Trade Rumors: Three Late-Inning Relievers The Atlanta Braves Could Target

The Atlanta Braves are seeking another starting pitcher but with quality starters at a premium, the Braves may opt for a pitcher to give them innings and add late-inning relievers.

The Atlanta Braves might target late-inning reliever  Adbert Alzolay.
The Atlanta Braves might target late-inning reliever Adbert Alzolay. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Earlier today, I wrote that Atlanta Braves would like to add a top-of-the-line pitcher for the stretch run, but every contender wants to do that as well, and the market is thin. The alternative is to replicate the success of the 2011 bullpen by adding relievers with the ability to pitch in high-leverage situations.

The Mariners are listening to offers on Paul Sewald, and the Padres may wake up and trade Josh Hader, but the Braves have Raisel Iglesias and A.J. Minter. Here are some arms that would make it a six-inning game.

Adbert Alzolay – RHP Chicago Cubs

Adbert Alzolay
Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Alzolay is 28 and under arb-control through 2026. He relies on an 87mph slider (41%), 95mph four-seamer (26%), 95mph sinker (19%), and 91mph cutter (14%).

He’s pitched to a 2.33 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, striking out 52, and walking seven in 4o games (45 IP), recording six holds and 11 saves in 12 opportunities. Statcast’s Percentile Rankings are a sea of red, and his Pitch Modeling statistics on Fangraphs show why, 

The Cubs are hot right now but I think they’re sellers. Alzolay is currently their closer, controllable for three more years, and they’ll be competitive during that time, so I’d set the odds of a trade at 40%.

Gabe Speier – LHP Seattle Mariners

Gabe Speier
Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Last week I wrote about lefties the Braves might add to the pen, and Speier might have made the cut if the Mariners had indicated they were in a mood to trade relievers.

 Speier’s 28 and under team control through 2027. He relies on a 94mph sinker (47%) and 84mph slider (30%) and mixes in a 94mph four-seamer (22%) to keep batters honest.

Speier’s thrown 33 2/3 innings in 43 games, striking out 35 and walking five. His 4.01 ERA is misleading because in 27/2/3 of those innings in 34 appearances, he struck out 29, walked two, and didn’t allow a run.

His Statcast Percentile Rankings aren’t eye-popping, but he’s a 58% groundball, 25.6% fly ball pitcher with a 0.95 WHIP and 2.62 SIERA.

The Mariners will selectively sell and while Speier is under control for four more years, Jerry Dipoto is the president of baseball ops and hasn’t made a trade recently. I’d set the odds of the team trading Speier at 80%.