MLB insider names Braves one of six suitors for Luis Robert Jr.

MLB: AUG 23 Mariners at White Sox

The Braves must add at the trade deadline. They don’t have a choice if they want any chance at winning the World Series this year after losing their two best players — Ronald Acuña Jr. and Spencer Strider — for the season. It’s not a matter of if they will add, it is who will they add?

For a few reasons, the most likely avenue for the Braves is to play the numbers game. Alex Anthopoulos will likely search for underperforming players or guys on the last year of their deals that won’t cost a lot in terms of prospects. It’s the path the Braves followed in 2021, which led them to the World Series, and it makes even more sense this year because Atlanta’s farm system is in a much worse position now than it was back then because of trades and graduations.

However, if the Braves opt to go a different route in addressing the outfield, the top name on the market at this year’s trade deadline is Luis Robert Jr. It will cost a pretty penny, but MLB insider Jon Heyman sees the Braves as one of six potential suitors for the All-Star outfielder.

This is probably Heyman connecting the dots more than any inside information. Mainly, because the Braves always keep things close to the vest. Information has rarely been leaked since Alex Anthopoulos took over as general manager. But also because the Braves don’t necessarily match up well as a trade partner with the White Sox.

Atlanta’s farm system is among the weakest in the league, and the few prospects they do have, I don’t see them having too much interest in trading.

Bob Nightengale for USA Today Sports recently reported that the White Sox could be looking for a package greater than what the Washington Nationals received for Juan Soto back in 2022, which included MacKenzie Gore, James Wood, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Jarlin Susana.

“The White Sox are listening to offers on anybody and everybody, including center fielder Luis Robert, who’s under contract through 2027, and owed about $61 million if his two club options are picked up,” Nightengale writes for USA Today Sports. “The White Sox would command a package greater than what the Padres gave up for Juan Soto at the 2022 deadline.”

MacKenzie Gore is a bright young lefty with crazy stuff that was an elite talent at the time of the trade. James Wood is arguably the best prospect in baseball right now. C.J. Abrams is blossoming into one of the better shortstops in the game. Robert Hassell III is another top 100 prospect, and Jarlin Susana might not be as highly ranked as a prospect but can touch 103 MPH with his heater.

Simply put, the Braves couldn’t offer the White Sox a trade package anywhere close to that; at least, not from a prospects point of view. If Alex Anthopoulos is willing to move off some major-league talent to really shake things up, then perhaps a serious conversation could be had. However, I’m not sure the White Sox are going to be too interested in major-league players, considering they are years away from competing, so Anthopoulos would have to get creative.

Luis Robert Jr. would be a dream replacement for the injured Ronald Acuña Jr, and it actually makes some sense when thinking about the future. Because it is very possible Acuña is moved to a more permanent DH role when he returns to preserve his health. However, I don’t see anyway a deal gets done between the Braves and White Sox because they match up very poorly as trade partners.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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