External options for the Braves pitching staff moving forward

dmd032820190201angels v as

The first month of the season is over, and the Atlanta Braves sit in 2nd place in the NL East with an 18-17 record; which could be much better. There have already been six games where the Braves were either tied or had the lead and lost because of their porous bullpen. Better relief arms could have the Braves sitting in 1st-Place after a fairly tough April Schedule.

Admittedly, Atlanta has made some internal moves, and the bullpen has improved. Never in my wildest fantasies did I imagine Luke Jackson closing out games — what a time to be alive. Grant Dayton has come and added another quality lefty option. The move to acquire Jeremy Blevins has panned out thus far. And Josh Tomlin, who was picked up just before the start of the season, has been lights outs. However, it should not be assumed that the results from these lesser known quantities are sustainable.

With the bulk of the bullpen unproven or overperforming, the logical assumption is that the Braves will make some deals to bolster the pen. That’s not easy to do in May but will become more manageable once some teams begin to fall out of contention. Signing Kimbrel in June is an option, but he might not be ready until July or later. By that time, the Braves could be out of the race. This is centered around pitchers currently on rosters of bad teams. Here is a look at who the Braves could go out and make deals with:

Miami Marlins

The Marlins suck and probably won’t do business with an inter-division rival. That being said, Derek Jeter needs to improve his club by acquiring prospects — which the Braves have in surplus.

Who the Braves should target

Tayron Guerrero– Give me the guy that can bring it at 102 MPH. I will always want velocity in the bullpen, and this guy has a missile launcher attached to his right shoulder. Imagine the timing issues of bringing Guerrero in after seeing Josh Tomlin’s blistering 88 MPH heat.

Marlin’s Team Needs: Outfield and Middle Infield

Lewis Brinson is not the guy, and the production at the MLB-level right now is sad. The Marlins would ask for Pache or Waters, and would potentially take Jenista or Jeffrey Ramos if the Braves don’t embarrass them by how hard they laugh in their face. A guy like Ray-Patrick Didder would also be an appealing prospect as he is a utility man.

Cincinnati Reds

The Big Red Machine is broken. Their starting pitching is not bad, but their lineup is putrid. Even Joey Votto is sucking it up. He’s finally flying out to first base and whatnot. The Reds are bad, and a deal with the Braves can be mutually beneficial.

Who the Braves should target

Amir Garrett– The 27-year-old southpaw has been electric so far in 2019. Through 14.2 innings pitched, Amir has a 1.84 ERA and 18 strikeouts. Time will tell if he maintains that level of production.

Robert Stephenson– Stephenson has been good too, compiling a 2.30 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 15.2 innings.

Luis Castillo– Never hurts to ask, right? Castillo is an Ace right now, and the Braves could always use one of those. His asking price would be out of this world, but I think I’d pay it.

Team Needs: Anything offensive

Their lineup is in shambles. Puig hasn’t come through. Votto hasn’t been himself. The highest current batting average on the team is Jose Iglesias at .295. The next highest is Jesse Winker………at .243. Pache, Waters, or Riley would have to be involved in any potential Castillo talks; which are highly unlikely. As far as the relievers, it shouldn’t take a huge package to snag either Garrett or Stephenson once Cincinnati begins to wave the white flag.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants are bad at baseball right now. They are similar to the Reds as they need anything offensive, but they also need rotation help. This is where the Braves can strike as they have a plethora of young arms that could pitch in SF right now. The Giants also have the most likely trade targets on this list as far as relievers are concerned.

Who the Braves should target

Madison Bumgarner– The Giants are going to be trading Bumgarner this season. He’s in the last year of his deal, not the player he once was, and the Giants aren’t making the playoffs. Mad Bum makes a ton of sense as he is still fairly young at 29 and loves the outdoors. He is also from North Carolina, meaning he could have interest in staying in Atlanta once his contract expires. The three-time World Series champion has a 3.92 ERA and 43 strikeouts through 43.2 innings pitched this season.

Will Smith– The 29-year-old lefty currently serves as the Giants’ closer and has done so in a reliable fashion. Through 13.2 innings pitched, Smith has 9 saves and 15 strikeouts

Trevor Gott– Trevor is a name not many know, but his numbers to this point are impressive. Through 17 innings pitched, Gott has a 1.59 ERA and 17 strikeouts.

Reyes Moronta– A power pitcher whose numbers make me salivate is 26-year-old Reyes Moronta. Through 16 innings, Reyes has a 1.69 (excellent) ERA and 30 strikeouts. Having a pitcher who can come in and take hitters’ souls away via the punchout is my kinda guy.

Mark Melancon– The 34-year-old reliever is alongside Will Smith in the “most likely to get traded” group — and his numbers show why. Through 13.1 innings pitched, Melancon has a 2.03 ERA. His strikeouts are not blowing anyone away, but he would still be a proven reliever in the Braves bullpen.

Team Needs: Everything

The Giants need everything except for bullpen help. Mad Bum or a collection of the previously mentioned names are the only packages worth even discussing Riley, Waters, or Pache. Maybe Kyle Wright or Touki (I HOPE NOT) could headline a deal. Or possibly a trade focuses around a few of the second-wave of Braves’ arm talent.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles are a putrid baseball team. They are in rebuild mode and are not doing a great job of it. They need help, and the Braves can give it.

Who the Braves should target

Mychal Givens– Similar to Guerrero in Miami, give me a dude who throws G.A.S. at the end of my bullpen. Givens is older at 29, but still a guy I would target. He has a 3.77 ERA and 18 strikeouts through 14.1 innings.

Team Needs: 1B, C, OF, SP

The Orioles have a lot of needs, and the Braves have the assets to work out a deal. Ender Inciarte is an option for all the teams looking for outfield help, and Baltimore is no different. I believe it would require more than Givens to acquire Ender due to his elite-level of defense. This may be the “bargain bin” type of addition that AA has been know to strike gold on.

The Oakland Athletics

The Athletics are hovering close to .500 at 15-21, but their division will do them no favors moving forward. The A’s have attractive pieces, and the Braves would be foolish not to at least inquire about them as the A’s continue to decline.

Who the Braves should target

Blake Treinen– If you want to know why I want Treinen, just go look at Pitching Ninja on Twitter and you’ll probably see Treinen several times. Through 15 innings, Blake has 6 saves and 18 strikeouts.

Frankie Montas– Montas is a starter, but he is young with potential. Sliding him into the rotation mix could push Teheran or Gausman to the bullpen — which would improve the pen and rotation simultaneously. Through 39.1 innings pitched, Frankie has a 2.75 ERA and 35 strikeouts

Chris Bassit– Bassit is listed as the A’s #5 starter, but his numbers outshine his position. Through 17 innings, Bassit has a 2.12 ERA and 22 strikeouts

Yusmeiro Petit– Petit could be a low-cost option due to his age (34-years-old) Through 19.1 innings, he has a 2.33 ERA and 11 strikeouts.

Lou Trivino– Trivino has been nearly unhittable through 15 innings of work. He has a 1.20 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

Team Needs: SP, 1B, OF

Ender could be another headliner in a trade here. Treinen and potentially Montas will require a larger package than any of the others. The Braves need to at least inquire about Treinen if they wish to contend and he is healthy.

Ozzie’s Chain T-Shirt

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: