The top priority for the Braves before the July 31st deadline remains pitching. They need a couple of relievers and would benefit from adding another arm to the rotation. However, because of the recent injury to Nick Markakis, the outfield is another area that is in need of some polishing. The Braves don’t know if Markakis will be able to return this season, leading them to explore the trade market for potential solutions – Bob Nightengale reports.
The Atlanta #Braves have been calling numerous teams in recent days in search of an outfielder after Nick Markakis suffered a broken left wrist that will sideline him at least until mid-September, and perhaps for the rest of the season.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 29, 2019
Adam Duvall has filled in nicely in the two games since Markakis was placed on the IL with a fractured wrist. He has four hits, a home run, and two RBIs, but his abysmal stretch in Atlanta last year doesn’t inspire much confidence. The Braves also aren’t sure what to expect from their once inhuman rookie, Austin Riley. He’s mired in a severe slump, hitting below the Mendoza line over his last month. At the very least, the Braves need a backup plan.
Our very own Andrew Cicco went through five different directions Anthopoulos could turn here, including three different trade possibilities.
Nick Castellanos isn’t known for his defense, and that’s likely why – despite rumors – the Braves and Tigers have never struck a deal. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and the stars might have finally aligned for Castellanos to end up in Atlanta.
Yasiel Puig is another powerful outfielder that will probably find a new home in the coming days. He’s smacked 24 home runs for the Reds this year and would love to beat his old team – the Dodgers – in the playoffs, but his questionable attitude may not make him the right fit in the Braves clubhouse.
Perhaps the most intriguing outfielder that could be moved before July 31st is the Orioles Trey Mancini. He’s hit 24 bombs in each of the last two seasons and already has 24 this year to go along with a .279 batting average. With three years left of control remaining, Mancini would also serve as a solution beyond this year. However, like Castellanos, he is not known for his defense, and the Braves might not be willing to meet Baltimore’s asking price.