Jim Bowden’s trade targets for the Atlanta Braves

MLB: OCT 03 AL Wild Card Rangers at Rays

The Braves are stuck in neutral, losers of five straight, which is the longest streak for this club since 2017.

Matt Olson evened up the game in Baltimore last night with a two-run home run, and it seemed the team finally had some life, but nothing is going right for the Braves.

When the offense finally does its job, the pitching staff, which has been excellent all season long, falters. Last night, it was Joe Jimenez who blew the lead. This isn’t a knock on Jimenez at all because he’s been great for the most part. It’s just the perfect microcosm of what this season has been like for the Atlanta Braves.

As we get deeper into the summer, the trade deadline noise grows louder, and it’s quite obvious that Alex Anthopoulos will be wheeling and dealing. Jim Bowden of The Athletic came up with some Braves trade targets, which I will discuss further.

Jim Bowden’s Braves Trade Targets

OF: Tommy Pham, Eddie Rosario, Gavin Sheets, Jake McCarthy, Ian Happ, Heston Kjerstad, Jesús Sánchez, Jake Fraley, Michael Conforto, Randy Arozarena, Wenceel PérezMike Yastrzemski
SP: Erick Fedde, Trevor Williams (IL), Paul Blackburn (IL)

Chase has already done a deep dive into Tommy Pham. On paper, it makes a ton of sense. The veteran is hitting .313 with six homers and an .846 OPS in postseason play. He was a pivotal piece to a Diamondbacks team last year that went on to win the World Series, and he’s on a one-year deal for cheap.

However, the locker room fit is also a big deal for Atlanta and Alex Anthopoulos. Pham went unsigned for the entire offseason and was only picked up by the lowly White Sox, despite playing a pivotal role in helping a young team out in Arizona to the World Series just a few months before. That’s something to consider.

Despite the parallels between the 2024 season and the 2021 season for the Braves, Eddie Rosario shouldn’t be in the plans. The 2021 NLCS MVP owns a 71 OPS+ (29% below league average) with only seven home runs and a batting average south of the Mendoza Line. I hope the Braves can do better than that.

Gavin Sheets has a batting average of .238 and a slugging percentage of .421, thanks to 15 extra-base hits and seven home runs. He’s not going to put the Braves lineup on his back by any means, but he’s got more than enough pop to warrant intrigue.

Jake McCarthy is a young, controllable outfielder that is batting .276 with a 119 OPS+ to go with nine stolen bases. However, the Diamondbacks may not even want to unload McCarthy if they’re in the playoff hunt at the deadline. Plus, he’s under team control through the 2028 season.

Ian Happ is a name that was floated among Braves trade targets at last year’s deadline. The Cubs veteran signed a three-year deal worth $61 million in April of 2023, so that’s a factor to consider in any deal, whether Chicago eats some of that money or not. Moreover, the Cubbies sit with a record just under .500, so they very well could be buyers at the deadline.

The 31-year-old Michael Conforto signed a two-year, $36 million deal with the Giants back in January of 2023. Overall, he’s taken a step back from the production he had with the Mets. He’s flashed some of the power, but he’s been struggling. He could be a buy-low candidate and provide stability in 2025 as well.

Randy Arozarena is the sexy name here, but he’s in the midst of his worst season. He’s hitting .174/.282/.317 with eight home runs and 20 runs batted in through his first 66 games. Arozarena has two years of arbitration left, earning $8.1 million this season. The Braves are going to be a popular landing spot mentioned, but a lot of clubs will be interested in the Rays star.

Which possible Braves trade targets interest you?

Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire


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