With the trading deadline approaching, we’re currently in the period of the most rampant speculation. Any seller that has a player to deal can be matched up with a number of contending teams if they have the right cash and prospects to kick in. In the case of the Braves, they can be connected to just about any player since they have the prospect capital to acquire just about any player, and they have the additional prospect capital to offset any payroll issues.
But what kind of buyers should the Braves be trading? For starters, I would not trade any of our top prospects for any player with only a half-season remaining of team control — a “rental”. So an Ian Anderson-for-Manny Machado deal would be hard for me to make, personally. But just about anyone less than that would be on the table. But that’s the only example of a trade I would not make, and instead, these are the trades I would make:
Wisler and Peterson probably don’t have a place in Atlanta. They’re on the 40-man, and it’s hard to see a scenario where they have a long-term picture in Atlanta. So as it sits, they’re clogging a couple spots on the 40-man that someone like Touki Toussaint will need in the offseason. Eovaldi is only signed through this year, and he could easily turn into a pumpkin, but the Rays made a smart investment in Eovaldi, and they’ll be rewarded for it.
Sims, similarly, does not have a home in Atlanta going forward. It’ll be sad to see the former first round pick and Georgia native move on in this fashion, but with the more talented wave of pitching prospects coming through, Sims and Wisler have exhausted their opportunities. While Parsons has come on late and hasn’t yet been given an opportunity at the major league level, he can be attractive to another team as well.
Soria would be another closer type and another late-inning option that has experience and has pitched in playoff races. Remember, not a single member in the Braves’ pen — especially after the perceived end of Moylan’s tenure — has pitched in a playoff race. Jace Fry would satisfy our need for a new “Jace”, and he’ll be a more reliable left-handed option over Sam Freeman.
This may not seem like the type, but for me, this is a “going for it” move. Dietrich is 28 and is having the best year of his career — .287/.353/.452 — and he’s played LF and 3B the past 2 seasons. With Ender struggling in CF, Acuna able to play CF but struggling with his own injuries, and the lack of a quality first bat off the bench, Dietrich makes perfect sense. If Acuna gets injured, Ender continues to struggle, or you need a solid backup for the infield, Dietrich can slide in and help. Dietrich is also only in arb-2, so he’s got some control left.
Wilson is hard to part with, but he’s our 9th-best pitching prospect in a system with 3 ML starters under club control. You have to be willing to part with something to get something. Ruiz is similarly expendable with Camargo ahead of him, Riley behind him, Jean Carlos Encarnacio behind Riley. His time is up as well.
Eovaldi would replace the revolving 5th starter (McCarthy, Fried, etc.), Soria and Fry would replace Freeman and Phillips, and Dietrich would replace Danny Santana on the big league roster.