The best trade candidate for the Braves from each AL team

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The trade deadline is just over a week away, and while I initially thought there might not be much action because so many clubs will be in contention for one of the SIXTEEN playoff spots this season, I could be wrong — at least as far as American League teams go.

According to Fangraphs, the postseason is essentially set in the American league. All that is left to determine is seeding. Right now, seven teams currently have a 95% chance or higher to make the postseason — Yankees, Rays, Twins, Indians, White Sox, Athletics, Astros — leaving just one spot left to play for, which the Blue Jays have a 56.7% chance of earning. The next best odds? The Baltimore Orioles at just 12.5%.

All that means is there could be a lot of sellers in the American League, so let’s take a look at the most intriguing trade chip (from the Braves’ perspective) from each of the seven teams whose chances at the postseason are already looking bleak.

Baltimore Orioles

Alex Cobb

Cobb is in the third year of a four-year, $57 million contract. The Orioles are not quite out of it yet, sitting at just 12-14. But if they are being true with themselves, they should be well aware they aren’t competing for anything this year, and they probably won’t be next season either. They are in the middle of a total rebuild, so parting ways with Cobb for some prospects is in the best interest of the team. The righty has a 3.73 ERA in six starts this season.

The Boston Red Sox

Rafael Devers

Acquiring starting pitching is priority number one for the Braves at the trade deadline, but there’s a reason why the Red Sox are so abysmal… they don’t have any. They do, however, have a young, controllable star at a position of need. If the Braves are tired of relying on Austin Riley and Johan Camargo at third base, landing Devers in a blockbuster trade would give them another star to pair with Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Ronald Acuña. Devers had a .916 OPS, smacking an MLB leading 54 doubles and 32 homers last season — good for a 5.9 fWAR.

Detroit Tigers

Matthew Boyd

I thought about putting Spencer Turnbull here, who is having a fantastic year, but since he is under team control through 2025, the Tigers probably won’t be that interested in dealing him. Boyd, however, should have been traded a year ago.

The lefty is off to a miserable start to 2020, posting an 8.48 ERA in six starts, but he had some decent numbers in 2018 and 2019, making him an intriguing buy-low option for the Braves. He probably wouldn’t cost that much in terms of prospect capital and comes with two arbitration years remaining in 2021 and 2022 before hitting free agency. The Tigers, frankly, should take whatever they can get for him at this point.

Kansas City Royals

Danny Duffy

Duffy is in his second to last year of a five-year, $65 million contract. He’s been pretty consistent over the length of that deal, posting a 4.33 ERA with a 4.27 FIP in 81 starts, and has been slightly better this season (3.99 ERA). The extra year of control should also interest the Braves, but his $15 million price tag for next season might deter them.

Texas Rangers

Lance Lynn

This one is easy. Lance Lynn is in the running for the AL Cy Young award, boasting a ridiculous 1.37 ERA over six starts. However, despite his success, the Rangers find themselves well out of the playoff picture and should be selling at the trade deadline. With one more year of control remaining, there is not a better time to deal Lynn, and the Braves would be a perfect trade partner. Slotting him behind Max Fried would instantly make Atlanta a formidable threat to win the World Series in 2020.

Los Angeles Angels

Dylan Bundy

Even with Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon playing out of their minds, the Angels are well on their way to missing another postseason. Their starting pitching has been atrocious, but Dylan Bundy has been a lone bright spot, recording a 2.48 ERA over five starts. It’s a breakout campaign for the 27-year-old, who carries a 4.56 ERA for his career, but the 2011 fourth overall selection should draw interest from several teams at the trade deadline, including the Braves, who should be keeping tabs with just about any starting pitcher with a pulse at this point.

A reunion with Julio Teheran could also be in the cards. He signed a one-year deal with the Angels and has been terrible thus far, but a change of scenery could do him wonders, and the Braves could probably acquire him for nothing.

Seattle Mariners

Marco Gonzalez

The Mariners have a couple of starting arms that the Braves will likely inquire about, but Gonzalez is the best of the bunch. The righty has a 3.34 ERA in five starts this season after posting a 3.99 ERA in 34 starts last year. In 2021, he will begin a four-year $30 million. That kind of controllability will be extremely attractive to the Braves, but that also makes it less likely the Mariners deal him. Seattle’s asking price will be significant.

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