3. Shohei Ohtani
Are the Braves the favorite to land superstar Shohei Ohtani? Plain and simple, no. Ohtani will cost a ton. It will most likely take multiple top prospects and a couple of proven MLB players to acquire Sho-time. Should that be something Alex Anthopolus should still consider? Maybe, maybe not. That won't stop us from dreaming.
Something to keep in mind with Shohei Ohtani is the fact that the Braves would essentially be getting two players in one. They would be getting the MLB leader in home runs AND a pitcher who is fourth in all of baseball in strikeouts.
As a pitcher, he is 7-5 with a 3.50 ERA and 139 strikeouts. As a DH, his average is .306, he has belted 35 home runs to go along with 76 RBIs. Oh, by the way, he has also stolen 11 bases. These are Babe Ruth numbers.
No, the Braves aren't the favorites to get Shohei Ohtani but it's not impossible. If there is a chance that Ohtani could sign with Atlanta long-term, AA could look for a package to offer the Los Angeles Angels.
Ohtani is a competitor and wants to win. What better place to do that in the coming years than Atlanta? With a team that has players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Sean Murphy, Michael Harris II, and Spencer Strider under contract for a while, Shohei Ohtani could be the icing on the cake to officially make them a super team.
What are the chances these trades happen?
Out of these three players, the Cody Bellinger trade would make the most sense for the Atlanta Braves. The Chicago Cubs would likely get what they can for Bellinger now and move on. Even if it is not to the Atlanta Braves, look for him to get moved at the trade deadline.
While Josh Hader would be a great fit for the roughed-up Braves bullpen, the asking price for a closing pitcher will probably be much higher than Braves' GM Alex Anthopolus is willing to pay.
All of the franchises that constantly dish out huge contracts (Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Padres) seem to constantly be brought up in the conversations concerning Shohei Ohtani. Money talks and it is anticipated that Ohtani will sign the largest contract in MLB history when he becomes a free agent in 2024.
If Ohtani cares about winning as much as he does the dollar signs, do not be surprised if the Braves are at least mentioned in rumors over the next few weeks.