Deadline Decisions Loom for the Braves

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May 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes (7) congratulates left fielder Kelly Johnson (24) after a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have upset the very low expectations that most of the baseball world set on them after trading away their star corner outfielders, a power hitting catcher, and four of their best relief pitchers.  Oh, and Melvin Upton Jr.I guess.

Until a recent terrible week they were able to maintain a roughly .500 record, keeping the illusion of the pre season competitive promise alive.  But now, as the Braves start the second half, they’re faced with the harsh reality that they’re most likely not going to make the playoffs by any means.  Especially since their next 12 games come against the Cubs, the Dodgers, Cardinals, and the Orioles.

But John Hart is a smart guy.  His recent interview with Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (why can’t Mark Bradley, the only not awful writer for the AJC land these?) is full of good, carefully chosen words.  He did not wave the white flag, but he also reinforced that the Braves probably weren’t going to win.

So if you ask me, now comes the dismantling.

Obviously the season ending injury to Jason Grilli was a big blow – he was arguably the best trade chip the Braves had, and they had apparently already been discussing him with other teams.  Cameron Maybin has been a name I’ve seen a lot of lately in trade rumors, but with virtually no outfield depth and the scuffling of Mallex Smith since his promotion to Gwinnett, I see any potential sell-high move with Maybin happening this offseason.

I’ve jumped into the fantasy general managers chair and tired to think of some potential partners and even some theoretical exact deals for the Braves’ existing trade chips.  These scenarios are completely hypothetical, and are purely for fun, although I believe the teams I have mentioned as potential trade partners are very real.

Next: Where Could Pierzynski Land?