As the Atlanta Braves remain in contention, Braves rumors swirl around the possibility of adding a rotation piece.
The MLB Trade Deadline hot stove is scorching with speculation as July 31st creeps ever-so closer. Contenders are mentioned with nearly anyone on the market, and Braves rumors abound as the team sets to boost their performance as the playoff races get set to tighten up in the 2018 stretch run is the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta began a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night from SunTrust Park, a matchup against a true National League pennant contender. How the Braves perform against the best of league competition could potentially sway general manager Alex Anthopoulos’ decision on how aggressively he should pursue a starting pitcher.
This much, however, we know: the buzz is out there.
Over the last few days, Braves rumors have linked the team to a number of intriguing options to solidify their rotation.
"As the Rays and Tigers have had scouts following the Braves’ top Minor League prospects over the past couple of weeks, there’s certainly reason to wonder if Atlanta could use its talent-rich pipeline to land Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer, who could be controlled through the 2021 season."
Then there’s this tweet from The Athletic-Atlanta’s David O’Brien:
Archer obviously makes a great deal of sense for the Braves: he’s good, and under team control through 2021 at a relatively cheap cost. He’d be a strong presence at the top of the rotation for 2018 and the years to follow for an Atlanta club ending its rebuild phase.
On Thursday, two more reports were released that expressed Atlanta’s interest in a starter.
"The Braves and Blue Jays have spoken about a possible Stroman trade, sources said Thursday, although there’s no evidence of progress in those negotiations."
Stroman would also be an ideal solution for Anthopoulos and the Braves for the same reasons as Archer. He’s just 27 years old and is not a free agent until after the 2020 season.
While Stroman has struggled a little more in 2018, he was certainly strong over the last two full seasons. Fangraphs notes that he compiled 7.0 WAR across those years and was especially impressive in 2017 when he put up a sparkling 3.09 ERA in the powerful American League East.
And as Morosi points out, there’s a pretty strong link between the Toronto right-hander and Anthopoulos.
"Alex Anthopoulos was the general manager in Toronto when the Blue Jays selected Marcus Stroman in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft, when Stroman made his Major League debut less than two years later, and when the right-hander started the decisive fifth game of the 2015 American League Division Series."
The clock is ticking, and nothing is a given, but the Braves definitely seem to be kicking the tires on adding an arm and making a run at the postseason. Could a move happen in the next few days?