With the Mets signing Justin Verlander and the Phillies coming to an agreement with Trea Turner, the expectation is for the Braves to make a splash at some point. The easiest path for that to happen is by re-signing Dansby Swanson, but he has no shortage of suitors, and Alex Anthopoulos won’t agree to a deal that he believes will handcuff the franchise financially in the future.
The next logical scenario would be to explore the trade market. We know they’ve checked in on the Athletics’ catcher Sean Murphy, even if they are no longer to be in the running for his services. That tells us Anthopoulos is leaving no stone unturned this offseason. The Braves already have three starting-caliber catchers on their roster, including two that were named to the NL All-Star team this year. However, they won’t pass up on any opportunity to upgrade the roster. I expect them to check in on a boatload of players that could be available via trade, and while a lot has been made of the Braves lack of prospects, Anthopoulos doesn’t view that as an issue.
In Justin Toscano’s latest piece for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he highlights the Braves’ belief that they can swing a major trade using a combination of their young major-league-ready talent and the prospects they have at their disposal.
“Explored some things but who it would take for us to get certain guys, we just don’t want to move those guys,” Anthopoulos said, via the AJC. “So if we said yes, then we probably would have had traction on a deal. I don’t know if we would have gotten it done, but we definitely would have traction. But the centerpiece of the deal that we discussed, we just don’t want to trade that player.
“That happens. But we have the ability (to make a trade). We have not had a time yet where people just said flat out, ‘You don’t have the young player to get a deal done.’”
The Braves have the young talent to complete pretty much any potential trade; it will likely just take some current major leaguers to get a deal done if it is for a star-caliber player.
The club likely doesn’t want to deal William Contreras or Vaughn Grissom, but one or both of them could be included to facilitate a blockbuster trade. The Braves also have a plethora of major-league-ready pitchers bouncing between AAA and the majors, including Kyle Muller, Bryce Elder, and Ian Anderson. All of those guys would be coveted by almost every organization.
Beyond that, Justyn-Henry Malloy is an outfield prospect that took the minors by storm this past season, beginning the season in High-A and finishing in AAA.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire