Atlanta Braves: Which Trade Deadline Candidates Make Sense

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JUNE 15: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners looks on before the game against the Minnesota Twins at T-Mobile Park on June 15, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JUNE 15: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners looks on before the game against the Minnesota Twins at T-Mobile Park on June 15, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

We look at a recent article from Jim Bowden of The Athletic to see which of his potential trade targets make the most sense for the Atlanta Braves. 

Despite a disastrous start to the 2021 season, the Atlanta Braves still figure to be buyers leading up to the MLB trade deadline.

This team is built to win a World Series now, so you’d hope the front office would be willing to do what it takes to win.

And as I wrote the other day, I’m not sure they can afford to wait until the deadline.

Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) recently posted 75 trade candidates for the upcoming deadline.

I want to go through that list and point out the ones that make the most sense for the Braves based on their needs.

And those needs are — in order — back-end bullpen help, right-handed power bat in the outfield, bench depth, and a veteran starter.

Braves Bullpen Trade Options

Atlanta should be shopping on the top shelf here. Bowden has Richard Rodriguez of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Taylor Rogers of the Minnesota Twins at the top of the reliever list.

They should definitely make a run at both of them and land at least one. I honestly like both, but prefer Rodriguez since he’s right-handed and we have plenty of lefties.

Ian Kennedy (Rangers), Kendall Graveman (Mariners), and Daniel Bard (Rockies) are other names on this list that I think make a ton of sense for the Braves.

Atlanta really needs to get two of these.

Braves Outfield Trade Options

Joey Gallo and Mitch Haniger are his two top right fielders, and those are players we’ve tried to trade to the Braves many times. Obviously, they’d have to move to left.

I don’t love the swing-and-miss of Gallo — there is enough of that in this lineup — so I’d probably prefer Haniger here, but he also doesn’t walk a ton.

Either would work fine, though.

Starling Marte would be great. I was really wanting the Braves to trade for him when he was with the Pirates, but you know, Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t listen to me.

However, I don’t think the Marlins trade him unless they’re blown away with an offer.

I think David Peralta and Corey Dickerson would be fine as platoon players and lefty bats off the bench.

Braves Bench Trade Options

Right now the bench consists of Pablo Sandoval, Ehire Adrianza, Ender Inciarte, and Kevan Smith. At some point you have to figure they’ll go back to a five-man bench.

Either way, all of those bench players need to be replaced if this team is going to succeed in the postseason (assuming they even get there).

The aforementioned Peralta and Dickerson are options here.

I’ve always loved Freddy Galvis, but I’m not sure he’s much of an upgrade over Ehire Adrianza or Orlando Arcia.

It would be difficult trading for the NL hits leader and making him a bench player, but I like Adam Frazier and would love him in a utility role for Atlanta.

He has experience in the outfield, so you could find plenty of ways to get him in the lineup.

Another Pirate, Colin Moran, could make sense as a corner infield bat with power from the left side.

As far as a replacement for Smith as backup catcher, the top two guys on Bowden’s list make sense in Tucker Barnhart and Yan Gomes if the Reds and Nationals end up selling.

Braves Starting Pitching Trade Options

I still think Atlanta needs to go out and add some depth to the starting pitcher staff — that never hurts.

You figure if they stay healthy it would be Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Ian Anderson as your top three starters in the postseason.

They do have Huascar Ynoa and possibly Mike Soroka coming back at some point — but I wouldn’t be counting on either of them for much.

Guys like Kyle Gibson, Matthew Boyd, Jon Gray, Michael Pineda, and Danny Duffy make a ton of sense.

Going back over that list, if it were a perfect world and I ran the Braves, I’d trade for Rodriguez, Graveman, Haniger, Dickerson, Moran, Frazier, Barnhart, and Gray.

In reality, I’ll be happy if AA trades for even one of those guys. And most likely, he trades for someone not even on Bowman’s list.

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Who do you most want to see the Braves trade for leading up to the deadline? Let us know in the comments below.