One of baseball’s “most aggressive teams” in the search for better bullpen relief is the Atlanta Braves.
The pursuit is on for bullpen bolstering, according to new insider information obtained by FanSided’s Robert Murray in a wide-ranging rumors piece published this morning. One of two clubs identified as being most active in this race is our Atlanta Braves.
It wouldn’t be a surprise that Atlanta — along with the Blue Jays — is strongly pursuing bullpen help, but the heartening news for Braves fans is that it is happening to this degree.
Of course, the proof is in the pudding, and not just the promise that the dessert will be made, so while we’re awaiting some finality to the process, we’ll have to be teased by some of the other tidbits that Murray shared:
Teams unlikely to sell: the Cubs and Nationals now head this list. That rules out several bullpen possibilities such as Craig Kimbrel, Brad Hand, and Daniel Hudson that some might have expected to be available.
Any/all of these might have been longshots anyway, but the performance of their clubs in recent weeks has changed everything that might have been planned by their respective GMs.
Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez, which we’ve discussed in these pages recently, is “already drawing trade interest”. Based on the above information, we can infer that the Braves are in the mix for him, but there’s nothing more specific at this time.
Atlanta Braves already have an established relationship with Anaheim
Let’s expand just a bit on the subject of Iglesias. He’s a righty on an expiring (though pricey — $8 million) contract that the Angels obtained from Cincinnati during the off-season.
He should be readily available and certainly former Braves Assistant GM (now Angels GM) Perry Minasian knows who he’d like to get from Atlanta, but the bigger question might be whether the Braves really want Iglesias.
He was excellent at times in Cincy, and this season he’s been both hot and cold. 12 times, he’s faced the minimum number of batters involved. 10 times, he’s allowed 1 or more runs (2+ on six occasions).
He’s already appeared in 29 games. On the positive side, he’s allowed no runs on 19 appearances… this includes a 5 strikeout performance in which no one reached base over 2 innings on June 23rd against the Giants.
In fact, there have been 9 times in which Iglesias has been called upon for outings that lasted more than a single inning. So if durability is a plus… Iglesias might be a possibility depending on what quality of prospect in return might be worth a buy-down on his remaining contract dollars.
In any case, it does appear that the Braves are working on a solution for the bullpen… the trick is how long they (and fans) will have to wait before someone agrees to get this trade season underway.