According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Atlanta Braves are looking for high-leverage relief help. Just yesterday, it was reported that Alex Anthopoulos was looking to add another starting pitcher and had even contacted NL East rivals the New York Mets to check in on Justin Verlander.
This leaves us with a couple of questions. Is AA shopping for bullpen help in addition to another starter? What teams have what the Braves are looking for and are willing to make a deal?
Anything can happen at the trade deadline, especially with Alex Anthopoulos involved, but it does seem like options are slim at this point. There are two directions that AA could go in order to get the high-leverage relief help he is looking for.
1. Be Okay With A Rental
If the Braves go all-in on bullpen help to acquire a superstar to put at the back end of their bullpen, it will likely be the only aspect of the team that changes before tomorrow.
The downside for trying to make a deal for a player of this caliber is the return Atlanta would have to give up. In this specific scenario, it would also be extremely difficult for the Braves to retain Hader after the 2023 season.
Outside of the 2021 trade deadline, the Braves are not typically known for trading for "rental" pieces. This Braves team however is built to afford a rental piece or two if that is the direction AA wants to go.
With so many young players under contract for the next several seasons, the Braves core will still be together. So don't be completely surprised if Anthopoulos is in fact more aggressive this season to put this team in an even better position to win a World Series.
Paul Sewald was another reliever that could have fit the Braves need but he was recently dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2. Package Starter/Bullpen Help Together
If the Braves are still interested in adding starting pitching and bullpen help before the deadline, expect them to make a deal with the Detroit Tigers. It has been rumored that both starters Michael Lorenzen and Eduardo Rodriguez WILL be traded.