3. Michael Conforto - San Francisco Giants
Michael Conforto was a player I'd wanted the Braves to explore in the off-season as he's a decent defender and had shown some success at the plate. He missed all of 2022 due to needing shoulder surgery so he got off to a very slow start in 2023.
However, he is getting back on track now as he's batting .240/.331/.415 through 81 games. He's hit 13 home runs and driven in 49 runs with 35 walks and 76 strikeouts. His contract is a little on the expensive side so that could complicate things. Conforto carries a .330 wOBA and his hard hit percentage of 42.7% isn't too shabby as well.
San Francisco is also just 2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West and they lead in the NL Wild Card standings by a half of a game. I doubt they'd be looking to give away an important aspect but they could look to shed some money as they have two lefties between him and Joc Pederson.
Conforto was hit by a pitch recently and had to come out of the game but the team didn't require X-rays so he is likely doing just fine. That would be something the Braves would need to consider if they went after the lefty.
4. Cody Bellinger - Chicago Cubs
A name I'm sure not many expected to be on this list but Bellinger would be a great addition for the Atlanta Braves outfield. He signed a $12 million dollar deal for 2023 with a mutual option for 2024 many expect he will turn down his side of that option to pursue a bigger deal. So, this would be a rental option for the Braves.
However, despite his early struggles to start the season, Bellinger is putting up a great season through 61 games played so far. He missed about a month of time from May 16th-June 15th due to a knee injury after landing awkwardly after an outstanding catch against the Astros.
His average on the season currently sits at .305/.360/.524 with a .884 OPS including 12 HR, 35 RBI, 21 BB, 46 K. His wRC+ is at 136 and sits at a 2.4 WAR currently.
The Cubs were one of the worst teams to start the season and to be honest, most of the NL Central has been subpar this season. However, they find themselves 8.5 games out of first in their division and the wild card lead. So, they have a shot at the playoffs but they'd need to go on a big run to make it happen.
Bellinger would be a fun addition to this Atlanta team and definitely enjoy hitting some homers into the Chop House seats in right field at Truist Park.
5. Lane Thomas - Washington Nationals
Thomas has been a great acquisition for the Nationals when they traded away Jon Lester to the Cardinals in 2021. He is having a career year currently and with the Nats being one of the worst in baseball, it would make sense to move him while his value is high.
He's been a really good hitter despite being on such a terrible team this year. He's batting .299/.348/.490 through 92 games played. He has a wRC+ of 125, a 2.1 WAR, a .373 BABIP, and a .360 wOBA.
Thomas has been absolutely incredible against LHP in 2023 as he is batting .374 with a 1.076 OPS versus .264 with a .729 OPS against RHP. He'd be a great option for the Braves and is a decent fielder as well.
The Nats outfielder is also eligible for arbitration for the next two seasons and that's an attractive option for any team. I'm sure that would likely make the asking price a little uncomfortable for teams but with the Nats out of contention, I'm sure a deal could be made so they can continue their rebuild.
Similarly to Grichuk and the Rockies, the Nats would be foolish to not try and move Thomas while his value is at its highest point it's ever been.
As you see, there are some attractive options out there for the Braves but the likelihood of them ending up in Atlanta depends on the health of the current outfield and if the right deal is there. AA is known for not pulling the trigger on a deal if he doesn't feel good about it. So, time will tell if these trades ever come to fruition at the end of the day.