Braves Rumors: 3 potential trade deadline targets not named Shohei Ohtani

In a time that can only be personified as Christmastime for baseball fans everywhere, the end of July brings with it a collective of misty-eyed, eager-hearted fans, filled with expectations and hope for their loyal teams as the trade deadline looms closer and closer.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Angels
Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Angels / Michael Owens/GettyImages
3 of 4
Jordan Hicks
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Jordan Hicks

Sensing a theme? I thought so. After all, pitching wins pennants; just ask Tyler Matzek. 

Anyway, at first glance, a move for Jordan Hicks may prove unproductive, especially given his mixed-up stats from this season. As it stands, Hicks’ beginning of the season started on one of the sourest notes you can think of, seeing him post a 5.23 ERA through 10.1 innings pitched, with a WHIP of 2.03 and an 0-2 record. All signs pointed to a potential DFA, leaving St. Louis with more questions than answers about their back-end fireballer. 

As the season got older, we saw Hicks settle in more, maintaining a form of consistency that is sure to be catching the eye of executives across the league, finding life back in his fastball and command in his breaking stuff.

Following the abysmal start to the season, Hicks has maintained to keep his monthly ERA below 4, seeing his earned runs and his walk rate diminish. Through the short second half of the season, Hicks is sporting a 2.25 ERA, with a 1.75 WHIP, a K/9 rate of 6.8, and only one earned run. The control is slowly but surely improving and his velocity is back up to par. 

Hicks is getting comfortable on the mound and would be a golden addition to an esteemed bullpen such as Atlanta’s. Anthopoulos could gamble on the slightly unpredictable fireballer, potentially having him work as a setup man in crucial spots.