The Atlanta Braves are far and away the best team in Major League Baseball this season. Championships are not won in the regular season however, and it is not often the case that the team with the best record after 162 games is also the World Series champion.
More often than not it is a combination of who is the healthiest and who is playing their best ball at the right time. The Atlanta Braves have the luxury of owning the league’s best record while waiting on Max Fried and Kyle Wright to return to the mound. A healthy trio of Spencer Strider, Fried and Wright can absolutely carry a team through a postseason run.
The Braves’ patience with Marcel Ozuna and Eddie Rosario has paid off and their offense is absolutely terrifying no matter who is in the lineup. But the Braves can make a few moves at the deadline to help solidify their odds to win their second World Series in three years.
3 players the Atlanta Braves should add at the MLB trade deadline
Starting Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are open for business according to their GM John Mozeliak. This moves makes sense for Atlanta as the Flaherty has struggled for a season and a half now. However, at 27 years old with previous high levels of success, Atlanta could take a cheap-ish swing on the pitcher to bolster their rotation.
Health is never guaranteed and the Braves would rather not have to lean on Jared Shuster or Dylan Dodd for a postseason run. Adding Flaherty gives them experience but also the inside track for another patented extension below perceived market value.
Relief Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh got off to a hot start early in the 2023 season, but have sense fallen back to earth. This would lead many to believe that the Pirates will, in fact, be sellers at the deadline. Most contending teams will likely have interest in David Bednar as bullpen production is crucial in the postseason.
Atlanta has AJ Minter and Raisel Iglesias on the back end of their bullpen but both have shown some inconsistencies at times this season. The team just announced that top reliever Nick Anderson was hitting the 60-Day IL due to right shoulder pain, meaning there is really no guarantee he returns or returns to form.
Inning-eaters Jesse Chavez and Dylan Lee are also injured for the Braves, leaving that responsibility to Collin McHugh. Lucas Luetge has been recalled, but likely would not make a postseason roster.
The point is that there is never too much bullpen help and the Braves should absolutely go after Bednar. A few of their pitching prospects should be able to get the job done.
Outfielder, San Francisco Giants
Bring him home. Acquired at the deadline two seasons ago, Pederson was a driving force in the Atlanta Braves 2021 World Series Championship run. The Braves absolutely crush left-handed pitching. Their .905 OPS against lefties ranks them first in the MLB by almost 70 points over the Texas Rangers.
While Atlanta leads the MLB in OPS against righties as well, their margin over second place is just 19 points and almost 100 points less than their OPS against lefties. The reality is that you are going to face right-handed pitching most often and the Braves need another stick from the left side of the plate.
Pederson has a .829 OPS against righties with all of eight of his home runs coming against a right-handed pitcher. He does not have to come in and be a star, rather be that power bat against righties that Braves need to further their depth this postseason.