These next two weeks, Alex Anthopoulos will be one of the busiest men in the world. The Braves are only a piece or two away from looking like the best team in baseball and possess the necessary prospect capital to make any move they so choose. That doesn’t mean they will. Anthopoulos will be kicking the tires on all the available pitching, and several names in the Braves price range will make a lot of sense. There are also some rumors floating around that are unrealistic for various reasons.
Several motives will prevent this deal from happening. Syndergaard is in the midst of a down year for his standards but still has some of the best stuff in all of baseball. There will be a host of potential suitors lining up to acquire the Thor look alike. However, the Mets aren’t serious about giving up one of the only good things they have going for them. They are a terrible team, so of course, they are taking calls, but Syndergaard has two years left of arbitration control remaining. The Mets aren’t moving him unless they receive a king’s ransom, and they would want even more from a team inside their division.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, a GM told him the Mets are asking for “a few arms and a leg” for Syndergaard. They will probably ask for double that from Atlanta. I highly doubt Syndergaard is moved at this year’s deadline, and he certainly will not be heading to the Braves.
Trevor Bauer/Brad Hand
Trevor Bauer and Brand Hand are in similar situations. They both are having spectacular years and have control remaining past this season. Bauer might be the best starter supposedly available on the market and has one more year of arbitration left on his contract. Hand is the best relief option that could be open for trade, but he has two years left of club control. The Indians are not in a rush to deal either. They are picking up steam in the AL central and are sitting in the first Wild Card spot. At this rate, I firmly believe they will make the playoffs and possibly win their division. There is no reason for them to trade either of these guys unless someone puts together an offer they cannot refuse.
The rumored ask for Corey Kluber this summer was Cristian Pache, Austin Riley, and Touki Touissant. It’s going to take something along those lines to pry Bauer or Hand away from the Indians at the trade deadline. There is no way the Braves meet their asking price.
Of the people on the list thus far, Vazquez is the most likely to be dealt. There’s a chance a team blows the Pirates away with a trade offer for their cost-controlled one-inning specialist. The 28-year-old now has a track record of success as a closer and has four years remaining of club control. But that control is why I believe the Pirates will end up hanging on to him.
While a recent 2-8 run put them 7.5 games back in the NL Central, there is nothing to suggest the Pirates cannot be competitive in their division for the remainder of Vazquez’s contract. So unless a team is willing to part ways with a boatload of talented prospects, I see Pittsburgh keeping their star closer.
We have previously talked about how the Braves should avoid pursuing Zack Wheeler. The hard-throwing right-hander remains on the IL with shoulder discomfort, and the Mets are not positive he will pitch this week. There’s a chance he doesn’t start another game before he is traded, yet New York believes they “can still get a solid return” in exchange for him. If the price is right; the metro-Atlanta native makes sense on a low-risk, high-reward type deal. But it doesn’t appear that will be the case.