The Braves’ primary focus should be on adding talent, not moving it. But the club does have several players that might not fit into the long-term picture, making them potential trade chips in the right deal.
Atlanta Braves Potential Trade Chips
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report mentioned Michael Soroka in a piece the other day, and I agree. He’s out of options, meaning the Braves can no longer shuffle him between Gwinnett and Atlanta. Soroka has to be on the major-league roster, and that isn’t a risk the Braves can necessarily afford to take if he’s struggling.
Alex Anthopoulos could choose to non-tender Soroka, making him a free agent outright. However, a better move would be to work something out in his final year of arbitration and then potentially move him in a trade for something that could better help the Braves win now. My first thought would be a reliever. Soroka may not have a ton of trade value, but a rebuilding club can give Soroka a much longer leash at the major-league level to figure things out, and what can rebuilding teams afford to trade? Bullpen arms.
Rosario’s situation is similar to Soroka’s. He has a $9 million option for 2024 that the Braves could just decline and let him walk. However, Rosario on a one-year, $9 million deal is pretty good value. The Braves should probably pick that up and then decide on his future. They could hang onto him for one more year or flip him for something if they want to go in a different direction in left field. It’s a better option than letting him walk for nothing.
I talked about the Braves potentially moving Grissom yesterday, and it might be time for the Braves to finally pull the trigger on a deal, especially if they believe Orlando Arcia will be the starting shortstop next season. Grissom’s bat is major-league ready. He hit .330 with a .920 OPS as a 22-year-old in Gwinnett this year. That is outstanding at any age, but especially for someone who is only 22. The problem is he doesn’t have anywhere to play with the Braves. It’s time for Alex Anthopoulos to either make some room for him to get everyday reps in Atlanta or trade him for something that can help the Braves win now.
Sell high on Marcell Ozuna? That could be an option if the Braves want to shuffle things around and make some bigger moves. I’m not sure what type of return Ozuna would fetch, but I imagine he would have some suitors following a season in which he hit 40 homers and knocked in 100 runs. I don’t see the Braves trading The Big Bear but clearing his $16 million salary for 2024 could be appealing.
Given the state of the Braves rotation and how much Max Fried has meant to the team since entering the league, I highly doubt he’s traded. However, we at least have to have the conversation. Fried is entering the final year of his contract, and there’s no telling if there have even been serious negotiations regarding an extension.
The Braves let Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson walk for nothing at the end of their careers in Atlanta. Perhaps they don’t want to do that song and dance again and get something in return for Fried. I doubt they would be able to find something that can help them win a World Series in 2024 more than Max Fried. For that reason, it doesn’t seem like a wise decision, but who knows? At the very least, I’m sure they will be receiving some calls on his availability.
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