Going into the Winter Meetings in 2017, the Braves were connected to many of the top pitchers on the trade market including Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, Chris Sale, and Jose Quintana. However, given the prices that were being floated to acquire any of those guys...the Braves opted to forgo those paths, in particular after signing Bartolo Colon and RA Dickey to hold down the fort for the 2017 season at least. Chris Sale was the only pitcher of that bunch to be dealt at all (for a haul at that), so it wasn’t too surprising that the Braves balked at what must have been some hefty price tags.
However, Colon has been a disaster by most account, Dickey and Garcia have been hit and miss, and Julio Teheran’s struggles with the home run ball have been well documented at this point. That said, the team has remained surprising competitive given the rotation’s struggles combined with the loss of Freddie Freeman for 2+ months. As a result, it appears that the Braves have circled back in their search for improvements in the rotation.
O’Brien’s report mentions three names that have been connected to the Braves in the past in Gray, Archer, and Quintana but that does not mean that the Braves are the favorites to land any of these guy nor does it mean that a deal is particularly close. The Braves without a doubt have the prospects to make a deal, but the prices have likely not come down from this past offseason especially with some contenders right now likely to be bidding against the Braves.
In Archer’s case, trading for him is also complicated by the Rays continuing to hang around in contention in a brutal AL East race. Gray has struggled at times over the last couple of years, but has pitched better lately and the A’s look done this year. The White Sox are also in last place as they enter full rebuild mode, but after the haul they got for Sale it is highly unlikely they are going to take less than top dollar for Quintana.
We will keep you updated, but it looks like the Braves rumor mill leading up to the trade deadline this year could get VERY interesting.