As the Braves move into the second half of the season, they face a brutal stretch. Chase already talked about how the next two weeks will define Atlanta’s strategy, but an MLB Network insider thinks the Braves are destined to wave the white flag at the end of July.
As I just said on @MLBNetwork of the teams in the middle, and beyond the Cubs who are known sellers, the teams most likely of the group to do some selling may be the Indians, Mariners and Braves.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 15, 2021
Of course, just after Heyman tweeted this, the Braves showed they aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel by trading for Joc Pederson. After the acquisition, Alex Anthopoulos shared the Braves focus as of now, which is on adding more pieces to this team.
Alex Anthopoulos: "Right now, our focus is on adding."
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) July 16, 2021
Only four games back, the acquisition of Pederson has to give the Braves a better feeling about the second half of the season. They will still need more help, but Pederson is a solid start. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that this stretch after the All-Star break will determine whether the Braves are truly buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. As several people have mentioned, if the Braves do fall out of the race between now and July 31st, they can always flip Pederson to a contending team and receive a similar prospect return as to what they sent the Cubs, which was Bryce Ball.
If the Braves do end up selling, Charlie Morton will interest nearly every contending team. They should also get some calls on Drew Smyly, who has been much better over the last couple of months, but that’s just about it. Chris Martin and Will Smith might attract some suitors, but the return would be minimal. It’s simply a wait-and-see mindset at this point, but the Braves need to get hot — quickly.