Braves Trade Deadline: Let’s get a Starting Pitcher

Looking through Braves colored glasses, the team seemingly had no holes coming into the 2020 season with the only question mark being the battle for 3rd base which looked really promising in both ST 1.0 and 2.0. However, a lot has change, and I expect an active Braves Trade Deadline, because…

And yet, this team’s resilience is more present than it’s ever been and fresh off a double header sweep that featured MLB’s best pitcher and his wingman. It doesn’t seem possible that the Braves are 18-12 with the hardest part of the schedule behind them, yet they are…and there’s a trade deadline looming ahead that could be a serious buyer’s market. Is this the year? It very well could be.

Searching for the Sellers

With 16 teams making the playoffs in 2020, the buyers will outweigh the sellers this year. However, lack of incoming $ might make it easier for buyers to convince sellers to get rid of their more expensive players and replace them with cost-controlled players. I did some digging earlier on Fangraphs and came up with 9 teams that have a 15% chance or less of making the 2020 playoffs. To make a solid 10, I’m going to add a team of my own to the bottom.

I’m making an assumption here and that is that the Braves might be interested in 3 types of players:

  1. Starting Pitcher
  2. Third Baseman
  3. LH Bench/DH Bat

I’ll also make an assumption that the Braves aren’t going to be buying low and they’ll be looking for players that are performing, or at least have positive underlying stats. Let’s get digging.

Red Sox

Orioles

Tigers

  • Starting Pitcher- Daniel Norris
  • Third Baseman- N/A
  • LH Bench/DH Bat– N/A

Royals

  • Starting Pitcher- Danny Duffy
  • Third Baseman- N/A
  • LH Bench/DH Bat– N/A

Angels

Rangers

Mariners

Pirates

  • Starting Pitcher- N/A
  • Third Baseman- Colin Moran
  • LH Bench/DH Bat-N/A

Diamondbacks

  • Starting Pitcher- Robbie Ray
  • Third Baseman- N/A
  • LH Bench/DH Bat-N/A

Reds

Best Matchups with Teams

Mariners- We’ve talked all along about this matchup and Kyle Seager fills a lot of needs as he can check off 2 boxes (3B and LH DH bat). If Braves can get him and still let Austin Riley start over there 2-3 times/week, that’s a win for the club. I also think that the Mariners would be willing to take back Ender Inciarte to balance the $ if the Braves could throw in another pitcher, which they definitely should do at this moment.

Reds- Trevor Bauer makes a lot of sense if the Braves are looking for a 1 year rental, but my eyes are set on Luis Castillo, who’s under control through 2023. The Reds have liked Braves pitching in the past and maybe they’d like 2-3 projects. Jesse Winker also makes sense as a LH bench bat that could DH and play OF (Adam Duvall‘s counterpart).

Red Sox- While I don’t think the Red Sox would sell low on Rafael Devers, both Martin Perez and Mitch Moreland make sense for the Braves in 2020. Perez isn’t that high profile starter the Braves should be searching for, but he can keep the team in the game and does have a reasonable option for 2021. Moreland also comes with an option for 2021 and could be valuable if the DH is here to stay. I won’t deny that if the Braves get Perez, I hope there’s something up their sleeve to grab another starter.

Rangers- It’s been discussed all over the internet, but the Rangers could be the Braves one stop shop should they want to be. Choo could slot in as the DH against RHP, Lance Lynn could slot in behind Max Fried, and even Mike Minor could be used in the back end of the rotation. What’s more likely is the Braves grab Lynn by himself and send over a few young pitchers.

I think one thing is almost a definite, the Braves will be active at the trade deadline. I also think that teams aren’t going to want to take on money for 2020, so balancing out contracts and adding players to pay for the difference in value will likely happen. Luckily, the Braves have plenty of pitchers they can package in trades.

Thanks for reading. If you’re looking for who might be playing for other teams soon, look no further than our prospects list, which can be found here.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

57 thoughts on “Braves Trade Deadline: Let’s get a Starting Pitcher”

  1. Why hang on to Sean Newcomb because he could go to another team and his pitching might get better? I believe Snitker and Newcomb don’t see eye to eye and some team could benefit on his pitching.

