Latest Braves trade deadline prediction from The Athletic

Braves Tommy Pham

The Athletic recently released their MLB Power Rankings, and as they always do, they had a topic to go along with them for the week. This week’s was a “bold-ish” trade deadline prediction for all 30 teams, and Andy McCullough sees the Braves making a move for veteran outfielder Tommy Pham.

T-6. Atlanta Braves

Record: 46-36
Last Power Ranking: 6

Trade deadline prediction: It’s Tommy Pham time

Atlanta knows it can’t replace Ronald Acuña Jr. with one person. But they can try to remake him in the aggregate. Pham would improve the club’s performance against left-handed pitching. He can handle multiple outfield positions. He plays with an edge. The Braves once traded for Joc Pedersonto enliven the offense en route to a championship, and this would be an amusing bookend to that whole thing. What more do you need? — McCullough

I’m not sure this should even be considered “bold-ish.” The Braves have an obvious need, and if 2021 showed us anything, Alex Anthopoulos prefers to target veterans on one-year deals that aren’t going to cost much in terms of prospects. That’s the exact description of Tommy Pham, who was an integral piece to the Arizona Diamondbacks World Series run a season ago.

However, Andy McCullough brings up some unintended irony in all of this, and it’s why I don’t see the Braves pursuing Tommy Pham at all. This is a guy who was a postseason hero just before hitting free agency, yet the team he helped to the World Series had no interest in bringing him back for pennies. In fact, nobody had interest in Tommy Pham this offseason, which is pretty amazing considering how good he was on the field a season ago.

So, why might that be? Tommy Pham is an asshole. Just a couple of years ago, he was suspended for slapping Joc Pederson in the face before a game. The two couldn’t be more different personalities. With the way the Braves place such a high emphasis on clubhouse dynamic, I don’t see them having any interest in Tommy Pham, even if he makes sense on paper.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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