There are a lot more dynamics to team-building than a simple “buy” or “sell”. The Atlanta Braves will have to wrestle with this over the next weeks and months.
Even before Ronald Acuna’s injury, it was going to be difficult for the Atlanta Braves to put together a viable and effective shopping list for the coming trade deadline.
Now… reality may be setting in. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the team has to go down a single path: 2022 will bring a new season and the preparation for that should already be underway.
Officially — or at least publicly — the Braves are in a “wait and see” mode as Ken Rosenthal reports.
That sentiment is based around what we’ve been saying: that the schedule coming out of the All-Star break is truly brutal… the Rays, Padres, Cardinals, Brewers, and Mets. All of that before the July 30 deadline.
Despite all of the crushing injuries, it’s hard to wave that white flag since the Mets are still barely ahead of the field. One slip-up from them and the entire playoff race becomes a rugby scrum among four different teams.
But there are things that the Braves need to do… here’s why:
Acuna and the Braves Outfield
There’s two key aspects to this point… here’s the first:
Ronald Acuna will almost certainly be unavailable to the team until something around 10-11 months (May/June) from now.
Oh, I know: we’ve heard 9-10 months. That’s a good start, but it doesn’t include getting in game-shape.
We saw multiple Instagram videos of Acuna’s intense workouts from last Winter as he got ready for this season. He won’t be able to do any of that this coming Winter.
Once he’s cleared to resume baseball activities, he will then be able to start working out in earnest. Yes: he’s committed to do so “1000%”, but that can’t even begin until… maybe March or April? And he certainly can’t do the kind of work done during the prior off-season.
So… his production needs to be replaced… somehow. Let’s see if we can find somebody to do that.