  2. I’m a sentimental old fool, but whenever I see a Sonny Gray coming in and a Newcomb or Wilson or Wright going out, all I see is Doyle Alexander. And I don’t care how many people point out that that trade worked out for Detroit in the short run.

    That said, Newcomb may want to go back to Massachusetts, and I can always dream about Devers. What else would the Red Sox need? Smitty, does your barber have any insights?

  3. Part of the problem with getting a deal done this year is it’s really hard to feel like you’re selling high on any of your guys, given that scouts have been excluded from the alternative sites and they’ve played hardly any games. So it’ll be hard for any seller to feel like they’ve gotten fair value, and hard for any buyer to feel willing to part with any truly valuable chips.

  4. A few others you might have missed..

    ORIOLES
    * 3B – Alberto

    TIGERS
    * SP – Turnbull
    * LH /DH– Goodrum

    ROYALS
    * SP – Keller, Junis
    * 3B – Dozier, Franco
    * LH/DH – Lopez, O’Hearn

    ANGELS
    * 3B – Fletcher
    * LH /DH- Goodwin

    PIRATES
    * SP – Kuhl, Williams, Brault
    * LH/DH – Frazier

    DIAMONDBACKS
    * 3B- Escobar, Ahmed,
    * LH/DH- Calhoun, Peralta

    REDS
    * SP Mahle
    * 3B- Moustakas
    * LH/DH- Castellanos, Galvis

  5. Do we really need a 3rd baseman? We were happy with these guys in Spring Training, and now, 83 and 90 AB later we’re not. But it’s an unprecedented season, in that there’s not a whole lot of time left to wait on someone to get going either. Absent a Saurez or that level, I say when Albies comes back we can bat Camrago or Riley 9th and hope they get hot in October.

    Starting pitching, on the other hand, we have literally 2 starting pitchers on the active roster, and 1 of them has pitched only 1 major league game. That is a no-brainer.

  6. Should not overlook the Royal’s Witt Merrifield to play 3B or Keller as a starter. A deal with Kansas City makes the most sense to me because they could use a young catcher (Contreras). So Some package of Duffy, Keller and Merrifield for Contreras, Riley or Shewmake, Wilson, and Toussaint. Send money one way or the other to satisfy both parties.

  7. I don’t know that we NEED a 3rd baseman, but I think it’s something the Braves would consider, especially if it’s someone like Seager and Riley could still get some starts. However, I’d be fine with the Braves continuing with Riley.

  8. @6 – Who was happy with 3B in spring training? I feel like a big taking point all offseason was the loss of Donaldson and the crappy performances in 2019 by Carmago and Riley (excepting his first month).

    Riley looks like he’s made some adjustments of late, but you have to upgrade the roster somewhere. Starting with your least productive position is the smart move.

  9. The official line from Braves State Media in spring training 2020 was that both Camargo and Riley looked great and they just couldn’t pick between them. Then we had another four months of offseason.

  10. The issue with trading for a third baseman now is that we’d be giving up on Riley (or at least hedging our bets) at the exact moment where it seems like he’s coming around. He was really good in the Philadelphia series and faced really good pitching against the Yankees, so I wouldn’t want to take away half his starts if he’s found something. I guess I’m fine trading for a third baseman in a vacuum, but Riley needs to start every day unless it becomes clear that his apparent turnaround is another mirage. That can be at third, DH or first (for the occasional Freddie day off/DH appearance) but I would absolutely not cut him to 2-3 starts a week right now.

    On a different note, the Mets front office Benny Hill routine last night…man, that’s beyond even Mets-are-gonna-Mets territory. The level of idiocy all the way around on that is just staggering. And what’s worse, it overshadowed the statement the players were trying to make.

  11. I know there are teams that chose to not play yesterday and some have speculated that the Braves might do that today, but it’s Jackie Robinson day today and I expect that all of MLB will be suiting up and playing today.

  12. I watched the Dom Smith clip and it’s powerful. Unfortunately, as long as the Wilpons own the Mets, the clown show in the executive suite will always overshadow whatever anyone else in the organization ever does.

