By: Nick Wells
We’re still a little over a month away from the MLB’s trade deadline, but speculation and possible anxiety is starting to set in. The Braves sit at the top of the NL East with a 44-32 record, however they may need to make some upgrades if they plan to make a run for the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Mike Moustakas, 3B: Atlanta already has an everyday guy at third base in Johan Camargo, who’s hitting .276/.343/.790 this year in 198 plate appearances. Acquiring Mike would add more power to a lineup that already leads the NL in team runs scored, batting average, and OPS. Moustakas has 14 HR compared to Johan’s 7, but his fielding percentage is a .961 while Johan has posted a .985 FP at 3B and .983 FP at SS throughout the season. Camargo also has 5 less errors than Moustakas, but with less innings of work. I don’t think the Braves absolutely need to chase after Moose with Johan currently in the line-up, but if they can get him without giving up too much, why not add a great player? In a perfect world, Moustakas could play third with Johan getting regular work as utility player since he’s so versatile, but I wouldn’t even bet a dollar that Brian Snitker would use him effectively. Making a move for Moustakas could add value to the team, but with a squad that doesn’t seem to be struggling with offense, I think the Braves should look to bring a change on the mound.
Chris Archer, SP: Archer was placed on the 10-day DL after a setback in his recovery for his strained abdomen. His return is uncertain at the moment, but barring any more setbacks, he should see a return in July. I don’t know why he’s even sitting out with an ab injury. You only need your arms to throw a 95-mph fastball, right? Anyways, Archer has struggled early this season, going 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA in 13 games. So, you may be wondering why I’m suggesting the Braves go after Archer, given these reasons you wouldn’t currently want him on the roster. Archer is a two-time all-star. His stuff is gross. He’s turning 30 in September. I think he could benefit from a new start on a new team when he comes back from his injury. He also could come cheap with the way his season is going and that he’s sitting on the DL right now. I would love to see him in a Braves jersey among our rotation that already has a strong core in Newcomb and Foltynewicz.
Keone Kela, RP: The Texas Rangers closer has 18 saves with a 3.67 ERA so far this season. His ERA will lower as the season goes on, with a few instances where the wheels fell off masking the fact that Kela has been solid. He’s allowed 11 runs in 2018, but 7 of those came in two games. The Braves could look to add Kela to the bullpen to take care of late innings and could take over the closer role on the team with Vizcaino’s shoulder constantly bothering him. When he’s healthy I could see him as the perfect set up man for Kela.
Mike Trout, OF: Easily obtainable with a straight up 1-for-1 trade that would send Peter Bourjos to the Angels.
Johnny Venters, RP: Venters is finally back in the big leagues after years of rehab and recovery. Cue the “I’m Coming Home” tribute video and let’s get Venters back in a Braves jersey.
Stats Courtesy of Baseball-reference.com
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