The Atlanta Braves are in a tough spot as the trade deadline draws near
As Braves fans mourned the loss of Ronald Acuña Jr. for the year, the odds of the Atlanta Braves making the playoffs dropped dramatically. In fact, Fangraphs now has the Atlanta Braves odds of making the playoffs at a very bad 7.5%.
The Atlanta Braves have a plethora of holes to fill. All 3 current starting outfielders were not in the plans to be starters when the season began. If we look at the opening day lineup, the Atlanta Braves are missing their number 1, 4, and 5 hitters in Acuña, Marcell Ozuna, and Travis d’Arnaud respectively.
The rotation has been very impressive as of late, but it is missing key pieces in Mike Soroka, Huascar Ynoa, Tucker Davidson, possibly Ian Anderson just to name a few. Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson have also seemed to not have been able to take the step up that was expected.
This is not meant to be all doom and gloom. After all, the Atlanta Braves have a strong core that is set to compete for years to come. The front office could decide to go for a playoff push since there will be reinforcements coming with d’Arnuad and Ynoa scheduled to come back in late August. From a business standpoint, revenue is higher for playoff teams as well. With that in mind, there is a chance that since playoffs are still theoretically possible, they may go for it.
However, with the excessive amount of injuries this season, and the team having never made it over .500 once this season, it may sway the front office to trade off their one-year contracts that can’t help them beyond this season. It would make sense to at least get something than nothing at all.
Charlie Morton is the likeliest Atlanta Braves contract to be traded
Morton is the clear-cut most valuable one-year contract the Atlanta Braves currently have. In 18 games his numbers are impressive:
· ERA+ of 122 (22% better than league average),
· ERA of 3.64,
· 14 strikeouts
· WHIP of 1.101.
What is even better is that in his last 7 games:
· ERA of 2.79
· batting average against of .166.
According to Baseball Savant, it shows him being due to regress slightly:
· expected ERA (xERA) on the season of 3.85
· expected batting average against of .228
However, even those numbers would still be extremely valuable to a team that is pushing for a playoff spot. If the Atlanta Braves decide to trade one-year contracts, teams would be lining up for Morton’s services.
Who is most likely to trade for Morton, should he become available?
It is important to note that Charlie Morton does not have a no trade clause, nor is due any incentives upon a trade. These factors make Morton’s contract even more attractive. First, because there will be no roadblocks to get a trade done once a trade is agreed upon. Second, there is not much financial risk since they will only be responsible for a few months of his pay.
It should also be noted that Morton is the type of guy that any team could use. The ideology of “They already have 5 starters, where would he pitch” is flawed. Even if there was a team that had 5 starters better than Morton, injuries still happen. It is safe to say, surely Atlanta Braves fans can attest to this.