These next potential trade candidates for the Atlanta Braves are possible, but not likely.
Brad Keller (Kansas City Royals)
This one may seem odd because Keller is by far having the worst year of his career with a 6.75 ERA, 1.860 WHIP and -0.6 WAR. But, his track record is well above average. Since his debut in 2018, he has never had an ERA+ below 114, and for his career it is 121. Other than this year, he does not give up many home runs at 0.7 per 9 innings pitched in his career.
His is under team control through 2023 and the Royals, although better this year than some thought, will not be winning their division any time soon. If Keller can improve a bit over his next few starts and bump up his value, the Royals may consider trading him. The reason he is not in a higher tier of possibilities is that the Royals may not want to sell low.
The Atlanta Braves on the other hand may be all over the idea of Keller if the Royals are willing to trade him for the trade package they are comfortable with. They may bet on the change of scenery idea and hope Keller can get to his pre 2021 form. If he can, he would be in instant boost to the Atlanta rotation.
JT Brubaker (Pittsburgh Pirates)
JT Brubaker is having himself a season with 44 strikeouts, 1.2 WAR, 126 ERA+, and 1.227 WHIP. He is still fresh in the league with exactly 1 year of service time. He does not have a huge track record to go off of obviously, but this trade could make sense.
The Pirates on not going to compete any time soon, so Brubaker could net them some serious prospect capital. The Braves would love to have a cheap team controlled starter through 2025. From a high level, this trade could make sense.
The Issue here is that we don’t know with 100% certainty when the Pirates want to start trying to compete again. We know they are not afraid to trade valuable arms. After all, they traded Gerrit Cole to the Astros.
If the Pirates do decide to move him, the Braves should definitely give him a look. However, with not much of a track record, and the Pirates most likely in no rush to trade him, the Braves may not want to pay the price that it would take to acquire him.
Brady Singer (Kansas City Royals)
Brady Singer is arguably the most valuable trade asset on the Royals. He is not an elite pitcher yet, but he shows flashes of being something special. With only 1 year of service time, he is under team control through 2025.
Singer pretty much fills the mold of Brubaker. The key difference here is that it appears the Royals are closer to being a competitive team than the Pirates are. The Royals may want to keep Singer and his 1.6 WAR, 115 ERA+, and 8.8 strikeouts per 9 innings around for when they do compete again.
Of course, most teams are willing to trade anyone of the trade package is right. Knowing the Braves’ front office though, they are not one’s to overpay. Still, a Singer to the Braves trade is not outside the realm of possibility.
Kenta Maeda (Minnesota Twins)
This is the wildcard target of the bunch. Maeda showed signs of brilliance in 2020, with an ERA+ of 157 and a league best .750 WHIP. This year he has not been the same with a -0.6 WAR and an ERA that is 24% below average.
Maeda is signed through 2023 at a very palatable 3.125 million dollars each year. If the Twins are looking to sell of some pieces, even if they are selling low on Maeda, and the Braves want to bet on the Maeda that has a career 3.83 ERA and career 6.2 WAR, this trade may be worth exploring.