4 players that the Braves need to trade this offseason to improve their roster

The Atlanta Braves should be in a good spot heading into the 2024 season. However, they could really use a couple trades to reinforce their roster.

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The Atlanta Braves are in a really strong position for the 2023 season. Despite dropping a series to the Cubs recently, they still have a very healthy 10.5 game lead in the National League East and the best record in all of baseball. Things could certainly change, but it looks like the Braves all but have another playoff appearance locked up this season.

However, this is still a Braves' roster that has some questions long-term particularly on the pitching side. Their rotation is already a bit questionable right now especially with Kyle Wright still out with issues with his shoulder, but the picture for 2024 and beyond is even cloudier. Charlie Morton has a $20 million club option for 2024, but with his recent struggles and him getting older, the Braves picking up that option is not a sure thing.

Wright's injury, Bryce Elder's second half struggles, and the open question of the Braves' fifth spot in the rotation all add their own uncertainty for next season's rotation. Add in potential departures from the Braves' bullpen after the season and Atlanta has some work to do and some hard choices to make.

Here are 4 players that the Braves need to trade this offseason to improve their roster

Fortunately, the Braves should have some payroll flexibility to address some of their needs in free agency. However, they also have some players that they can move in trades which should increase the options available to them this offseason. All of the players on this list have some amount of trade value while also being expendable to the Braves. They will have to give up some talent to add quality depth, but they are fortunate enough to have some trade chips that won't cripple the organization long-term if they move them.

Let's take a look at four trade chips the Braves need to move to improve their roster after the 2023 season.

Jared Shuster

When the Braves selected Shuster in the first round of the 2020 draft, the hope was that the gains he had showed with his fastball would hold so that his plus changeup would play up as a pro. Shuster would make it through the minor leagues very quickly and make his major league debut this season with the Braves where he has made nine total starts over a few different stints in the big leagues.

It doesn't seem to make much sense trade a young, controllable pitcher with big league experience given the Braves' perceived offseason needs, but Shuster doesn't seem to be a fit with the Braves. His fastball has some real questions and while his changeup has been as good as advertised, he has failed to miss bats this season and his walk rate has jumped up. Another team that has the time to develop Shuster more that also believes that his changeup could be a difference maker would be a nice home for him. The Braves shouldn't give Shuster away, but he absolutely should be on the table in trade talks after the season.

Braden Shewmake

Braden Shewmake has been such a weird prospect for the Braves. Coming out of the 2019 draft, most thought that he would hit but there were real questions about his future defensive home as well as whether or not he would find the power he had early in his college career again. Fortunately for the Braves, the defensive questions were answered pretty quickly as Shewmake has settled in as an excellent defender at shortstop in the minor leagues.

The offensive questions, however, are a different matter. Not only has Shewmake's power been inconsistent at best in the minor leagues, his hit tool has surprisingly regressed and the highest OPS he has posted in the minor leagues since his pro debut season is .715 which is decidedly not great. It does seem pretty clear that Shewmake doesn't have much of a future with the Braves, so moving him to a team that needs a capable defender at short with a bit of upside could allow the Braves to upgrade elsewhere on the roster.

Spencer Schwellenbach

The Braves were thrilled when Spencer Schwellenbach fell to them in the second round ($) of the 2021 draft. An infielder and reliever in college, the Braves wanted to convert Schwellenbach to a starter as a pro. That transition was slowed, however, when Schwellenbach had to have Tommy John surgery shortly after being drafted.

Schwellenbach returned to the field in 2023 and after knocking off some of the rust, he dominated in low-A Augusta in the first half with a 2.63 ERA before finally getting promoted to Rome. He is currently on the IL, but it doesn't sound like the injury is serious and he should be back in action fairly quickly. Given how deliberate the Braves have been with Spencer, he does not seem to be on the fast track to the big leagues. However, he has enough upside to be enticing for a team looking for a bit of a project and could be a key piece in a trade for the Braves next offseason.

Vaughn Grissom

Vaughn Grissom is a pretty well-known commodity for Braves fans at this point. His defensive questions in the big leagues are real and he hasn't shown the consistent ability to impact the ball. However, he doesn't really have much to prove beyond the power in the minor leagues as Grissom is slashing .316/396/.461 in 82 games in Triple-A this season.

With Orlando Arcia pretty firmly entrenched at shortstop and Ozzie Albies definitely isn't going anywhere, Grissom just doesn't have a spot with the Braves in the short or long term. This is not a bad problem to have as now the Braves have an infielder who can hit to use as a trade chip. If you see the Braves make a trade for a starting pitcher of note this coming offseason, do not be surprised if Grissom is in the trade package the Braves send.

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