The Atlanta Braves while up 6 ½ games on the Philadelphia Phillies could stand to make a few improvements. With Mike Foltynewicz optioned to AAA over the weekend and a lack of a solid closer, there is definitely the need for a few moves to be made. I will dive in to five potential trades that the Braves might look to make before or at the trade deadline.
Ender Inciarte, Kolby Allard, and Cristian Pache to the San Francisco Giants for P Madison Bumgarner and RP Will Smith.
This trade has been floated out by many outlets and seems to be the most plausible as the San Francisco Giants are rebuilding and have let teams know they are ready to sell. Madison Bumgarner will be a free agent after the season so any trade for him would be a rental and it’s obvious that he’s not the same pitcher he was two or three years ago. The one thing I really like about him though is that he has Post Season big game pitching experience which is something the Braves lack outside of Dallas Keuchel. Will Smith has done an excellent job as the Giants closer this year as he has not blown a save in 20 chances this year and has only been scored on once in his last 14 appearances. We all know the Braves could use a lock down closer to help push back other relievers into more set roles so this trade could benefit all around. The other reason I like this deal is because I don’t think it would devastate our deep farm system.
Ender Inciarte, Johan Camargo, and Kolby Allard to San Diego Padres for RP Kirby Yates
The San Diego Padres have started to let teams know that Kirby Yates is available in trades but that it won’t be cheap as Yates is relatively cheap and has another year and a half of team control. Yates currently has 26 saves with a 1.36 ERA. The Padres would love to add Ender Inciarte to their outfield as he has better range than Wil Myers in CF and Camargo could man second base until Luis Urias is fully ready. The problem with this deal is I don’t think San Diego is fully ready to sell while having a chance at the 2nd Wild Card.
Johan Camargo and Cristian Pache to Detroit Tigers for RP Shane Greene
The Detroit Tigers are 22 games out of 1st place and Shane Greene has been one of the few bright spots to come out of the 2019 season for them. Greene has 21 saves and with just one blown save. His ERA is a miniscule 0.93 which the Braves would love to have anchoring the ninth inning. He also comes with another year of team control. The problem in this deal though is that the Tigers appear to be loaded with the same talent that the Braves want to unload at the trade deadline. They are a young pitching rich organization and aren’t going to be impressed with a name like Kolby Allard. They would love to add Johan Camargo who would play everyday but I think it would take either Cristian Pache or even Drew Waters to make them interested in any deal with the Braves.
Kolby Allard, Johan Camargo, Ender Inciarte, to Texas Rangers for SP Mike Minor and RP Shawn Kelley.
Mike Minor has had a career rebirth in 2019 with Texas going 7-4 with a 2.52 ERA to start the year which has increased chatter of him being shopped at the deadline if Texas is out of the Wild Card race. Minor obviously has the familiarity of pitching in Atlanta having been with the Braves from 2010-2014 before arm issue derailed his career for a few years. Minor comes with another year of team control as well. Shawn Kelley has 10 saves for the Rangers with a 2.89 ERA in a bullpen that doesn’t really have a true closer. I just don’t see this being a deal that Alex Anthopolous would feel it making the Braves any better. Minor while having a great season will always come with the risk of injury as with other Tommy John surgeries. Shawn Kelley isn’t the shutdown closer the Braves need to get to the next step as he provides essentially the same numbers that current closer Luke Jackson has for the Braves.
Max Fried, Johan Camargo, Ender Inciarte, Touki Toussaint, and Crristian Pache to the New York Mets for SP Jacob Degrom and RP Edwin Diaz.
If you are gonna mortgage good young talent at the deadline I want the homerun of all deals. This essentially solves the two biggest needs of the Braves in one solid deal. A number one in Degrom and a solid closer in Edwin Diaz. The Mets are a disaster this year and thanks to their involvement in ownership Ponzi Scheme’s are cash strapped as well. DeGrom while having an off year this year has proven time and time again that he is a true number one and I think would benefit being out of New York and it’s terrible offense. DeGrom does come with a sizeable contract having just signed an extension that will take him to his age 36 season so that would be a concern in this deal. Edwin Diaz has 16 Saves with a 3.64 ERA and has 3 blown saves but I feel that is due to him not being able to handle the tough New York market that some players just can’t adjust to. He is coming off a dominating year with Seattle where he saved 57 games on a team that wasn’t very good. Although fun to talk about I don’t see this deal ever happening as it would involve two teams in the same division working out a trade and I just don’t see Alex Anthopolous giving up the haul it would need for a 31 year old starter whose numbers have declined and a closer who has struggled at times this year regardless of his past numbers.
These are just a few possibilities out there and as teams fall out of contention many more players could become available as we get closer to the trade deadline. I think we all agree that some moves do need to be made if the Braves are going to be serious contenders going into the playoffs.
Bob Lancaster @bowlinbob