Braves general manager John Coppolella has been anything but shy since taking over the job. Armed with a handful of players who could be dealt by the August 1st* deadline, it would seem silly to think Atlanta will sit back as the rest of the league wheels and deals.
*The trade deadline is Aug. 1 this year as July 31 falls on a Sunday and most teams would be in the middle of games as 4 p.m. passed.
Here is our Braves trade deadline preview:
The Braves will want a serious haul to ship off their No. 1 starter. Not only does Teheran feature a team-friendly contract through 2020, but with the club set to open a new ballpark in 2017, the front office has to remain conscious of putting a somewhat respectable product on the field next April. That's not to say Coppolella wouldn't trade the 25-year-old righty, but it would take a big return of players who could see the majors sometime in the next 12 months.
Coppolella has publicly said the Braves aren't trading Teheran. You can take that for what it's worth; a quote to a media member who will then relay it to thousands of fans. I don't really buy it, nor do I think the Braves necessarily want to deal him. But if a team gets desperate and offers something that is far too juicy to pass up, I think Teheran gets moved.
Odds of a trade: 40 percent
A month ago, I'd put the odds of a deal at 75 percent. Then came a rough stretch for Vizcaino; he's walked six batters in his last 3.1 innings and has temporarily been removed from the 9th inning role. His FIP has spiked to 3.40 and he's walked 13% of the batters he's faced.
The Braves should hope Vizcaino regains his value over the next two weeks as he is the exact kind of player a rebuilding team should trade. Vizcaino has a history of injury, and his arm has never been tested like it is now at the big league level. He's already thrown a career-high 36 innings in 2016 with a career-high 38 appearances. And there's still 2+ months to go.
It's really tough to gage this one, so I'll put it at a 50 percent chance he's traded.
Francoeur, much like AJ Pierzynski last season, has surpassed all expectations in a limited role and provides a strong presence in the clubhouse. The Braves held onto Pierzynski for that reason. Francoeur has a .823 OPS and 115 wRC+ against southpaws this year, something that would appeal to a contending team in need of a fourth outfielder. I think the Braves deal him with the idea of signing him to another one-year deal in the offseason, similar to what they did with Jim Johnson last summer.
Odds of a trade: 65 percent
I would do backflips if the Braves could somehow deal Markakis, but I don't think it's very likely. Even with the recent power surge, Markakis is hitting just .253/.328/.363 with a 83 wRC+. While an eye test would tell you he's bad in right field, Markakis is actually +4 in Defensive Runs Saved through 735 innings after being -6 in 2015.
He wouldn't hit enough to be a DH, and I can't imagine an NL team taking on his contract and sticking him in a corner spot. A trade isn't impossible, but it's not likely.
Odds of a trade: 10 percent
He wouldn't fetch much by himself – even at the deadline, 33-year-old relievers with a 4.06 ERA and 3.53 FIP aren't in high demand – but I could see him paired with someone else to get a slightly better prospect thrown in. There's a 50/50 chance he's dealt and a similar chance he's re-signed in the offseason.