Not many teams are truly out of the mix in the American League, which makes this a little more difficult than the National League edition of this series, which you can check out here. With Kyle Wright and Max Fried on the injured list for what could be a while, the Braves may have to make some additions to the rotation earlier than they had planned. There are a few names I wanted to go over today, mostly from teams that probably aren’t going to be contending and may be looking to sell high on their major league talent.
RHP Dylan Cease — Chicago White Sox
Do the Braves have the assets to go and get somebody like Cease? Right now, maybe not, but it’s possible they could after the 2023 MLB Draft. Regardless, the White Sox are a mess, and the Braves do have a few young chips from the 2022 draft to offer. Cease offers a lot of what Spencer Strider brings to the table — mustache and all. He features a really nice fastball, and when he’s on, he’s one of the better starters in the league. It would cost a pretty penny, but Cease is under team control until 2026 and gives the Braves a viable option for 2023 and beyond.
RHP Lucas Giolito — Chicago White Sox
Giolito had a great comeback after one of the worst seasons in recent memory for a starter in 2018, leading the league in walks and earned runs allowed. Even then, Giolito was one of the most reliable innings eaters in all of baseball, and he continues to be until now. He hasn’t pitched under 160 innings since 2020, excluding the COVID-shortened season. He’s a free agent following the season, so there’s risk as a rental, but he should cost the Braves much less than Cease.
RHP Brad Keller — Kansas City Royals
Keller isn’t the sexiest name, but the Flowery Branch alum could provide the Braves with some quality innings and mitigate damage while everyone else gets healthy. He shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and he pitches much better away from Kauffman Stadium, sporting a 2.91 ERA this season on the road. I think he could be a solid supplementary move if the Braves decide to trade for two pitchers.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez — Detroit Tigers
I fully expect Eduardo Rodriguez to be one of the most highly coveted guys at the 2023 trade deadline. Boasting a 1.81 ERA, he’s going to command a pretty penny. He’s under team control until 2027, but he has an opt out he can exercise after this season if he continues to pitch like this. The opt out creates a lot of risk, but he’s an interesting lefty option for the Braves.
LHP Joey Wentz — Detroit Tigers
With pretty much every team in the AL West and AL East in the hunt except the A’s, we have a clean AL Central sweep here. How about an old friend? Wentz hasn’t been amazing in 2023, but the Braves have familiarity with him, and he shouldn’t cost too much. Lefties are only sporting a .539 OPS against him, so maybe the Braves can find something. Like Keller, I’d be okay with adding Wentz if he isn’t the only move they make.
Photographer: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire
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