After the Ronald Acuña injury, it’s easy to look at the big picture, assume it’s just not the Braves’ year, and sell off whatever pieces they can get prospects for in return. However, they are still just four games back of the Mets with three months left to play. It’s far too early to wave the white flag, even if Acuña is out for the rest of the season. This can all change if the Braves begin to slump after the All-Star break and fall further back in the divisional race, but if they can stay afloat over the next couple of weeks, there’s plenty of reason for them not to sell.
The rest of the NL East is a mess
What was supposed to be one of the best divisions in baseball has turned into a hot mess. The Marlins and Nationals just aren’t good teams. The Phillies are the definition of average, and you could really say the same thing about the Braves and Mets, except for different reasons. Atlanta and New York have dealt with a plethora of misfortune this season, leaving the door open for just about everybody. The Mets should get better as they get healthier, but still, they’ve shown no signs of being able to run away with this thing. A four-game lead can become nothing in a week, and there are still three months of baseball left to play.
Some reinforcements are on the way
With the way the roster is currently constructed, I don’t even think the most optimistic Braves fan would expect them to make the postseason. There are so many holes… but they can be patched in a variety of different ways over the next month or so. First off, Huascar Ynoa and Travis d’Arnaud are on track to return in August. The Braves might also be able to find a diamond in the rough or two on the waiver wire around that time, and of course, Alex Anthopoulos can also look to add at the trade deadline. I don’t expect the Braves to be in full buy mode, but the right opportunity could come across for a player with several years of control, which should pique the interest of Anthopoulos.
The MLB postseason is a total crapshoot
The playoffs in Major League Baseball can go in just about any direction. The Marlins have made the playoffs just three times as an organization, yet they have two World Series. How often do we see a Wild Card team catch fire and use that momentum to carry themselves to the Commissioner’s Trophy? Essentially, what you’re purchasing when you clinch a playoff berth is a lottery ticket. Some might have slightly better odds than others, but It’s going to be difficult either way, and any team can come away a winner. As long as the Braves have a chance to steal one of those lottery tickets by winning what has become a lousy NL East, they should not be thinking about selling.
They don’t exactly have much to sell
Outside of Charlie Morton, the Braves don’t really have much to sell, and even Morton isn’t likely to bring back a top-ten prospect in return. Drew Smyly, Chris Martin, and Will Smith are others that could be moved, but once again, the return wouldn’t exactly help replenish Atlanta’s farm system. At best, by moving all of these guys, the Braves might add a few middling prospects. I’m not sure that’s worth waving the white flag early. As long as the Braves are six or so games within the division, it might be worth more to see if the team can catch fire unexpectedly.
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