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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Jason Foley –RHP Detroit Tigers

Foley is 27 and under team control through 2027. He features a 97mph sinker (72%), an 88MPH slider (15%), and what Statcast calls a 91mph changeup, mostly against lefties.

That isn’t a typo, Statcast calls it a changeup because of the spin, but it has the shape – but not the depth – of a screwball or a lefty’s slider. About 15 seconds into the video, Foley's 91mph changeup is shown in slow motion. Whatever you call the pitch, its 32% WHIFF rate is impressive.

If you fondly remember a time when the bullpen offered a righty who could coax groundballs for batters on either side of the plate, Foley is your guy.

He’s pitched to a 2.03 ERA, 2.27 FIP, 1.10 WHIP, striking out 39 and walking 10 in 44 appearances over 44 1/3 IP. He allowed more than one only once, throwing 38 1/3 of shoutout innings in 36 of his 44 games.

His Statcast Percentile Rankings have a lot of red in the right places, but at first glance, his WHIFF% and Hard-hit % are below average, but his 4.8% barrel rate and 2.1-degree average launch angle mean most of those hard-hit balls are part of his 58.6% groundball rate. 

The Tigers are rebuilding, and controllable arms are important, but Foley isn’t their closer. However, because he’s effective against lefties, he has more value than most RHRPs. I put the odds of the Tigers trading Foley at 70%.

That’s a Wrap

If I had my way, I’d add Alzolay and Tanner Scott from last week’s list to Minter and Iglesias. With potential four closers in the pen, the game’s over after six.

That’s an unrealistic ask and any of the relievers from this post and the July 26th post make the pen stronger and deeper.