Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report recently did an article on early-season trade targets for the Braves. I’m on the record saying I highly doubt any major moves are made for quite some time. As Alex Anthopoulos has stated many times, it’s challenging to make a significant trade this early in the season, but it’s always fun to take a look at what other people think. Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t disagree more with what Reuter had to say.
The Atlanta Braves have been slow out of the gates in their quest to defend their World Series title, but there’s too much talent on their roster to count them out of contention just yet as they continue to hover around the .500 mark.
The biggest issue has been the back of the starting rotation, where Bryce Elder, Huascar Ynoa, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson and opener Jesse Chavez have all taken at least one turn behind the foursome of Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson.
The front office has to consider anything it gets from Mike Soroka this year to be a bonus, and that could mean swinging an early deal to add another arm to the starting-rotation mix.
In this article, we’ve highlighted three potential trade targets to bolster the rotation—one blockbuster addition, one low-cost addition and one outside-the-box addition.
That was the intro, and the three targets he suggested were Frankie Montas, Jose Quintana, and Josh Lindblom. I won’t even get into what the actual candidates bring to the table because there is absolutely no way the Braves are eyeing starting pitching this early in the season.
As things currently stand, the Braves have one of the best rotations in baseball, and it’s easily been the best group of starting pitchers Atlanta has had in over a decade. Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Kyle Wright are as good as a top-three as you’ll find around the league, and who is a better #4 than Ian Anderson?
Sure, the fifth spot leaves much to be desired and is currently a revolving door, but given the number of options the Braves have, it will eventually be filled. Tucker Davidson looked outstanding his last time out, and if he’s not the answer, Spencer Strider very well could be. Hell, Strider might end up being one of the Braves’ best starting pitchers by the end of the season, and Atlanta also has guys like Kyle Muller, Bryce Elder, or Touki Toussaint that could end up stepping into that role. Not to mention, the Braves are expecting Mike Soroka back at some point this season as well.
Saying this team needs another starting pitcher is a gross oversight. The Braves rotation is loaded. If they trade for anything, especially this early in the season, it will be for outfield help that can boost their offense.
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