There are precious few trade pieces available right now, but if the Atlanta Braves are going to get something going, they’ll at least have to try. Here’s one option.
It won’t go down in the books as another bullpen loss, but it might as well have been. An Albies homer later in the game had the potential to turn around a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory… except that those other 3 runs had already been applied for an eventual Mets victory.
But since most teams aren’t ready to consider selling yet, the Braves should be concentrating on clubs that… might be more willing.
That brings us to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
They have a couple of relievers who have been helping to keep their games in check this year… but ultimately that’s been to no avail for the 25-45 Pirates, who’ve also fallen in 8 of their last 10 contests.
The easier arm to acquire might be an old friend: Chasen Shreve, who currently sports a 1.80 ERA. He’s got a .093 WHIP, .189 average-against, and a K-to-Walk ratio of roughly 3:1 over 17 appearances and 15 innings since getting a late start to the season.
Shreve is now nearly 31 years old and would be a “rental” guy… and he’s cheap. Really cheap.
But he’s not really the pitcher I’d prefer. We’ve got enough lefties.
That’s Shreve’s stable-mate Richard Rodriguez. He’s already 31 years old, but his numbers are excellent:
- 1.91 ERA
- 8 saves
- 28 innings
- 0.741 WHIP
- 24 strikeouts, three walks (8:1 ratio)
- Only 1 homer allowed.
Despite his age, Rodriguez is still arbitration-eligible and still under team control for two more seasons after this one.
His career numbers also suggest that 2021 is no fluke: Starting back in 2018, he has ERAs under 2.75 every year excepting a hiccup in 2019… if you consider 3.72 a hiccup.
[ In 2019, he had 72 appearances with 4 times that he allowed 3 or 4 earned runs]
It’s the years of control that present the problem for the Braves — getting him pried away from Pittsburgh might be difficult.
Still… you probably need to ask, at least.
Even if Shreve is the only reliever actually available, that might not be a bad play by Atlanta. But Rodriguez would be the big prize.
Games like Monday’s 1st contest would only increase such urgencies… we see the Mets a lot over the next several days, and it would be nice to have a better weapon or two to fight with.