Ask any beat writer what the Braves will do next, and they will give you a different answer. Some expect Atlanta to go after a free-agent outfielder such as Marcell Ozuna or Nick Castellanos. Many speculate they will get in the mix for Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant.
One thing is for sure: if the Braves do not find a cleanup hitter, they are in trouble. Given Atlanta has Johan Camargo and Austin Riley on the roster, who can play third base, they do not necessarily need to bring in a third baseman. However, the two hottest names on the trading block happen to man the hot corner.
According to Bob Nightengale, the Braves did indeed have talks surrounding Kris Bryant. At the time, they found the price too high. But now, they are in a bit of desperation mode, and Nightengale expects those talks to resurface:
A deal for Arenado or Bryant makes a ton of sense. The Braves want to hold their chips but should have a bit of leverage, given they are one of the few contenders that actually possess the prospect capital to make a deal.
The biggest hiccup with Bryant could be his case with the MLB to reach free agency a year early. It is quite unlikely Bryant wins this case, but it would be unwise to prematurely pony up big-time prospects for his services, while there is a risk of him potentially being a one-year rental. If the Braves were to reach a deal, they would likely want to know the ruling beforehand, which could limit their options. They played the waiting game with Donaldson and lost out; they might not want to do that again for Bryant.
The team would have to give up young players, but this a trade that would land them a former MVP and lock in the roster for the 2020 season. Regardless of what some reports may say, it seems like too good of a fit to disregard. We will see where Alex Anthopoulos sets the bar in the second round of negotiations.