The Atlanta Braves lost their left fielder and number three hitter last weekend. If the Braves want to win the division now, they have to find a replacement.
Even with Austin Riley finding his Chipper Jones-like swing, the lineup needs another bat with some thump. Internal options aren’t promising; Abraham Almonte isn’t the answer, and Drew Waters is still not ready for prime time, which means Alex Anthopoulos must try to find a deal, and it won’t be easy.
The minute the Ozuna news broke, every team with outfielders to trade raised their price. Any bat worth the name will require a top-level prospect; even lower-level players will cost more than they might have two weeks ago.
With that in mind, here’s a look at players I’ve seen mentioned if they’re available and what they might cost.
After his breakout 2018 season, the idea of the Atlanta Braves acquiring Mitch Haniger became a hot topic here, and for good reason. Haniger batted .285/.366/.493/.859, hit 26 homers and posted 137 wRC+, a .367 wOBA, and 4.5 fWAR.
A series of injuries created a forgettable 2019 season for Haniger, and he didn’t play in 2020, but he’s back to his 2018 self so far this year.
He’s currently batting .261/.314/.542/.856, with 14 homers, 138 wRC+ and a .362 wOBA. While DRS says he’s having a down year defensively, he’s been a consistently good defender in the past, recording 7.7 UZR and 24 DRS in right field between 2017 and 2019
The right-handed-hitting 30-year old outfielder (turns 31 in December) earns just $3M this year and is under team control through 2022. The Mariners are currently 28-27, 2.5 games back in the AL West, and GM Jerry Dipoto must be going a bit crazy, as he hasn’t made a (real) trade since December.
The Mariners seem to have a glut of outfielders, and Haniger is the old man of the bunch, but he’s also the only one hitting well right now. Prying him away from a Mariners team that looks like challenging next year will require a good pitcher – Kyle Muller – and probably Waters.