran to the mix would make this roster look nearly unbeatable. Plus, if one of Fried, Morton, or Anderson were to go down for a lengthy period, Atlanta would be in a bit of a pickle.

Montas would probably be the more likely of the two, given he is only expected to cost about $5 million in arbitration in 2022 and has one more year of team control after that. However, that also means he will cost significantly more in terms of prospects, which the Braves are low on following the Matt Olson trade. Last season, Montas finished sixth in the AL Cy Young race after posting a 3.37 ERA over 32 starts.

Manaea is in the final year of his deal and is expected to earn over $10 million in arbitration. I’m not sure the Braves will be able to fit that into their budget, but he won’t cost nearly as many prospects. In 2021, Manaea recorded a 3.91 ERA over 32 starts.

Both of these arms would be perfect additions to the Braves rotation. It makes sense for Alex Anthopoulos to do his due diligence, but I have to believe these conversations were brought up at some point while they were working out the Matt Olson trade. The fact that it hasn’t happened already has me skeptical of the Braves’ interest, but who knows, Anthopoulos is known for keeping everything close to the vest.



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