Unfortunately, Adam Duvall is out for the season after injuring his wrist.
Source: Adam Duvall’s surgery will end his season.
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) July 24, 2022
The Braves have gotten little to no production out of Marcell Ozuna against left-handed pitching (.482 OPS against LHP), but Atlanta could also use a lefty in their lineup. With Ozzie Albies injured for the foreseeable future, I’m going to focus on guys who can play all over the field — second base is still an issue.
UTIL Harold Castro — Detroit Tigers
Castro has three more years of arbitration eligibility, so he won’t hit free agency until 2026. This is an interesting hinge point for the Braves — they may not need him for that long, but it’s nice to have the control. Castro is a bit of a late bloomer, debuting in 2018 in spurts and playing pretty well for Detroit. This year as a full time player, he’s been consistent. He would make for an excellent left-handed platoon option, and he can play just about any position on the diamond. The Braves should value that type of versatility.
UTIL Jose Iglesias — Colorado Rockies
To put it kindly, Iglesias is a bit of a singles merchant. He isn’t a lefty, but he can play all over the infield and is having a fantastic 2022 season. He’s a great rental who is actually hitting .356 away from Coors field, so I’m not worried about his production falling off. Iglesias is more of a contact/table-setter offensive player and strong defender, something that’s valuable in a Braves lineup with a lot of pop.
UTIL Ian Happ — Chicago Cubs
Happ is a true table-setter and the best option on this list. We’ve seen what type of damage Michael Harris II can cause. Happ has played just about every position for the Cubs, which means he’s a natural replacement at second base until Ozzie Albies gets healthy. You also get a decent defender in left field. An All-Star switch hitter with this type of gap-to-gap power and team control isn’t going to be cheap, but he may be the bat that really puts Atlanta’s offense over the top. Happ has an absurd .920 OPS against left-handed pitching, so he’s a fantastic fit for Atlanta’s lineup.
UTIL Josh Rojas — Arizona Diamondbacks
Rojas is under team control until 2027, so although he would cost less than someone like Ian Happ, he’s still not going to be as cheap as a low-cost rental like Eddie Rosario was at the 2021 trade deadline. Regardless, he could be the Braves super-utility piece for a few seasons if they want to keep using him in that role. In my opinion, Rojas is a guy that is good enough to play every day, so frankly, the Braves may not need someone with this much control. However, he’s a piece that helps the Braves win another World Series right now. Rojas is pretty balanced as a hitter, sporting a .778 OPS against right-handed pitching and a .690 OPS against lefties. He can play all over the diamond, so he can handle left field or second base.
UTIL Brandon Drury — Cincinnati Reds
Although the Braves have a hole at second base, Drury can play all over the diamond — adding even more value to a potential trade. Drury is on a one-year deal, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at 30 this offseason. The Braves may not need him next season, but if they’re going to go all in on a rental, they better be pretty sure he’s going to provide them enough to win another championship. Drury isn’t going to come cheap, but with the way he’s hitting, he may be worth any prospects the Braves have to cough up.