For multiple reasons, there is a chance this year’s trade deadline is a quiet one. First and foremost, the Braves don’t have a lot of holes heading into the second half of the season. The rotation, bullpen, and lineup are all in much better shape than they were this time last year. On top of that, the Braves farm system is as barren as any in baseball. FanGraphs recently ranked it last, and they won’t be the only ones to do that following the recent graduations of Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider. But if there is one area where it feels like the Braves can significantly upgrade ahead of the trade deadline, it’s the outfield.
Adam Duvall‘s been better of late, but he’s still hitting just .213 with a .679 OPS. More often than not, he’s been abysmal at the plate. Marcell Ozuna hasn’t been much better either, hitting just .221 with a .685 OPS. And Eddie Rosario, even after laser eye surgery, hasn’t been worth his weight. He’s batting just .195 with a .552 OPS since returning from the injured list.
All of these guys are capable of performing much better in the second half of the season, and if the right deal never reveals itself, rolling the dice with them wouldn’t be the worst thing to ever happen. However, considering the Braves need at least two of them in the lineup every night, adding one worthwhile bat is beginning to look like something Anthopoulos should be trying very hard to do.
Finding a new home for Ozuna is a pipe dream at this point, but that would be the best possible scenario. Despite what happened off the field, he’s now become nothing but a negative between the lines. Eventually, Anthopoulos will probably have to accept eating a large portion of the money or attach prospects with him to rid of his contract. Whether the Braves can make that happen prior to the trade deadline remains to be determined. I have my doubts.
Regardless, the Braves should at least be attempting to add depth from the left side. Making a move for Josh Bell would be ideal, but it doesn’t even have to be that significant of an acquisition. What made the team so special last season was the number of options Brian Snitker had at his disposal. He was able to play the hot hand come the postseason, and it paid off in the form of a World Series. At the very least, the Braves need to add another option that can play the outfield or DH at the trade deadline, especially if these three guys continue to struggle.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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