MLB insider's Braves-A's connection could lead to dream trade deadline scenario

Atlanta has some options if they wanted to hit the trade market to offset the loss of Ronald Acuna Jr. including another potential blockbuster trade with Oakland.
Oakland Athletics v Tampa Bay Rays
Oakland Athletics v Tampa Bay Rays / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
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Ever since the news broke that the Atlanta Braves were going to have to play the rest of the season without Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves fans have been wondering how the team would react to the news. Will they go wild at the trade deadline trying to fill the void left by Acuna Jr.'s injury or do they have enough pieces internally to hold down the fort in his absence?

So far, the Braves appear to be taking a wait and see approach. Unlike 2021 when they went out and basically traded for a whole new outfield at the deadline, Atlanta has a pretty good alignment out there in Jarred Kelenic, Michael Harris II, and Adam Duvall. Obviously things would be better if Acuna Jr. was healthy and producing like he should, but the scenario is different this time around. That said, the Braves are going to be diligent in monitoring things to see if they need to take action.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi seems to agree with that assessment. When explaining the Braves' plans at the moment, he pointed to those internal options and said that that was the course they were taking for now. However, he also rattled off some potential trade deadline targets for Atlanta in the event they do decide to make a move at the deadline including Oakland's Brent Rooker. If the Braves went that route, could it lead to an even bigger trade with one of the Braves most familiar trade partners?

Potential Braves trade for Brent Rooker could potentially open door to acquiring Mason Miller

If Atlanta did feel the need to add another outfielder at the deadline, they could do a hell of a lot worse than Rooker. He had a breakout 2023 season when he clubbed 30 homers and posted an .817 OPS and he has looked even better this season with a .280/.365/.554 slash line through 43 games so far. Adding to his appeal (and his cost as a result) is the fact that he is under team control through 2027.

However, this is Alex Anthopoulos we are talking about and not only does he know how to work well with Oakland's front office, but he isn't one to let an opportunity to beef up the bullpen pass him by. If the Braves were to try to swing a trade with the Athletics, could they try to bundle him together with star reliever Mason Miller while they were at it?

The short answer is that the Braves would probably love to do that, but it would be very hard to do so. Miller is coveted across the league as his stuff is flat out filthy and he is as dominant of a reliever that there is in the big leagues right now. However, he also has a TON of team control left and that means that in terms of cost, Miller is going to understandably command a king's ransom. Players like this just aren't usually available on the trade market, but this is the A's we are talking about. If any team would move a guy like Miller, it would be Oakland.

Putting together a package that could entice Oakland to part with both Rooker and Miller is where things get tricky. The Braves would almost certainly have to part with Jarred Kelenic as he has the talent and team control to interest the A's. Then, the Braves would also probably have to give up at least two of their top pitching prospects amongst AJ Smith-Shawver, Hurston Waldrep, Spencer Schwellenbach, JR Ritchie, and Owen Murphy to even have a starting point for a conversation and it would probably take a good bit more than that to get a deal done.

Could such a trade happen? Sure, but that is a huge deal to try and pull over and one that would gut the Braves' farm system. However, it would also net them a power-hitting outfielder and shutdown reliever that would be around for a long time. Weirder trades have happened and if anyone could do it, it would be Alex Anthopoulos. That said, it could be easier said than done given the price tag and the fact that most of the league would to be competing against the Braves for these guys.

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