It’s officially July and that means it’s 1 month until the trade deadline. As of today, the Braves are the best team in the bigs, just broke the record for most HRs in MLB history for a month, and have very little holes on a top-notch roster. In today’s Braves Trade Deadline Prediction piece, we will look at each aspect of the team to determine what an elite team might need to put them over the top.
Braves Trade Deadline Prediction: Starting Pitching
As of right now, the Braves have a rotation of Charlie Morton, Spencer Strider, Bryce Elder, and then a carousel of pitchers that fill out the 4th and 5th spots that include Michael Soroka, AJ Smith-Shawver, Jared Shuster, and Dylan Dodd. Both Max Fried and Kyle Wright are expected to be back sometime after the All-Star break and that would be a welcomed turn of events. Still, starting pitching could very well be a target, especially if the team isn’t 100% convinced Fried and Wright can finish the year.
With 1 being small need and 5 being big need, I’ll give starting pitching a 3.
Braves Trade Deadline Prediction: Relief Pitching
The Braves are 5th in MLB in Bullpen ERA and 2nd in the NL. It’s a deep group with no real weaknesses, but also, no real shutdown bullpen ace (although I’m not sure they need one). Still, the lack of a pitcher that can strikeout the side, especially for a playoff run, can catapult a team through the season and beyond.
I’ll give relief pitching a 4
Braves Infield Needs
The Braves have a core infield that is strong defensively and can absolutely destroy baseballs. There’s a strong 4, but there’s no strong backup. Sure, Vaughn Grissom, Braden Shewmake, or even Joe Dunand could get a call up, that’s likely worst case scenario. While there’s no need for a regular, there’s definitely a need for a good backup
I’ll give Infield a 4.
Braves Outfield Needs
With Michael Harris II rounding into form and Eddie Rosario learning to take walks, this outfield has really catapulted this team into the top-tier. I mean, as if Ronald Acuna Jr. by himself isn’t enough.
I’ll give outfield a 1.
Braves Catching Needs
Sean Murphy and Travis D’Arnaud, 2 regular starting catchers, as a tandem is a coach’s dream.
I’ll give catching a 1.
Trade Deadline Prediction Targets
As of now, I’m leaning toward letting the SP be. If one of Max Fried or Kyle Wright come back and can finish the season and pitch in the playoffs, this team can get by, so that leaves relief pitching and infield.
We know that the Braves are sitting at a Texas Hold’em table with 29 other teams and have the lowest chip stack of the lot, so I don’t expect any major splashes. However, there’s enough there to grab a good reliever and a backup infielder, and here’s my very random prediction of who those 2 will be.
Braves will acquire Elvis Andrus and Brad Hand at the Trade Deadline
Andrus fits the Braves mold. He’s been a beloved part of every team he’s ever played, still has speed, and can play above average defense all around the infield
Hand is putting up some elite numbers and he’s playing in….Colorado? It looks like the 33 y/o has found his magic once again and while his numbers against RHP are poor, his numbers on the road is the tale that tells the true story. Pair him with A.J. Minter, and you’ve got 2 guys capable of striking out the side.
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