The Atlanta Braves finished the first half of the season with a 42-45 record, putting them 9.5 games back of the Nationals in the division and 8 back of one of the Wild Cards.
In the eyes of Atlanta Braves fans, that isn’t too shabby, given that their best player in Freddie Freeman just came back from the disabled list a mere week ago. However, while they might seem poised to make a run for the playoffs, they still don’t seem all too ready to make a deep run in the postseason.
Until the front office feels like the Braves are ready to compete for a World Series, they should look to sell off some expiring contracts to suitors. This could help them get more pieces for the very near future, or potentially contributing players for the next few seasons.
The trade candidates
– He and Adams are the two the Braves need to focus the most on trading. A free agent at season’s end, he’s essentially blocking
at this point. BP is a great clubhouse guy and a player you like rooting for, but his time has essentially expired in Atlanta. A slash line of
isn’t half bad for a 36 year old. But Ozzie’s been on fire at Triple-A Gwinnett, hitting
.395 over his last 10 games including 6 multi-hit games
– If any team out there wants to trade for him following Friday’s blowup, it’d be a surprise. He has a 4.23 ERA and seven blown saves this year. However, a team looking to make a playoff run in need of bullpen help could certainly use him… (ahem, Nationals.)
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We know the Braves are clamoring for another front line controllable starter. Whether or not they end up pursuing Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, or Chris Archer, they need to remain level headed in regards to their elite pitching prospects. Some bullpen help wouldn’t be all too bad either.
The players listed above would hopefully net more than just prospects at this point, but you can never have too many of them.
John Coppolella is a smart man. Coppy knows what’s waiting in the wings, so I don’t expect anything too drastic… just yet.
This current team wasn’t built to win a World Series. It was built to compete. While it’s a step up from the teams Atlanta’s fielded the past two seasons, it’s still missing key parts.
There is plenty of talent down on the farm for the Braves. Look for most of them to continue developing from now until spring training next season. That’s when the front office will get a better gauge on them.
A few prospects look ready to make their contributions for the Braves, such as Ozzie Albies, Lucas Sims, and quite possibly Ronald Acuna. Why not give them a shot at the big league level to showcase what they have? Trades tend to have that effect.
The front office might not want to start their clock just yet. But it couldn’t hurt to let them get some major league experience and possibly go through growing pains.
The future Braves are well on their way. Now’s the time to trade some player’s while they have some value.
The 2018 and 2019 seasons will hopefully be the ones in which the Braves reap the seeds they’ve sewn. Watch out.