    As a Braves fan, I’m grateful that they continue to kneecap their own effectiveness. But as a baseball fan, I’m outraged that they can’t pull their heads out of their behinds for one second to stand behind one of their players speaking from the bottom of a broken heart.

  13. Alex Cobb or Marco Gonzales

    The weakest link in the offense is not 3B but CF (i.e. Ender). But the CF is solvable. Ender and Pache should already be platooning there. They provide about the same expected offense only one is going up and the other is declining. The answer in the infield is to get Ozzie back.

    The only real place to upgrade from outside for this year is SP. I think it’s be nice to get someone with another year of control so we wouldn’t have to try another Hamels/Kuechel contract next year.

    I am not at all sure why anyone would want to keep throwing Erlin/Tomlin out there rather than giving Davidson/Weigel/Ynoa/Wilson/etc… more opportunities to step up. Seems like a rotation of Fried/Anderson/Cobb/prospect would get us through this year and next year it becomes a five man rotation when adding Soroka back.

  14. Among 2 NYC-area fanbases, there are a couple of sayings that never go away:

    Same ol’ Jets…
    &
    Only the Mets…

    And thanks, Ryan, for putting much of our situation in perspective… if nothing else, we gotta get a starting pitcher & maybe 2. I’m dreaming of a difference-maker & perhaps a tick-above-average inning eater-type.

    Yes, it’s kinda amazing that this team is 18-12 & that most of the division has pretty much faceplanted so far. FWIW, I think the Mets do end up with the 7th or 8th spot.

  15. Can someone confirm we are playing tonight? Or will we not know till the first pitch is thrown?

    and yes…pitching only, unless a leaf falls from a tree onto us.

  16. I know that AB turned out okay, but I need Erlin not to throw that second-pitch curveball to Bryce Harper. It had /some/ movement, but it was literally middle-middle and I don’t wanna think about what happens if Bryce swings.

  17. Erlin is fine as a #5. Problem is, he is our 2 or 3.

    Fried is the only guy we have I feel comfortable with starting a playoff game.

  18. Honestly, Erlin, the way he’s looked so far, is /better/ than fine for a #5. He’s /at least/ good for a #5. that doesn’t actually change the fact that, as you say, he’s playing the role of a #2 or #3, depending on which Touki shows up.

  19. Damn it, Chip; I’m trying to work here and you made me break my train of thought for a pop fly to right.

  20. Terrible night for swanson and neck in particular.

    It seems we may lose for the first time with the wacky rules ( DH or extras).

  21. Hmmm maybe Welke behind the plate had the worst night.
    Missed strike 3 on Hoskins, lucky Riley made a good play.

  22. There are no words to describe my hatred of Chip Caray, other than “Line drive, base hit, caught out there!”

    And that is a horrific replay ruling, but with a pitcher who can’t find the strike zone with a compass and a map and the leading run on third, you don’t send Ender.

  23. We’re gonna be caught with a “not enough evidence” collar all because the lazy umpire couldn’t be bothered to get in the right position.

    As predicted.

    Man, this entire umpiring crew just sucks!

  24. The phillies commentators are dumbfounded that it wasnt changed to safe.
    NY ump sucks, and has always sucked since replay started.

  25. Terrible call by the umps. Replay is awful. Also, I feel so bad for Phillies fans with these constant horn blasts and the incessant whistle chirps. Sonic torture.

    Also, I do not feel good about Melancon starting with a runner on second. He just allows too much hard contact.

  26. You could just see it coming. There’s no way to tell for sure that the tip or laces of his glove didn’t nick Ender’s front leg. Pretty sure it didn’t, but they’ve never been calling “pretty sure” on those type of plays.

    @49, Stay out of a double play and a base hit would score 2. Don’t know if I’d have done it, but it’s not completely mindless.

  27. Sounds like I’m alone, but I didn’t see an angle that made me sure he didn’t tag the front leg.

    edit: not alone

  28. We can also thank the Phillies home broadcast for having really crappy camera angles on that, in addition to the umpire putting himself in the worst possible spot to actually see the freaking play.

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