The Braves have decided they aren’t giving up on the 2021 season, sending Bryce Ball to Chicago in exchange for Joc Pederson. Pederson won’t be able to replace Ronald Acuña Jr., but he certainly helps. Atlanta still has problems on their bench and in the bullpen, but could Alex Anthopoulos flip the script and add to a strength of the team?
The Twins, like the Braves, have been a pretty big disappointment and have dealt with injuries. There are a ton of rumors swirling around their ace José Berríos. He has one more year of team control, and the usual suspects are rumored to be interested — the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros. The Braves could be an interesting trade partner, and I think Alex Anthopoulos will be kicking the tires as usual.
Atlanta is flush with minor league pitching prospects, some have shown promise in the majors, some have not. The Twins were so close to winning their first playoff game since 2004, but now it looks like they may have to do a minor reset. Even Byron Buxton is in trade rumors. The Braves have the chips to make a big move, and with an extra year of control, I think Berríos is worth parlaying a few prospects for.
For his entire career, Berríos has been a stead mid-3 ERA guy. This season has been more of the same, posting a 3.48 ERA over 108.2 innings. His 1.10 WHIP is pretty nice as well. I think Berríos would be a steady presence for Atlanta; they have frontline guys in Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and hopefully Mike Soroka when he’s healthy. Soroka likely won’t play much, if it all in 2022, so Berríos would be a perfect third starter this season and next. The Braves have to do something with some of these prospects eventually, and I think trading away a few for a pitcher like José Berríos could pay huge dividends as the Braves push for the playoffs in 2021 and beyond.
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