As things currently stand, the Braves have some holes on their roster, but almost all of them will be filled by their own players coming off the Injured List. Still, I expect Anthopoulos to be active at the trade deadline as he always is. He has already stated that the Braves could use another left-handed bat, and adding another weapon from the right side to the bullpen could do this team wonders. There won’t be as many moves as there were last year, but I’m expecting the Braves to make at least one deal, so here are their three best trade chips as the deadline approaches.
A lot of the problems that have plagued Waters throughout his minor-league career continue to hold him back at the AAA level. Despite winning the MVP of the Southern League in 2019, many scouts were skeptical of how it would translate to the upper levels of the minors because of his high strikeout rate and low walk rate. Those scouts have been right so far.
After missing all of 2020 because of COVID, Waters struggled mightily in Gwinnett last season, and he’s putting up similar results this season. Despite that, he remains the Braves’ #2 prospect according to MLB.com, and several teams would be plenty interested in his services. The Braves shouldn’t be thinking about selling considerably low on Waters, but with the emergence of Michael Harris, he’s certainly more expendable than he was a couple of years ago. If Atlanta is looking to add an impact player at the deadline, Waters very well could be used as a centerpiece in the deal.
Muller is the best trade chip the Braves have right now. The towering lefty has had a couple of stints in Atlanta already and could be back before long. He’s currently dominating AAA to the tune of a 1.87 ERA in the month of June.
Kyle Muller’s last five starts for Gwinnett:
33.2 IP, 20 H, 7 ER, 3 HR, 6 BB, 43 K
1.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP
He has gone at least six innings in all five starts and seven innings in three of them.
He’s going to be getting at least one start for the big club VERY soon.
— Matt Chrietzberg (@BravesMattC) June 26, 2022
Most importantly, Muller is showing improved control, which is really all he needs to succeed at the highest level. If an injury strikes, he’ll be the first call to Atlanta, but even if one doesn’t, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him soon.
For all of those reasons, I find it highly unlikely the Braves deal Muller. It would have to be a blockbuster trade, and right now, I don’t see any reason this team needs to add an All-Star caliber piece ahead of the trade deadline.
Davidson is another lefty that a lot of teams will have interest in. Like Muller, he already has some MLB experience, and before a forgetful outing a couple of nights ago, he was also having a really impressive June. In the long run, I could see Davidson being just as good or perhaps even better than Muller, so he’s another arm that the Braves will want to keep. You can never have too many pitchers, so unless Anthopoulos targets a high-caliber player in a trade, expect Davidson to stay with the organization.
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