Atlanta Braves 3B: Top 10 Trade Targets to Track in 2020

Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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Evan Longoria Atlanta Braves trade target. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Braves will likely be just fine at third base between Riley and Camargo. However, in case the wheels fall off, here are a few players to keep track of in 2020.

While we all expect the Atlanta Braves Austin Riley or Johan Camargo to step up this season, there’s an outside shot that neither player is able to grab that brass ring.

Now don’t take this as a pessimistic “The Braves have no chance, this writer is saying Riley and Camargo stink!” This is simply a hypothetical exercise, a what if?

In that unlikely and unfortunate situation, the Braves might be forced to reach into their deep farm system to bring in a hired hand at third base to help finish the season. I didn’t rank them in any particular order of importance or value, considering that values will change as the season progresses. 

We all know about the Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado trade-winds. Today we’ll focus on some names that maybe haven’t been discussed as much as the headliners.

These are guys on teams that may have the incentive to move them. Teams that are perhaps rebuilding, projected to be terrible, or both. We start with the San Francisco Giants.

10. Evan Longoria

The Braves could go back to the well with the Giants after dealing for Mark Melancon mid-way through last season.

Evan Longoria is a veteran player making way too much money for a rebuilding club. He is owed $49 million through the end of the 2022 season with a $5 million buyout in 2023. It’s a lot of dough for a player that slashed .254/.325/.437 last season.

The Giants would have to pick up a big chunk of that salary.  Longoria may not be the MVP candidate he used to be, but at 34-years-old he did post a wRC+ above 100 last year and hit 20 homers in 453 at-bats while playing his home games in the unfriendly confines of Oracle Park in San Francisco.

He’s a veteran presence that has been to a World Series. Before moving forward, if you are not familiar with expected slugging or xSLG, then allow me to explain.

Expected slugging helps remove defense and stadium factors from the equation to more accurately reflect numbers based on the type of contact the player made. Please read more about xSLG here.

According to Statcast, last season, Longoria’s expected xSLG was .498, which placed him in the 78th percentile of the major leagues.

He was well above average in every category except for sprint speed. Outside of still providing a solid bat with pop and veteran leadership, he can still sling the leather.

Longoria is already the owner of three Gold Glove Awards. Last season, he showed he still has it as he posted 7 defensive runs saved and ranked in the 80th percentile in Outs Above Average (OAA).

A change of scenery could be just what the veteran needs. Finding himself back in the throes of a playoff hunt could make Longoria a great value, especially when two other teams (Rays already paying a portion) would be helping the Braves pay his salary.

With his age and declining perception, he wouldn’t cost the Braves a whole lot in the way of highly-valued prospects.