Mark Feinsand of MLB.com recently went through every contender’s biggest need as the trade deadline approaches. Here’s what he had to say about the Braves:
Braves: Starting pitching
It’s hard to say Atlanta has any glaring need as the Braves cruise toward another division title, but the back end of the rotation behind Spencer Strider, Bryce Elder and Charlie Morton is thin. Even when Max Fried gets healthy, innings limits could come into play for Elder, making the addition of rotation depth important.
Potential fit: Kyle Hendricks
I’ve been very adamant about the Braves biggest need leading up to the trade deadline. Especially with all of the recent injuries to the bullpen, the Braves have to add at least one, if not multiple relievers. That seems almost non-negotiable.
Even in a seller’s market, there will be plenty of high quality relievers available, and they generally don’t cost a lot in terms of prospect capital to acquire. Alex Anthopoulos has the opportunity to make Atlanta’s relief core one of the best in baseball without doing too much. That’s something he shouldn’t pass up.
With Max Fried coming back, I don’t think starting pitching is a pressing need by any means. Michael Soroka has shown some promise of late, and there’s also still the off-chance Kyle Wright returns in September. Elder’s recent struggles are a cause for concern, but at the most, this group could probably use some depth.
Kyle Hendricks is an intriguing option. He’s had a good year for Chicago and has a club option for 2024. However, unlike relief arms, starting pitching costs an arm and a leg at the trade deadline. Are the Braves that desperate for help in their rotation that they will overpay in a seller’s market? I don’t see it.
Remember, this is a Braves team that started Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright, and A.J. Minter in the 2020 NLCS. They also started Dylan Lee and Tucker Davidson during the 2021 World Series. With Max Fried back, this is the best Braves rotation they’ve had since the rebuild, so I would be pretty shocked if they changed up now and decided to give up a bunch of prospects for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.
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