The Braves may have finished the first half of 2016 with baseball’s worst record, but they ended it on a high note by picking up a series victory against the White Sox. Mike Foltynewicz was the star of the show on Sunday as he struck out 10 over seven innings and kept the White Sox off of the board. Meanwhile, Jace Peterson and Jeff Francoeur both hit solo homers and that ended up being enough for Atlanta to win.
Despite the fact that the Red Sox seem like a perfect fit for being a trade candidate with the Braves and Julio Teheran in particular, ESPN MLB reporter Jerry Crasnick has indicated that it doesn’t seem likely that the Braves are going to move Teheran. In addition to the fact the Braves have made it clear that they want a Shelby Miller-type deal or better in exchange for Teheran, Crasnick also seemed to indicate that teams are probably unwilling to give up that much for Teheran — even in this market where quality starting pitching is at a premium.
@RobJoye10 I don't. Don't see him as top of the rotation guy for a contending team.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 11, 2016
Once the All-Star festivities come and go, the next major event on baseball’s calendar (outside of the Hall of Fame ceremonies on the 24th) is the Trade Deadline, and the Braves figure to be big players in that regard. Although conventional wisdom would have you believe that the Braves are going to continue selling, Chris Cotillo believes that the Braves could actually be buyers if the right situation comes up.
While the Braves will surely continue to sell veterans to clubs looking for help down the stretch, I wouldn’t put it past the Braves to look to add some controllable talent at the major-league level.
With limited assets left to deal and a very strong stable of pitching prospects, it might be time for the Braves to start thinking about adding pieces who can immediately contribute at the major-league level.
Atlanta is expected to buy on the free-agent market this winter, but could jump-start that process by dealing some prospects for a controllable player before the deadline.
Julio Teheran may be the only major league player representing the Braves at this year’s All-Star festivities, but he’s not the only one there on behalf of the Braves’ organization. Dansby Swanson took part in the Futures Game yesterday, and although he went 0-3, he still seemed excited to be there and excited about the Braves’ future in general.
In his last 12 games before the Double-A All-Star break, Swanson hit .146 (7-for-48) with a .470 OBP. In 13 games since the break he’s hit .367 (18-for-49) with a .959 OPS.
"I think one of the biggest things is that I hadn’t played that many games in a row like that," said Swanson, who has only played 100 minor leagues games over two seasons. "I was playing every day in that heat. The last 2 ½ weeks going into the break, I couldn’t, like, put a ball on a tee and get a hit. Then we got the break and I came back out and have been playing pretty well since then. Just trying to figure myself out more and learn about who I am as a player."
The Giants will be entering the All-Star break on an extremely high note. They currently hold the best record in baseball (even year, duh) and Madison Bumgarner delivered one of the best outings from a starting pitcher that you’ll see in 2016. Bumgarner threw a complete game shutout against Arizona on Sunday night, and he only gave up one hit in the process, He won’t be participating in the Home Run Derby like he wanted to, but I’m sure that a performance like this will make up for the disappointment of missing out on that particular event.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s fierce rivals in Southern California may be setting up to make a pretty big trade. Yasiel Puig is probably going to end up being the odd-man out in the Dodgers’ crowded outfield, which means that Los Angeles may be gearing up to trade the 25-year-old Cuban. Also, you guys might get a kick out of the first comment on this article.