With the trade deadline fast approaching, markets across baseball are heating up, especially on players who are on short, cheap contracts that can help contenders "win now" as it were. It just so happens that the Braves have one of the hotter commodities on the market in closer Jim Johnson.
#Braves are getting lots of play on Jim Johnson at the deadline. He has a 2.25 ERA and is only making $1.6M this season.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 29, 2015
This was hardly unexpected even after Jason Grilli's season ending injury given how cheap Johnson is this year as well as the fact that its a low risk deal as he is a free agent after this year. He has also performed very well in the closer's role for the Braves and has a been a steady presence in the bullpen this year. If he is traded (and at this point its more "when" than "if"), Arodys Vizcaino is the leading candidate for the closer's role going forward.
However, JJohnson isn't the only Brave getting some attention in advance of the trade deadline.
#Braves are also fielding some calls on A.J. Pierzynski and Jonny Gomes. Battled-tested, stretch drive acquisition types.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 29, 2015
As Crasnick reports, AJP and Gomes are both veterans of playoff runs and have a high amount of utility for a contending club (AJP as a lefty backup catcher with pop, Gomes as a strong clubhouse presence and good play against lefty pitchers). They are also affordable for virtually any team and the Braves have internal options to replace them, although it does call in to question whether the Braves feel like Christian Bethancourt is an option they want to entertain this year at catcher.
These are just the latest rumors regarding the Braves, we will keep you posted as the market develops and we know more.