Jim Bowden names surprise Braves player as trade target for other competing teams

Braves injuries

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden recently came up with a big board of 100 potential trade targets for contending teams, and they included a surprising name that would upset a lot of Braves fans if he were traded — Travis d’Arnaud.

Travis d’Arnaud, Braves — D’Arnaud is so valuable to the Braves because he protects them from an injury to catcher Sean Murphy and/or DH Marcell Ozuna and gives them a clutch hitter off the bench at any time. They are not looking to move him. However, if a team were willing to offer a mid-rotation starting pitcher for d’Arnaud and a prospect, then Atlanta would have to consider it. D’Arnaud is signed through this year with an $8 million team option for 2024.

I’m not going to fault Bowden too much, even if I think there’s next to no chance the Braves trade d’Arnaud for several reasons, which I will get into in a second. With the trade landscape the way it is today, it’s impossible for anyone to come up with 100 names that could potentially be traded. There are only a few teams that are 100% going to sell, and while others will join them soon, it won’t be like trade deadlines in previous years. Most everybody believes they have a shot at the postseason, and in baseball, all you need to do is get in to have a chance at a World Series.

Now, on to why the Braves aren’t going to trade d’Arnaud. First and foremost, he’s a tremendous leader in the clubhouse. The Braves place a ton of emphasis on leadership, and he’s at the forefront of those conversations when talking about this club.

Secondly, the Braves don’t have any glaring needs that need to be addressed. They could add another bullpen piece, but they don’t need to trade d’Arnaud to do that. The offense is the best in baseball, and their rotation is set to get Max Fried and Kyle Wright later in the season. Even if one of those guys suffers a setback, the Braves still have Michael Soroka and Kolby Allard as backup options.

Lastly, d’Arnaud serves a considerable purpose beyond his leadership in the clubhouse. He crushes lefties, making him a viable DH option, and he’s the best type of insurance a team can have if their All-Star catcher suffers an injury.

I understand why Bowden included him on this list, but there’s zero shot Travis d’Arnaud is playing for another team after the trade deadline.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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