With the Trade Deadline just a few days away, I've decided to go team by team to look at some trades that could make sense for the Braves. Let me know in the comments below what you think.
Oakland Athletics(37-63, 0.0% Playoff Odds)
The Athletics are familiar names in recent Braves trade history with the Matt Olson trade last offseason, and the once really good Athletics have traded Matt Chapman, Chris Bassit, and Sean Manaea along with Olson which has really caused the organization to pitfall. But even still the Athletics still have a couple of guys that could be of interest to the Braves.
Braves Get: SP Frankie Montas
Athletics Get: SP Ian Anderson and maybe SS Ambioris Tavaras
I'm not sure that the Braves are going to be able to compete for the Frankie Montas sweepstakes, but I'd imagine they would at least be checking up on the ace. Montas still has another year of control after this season and is having another ace-level season with a 3.18/3.58/3.36/3.22 ERA/xERA/FIP/xFIP slashline over 19 starts in his age 29 season. Montas has made a pretty big change this season by throwing his sinker(which has been his worst pitch) 7.2% less and mixing his pitches a little bit more which really is keeping hitters off balance. He's also throwing his split-finger a little more and its really become an incredible pitch for him over the last 2 seasons with 2 sub-.200 xBA seasons and is one of his best whiff pitches.
Ian Anderson has had a really rough 2022 season with a 5.31 ERA over 19 starts while also striking out less hitters and walking more hitters. But at just 24 years old and his sub 2 ERA over 8 postseason starts, I think he still holds a lot of value. Anderson came up in the middle of the 2020 season and immediately had a 1.95 ERA and a 2.54 FIP over 6 starts, but then hitters figured out how to hit him as his ERA jumped up to 3.58 with a 4.12 FIP, and this season he has a 5.31 ERA with a 4.47 FIP. Hitters now seem to be just fouling off his changeup and then sitting on his fastball which has been crushed to a .327 BA and .293 xBA. I think a change of scenery would really help a guy like Ian who still has a lot of time to figure things out and be a reliable starter, but I think that the Braves should at least entertain trading him.
If the A's wanted more then I think a guy like Ambioris Tavaras would be a good guy to add on to the deal. Tavaras is an 18 year old shortstop who was signed last year internationally, but hasn't had a chance to play professionally yet after needing thoracic outlet surgery before the 2022 season started. The Braves 13th ranked prospect per MLB.com is a very interesting trade chip for Atlanta that I think Oakland would really like. Tavaras has a ton of raw power to all fields along with a plus arm that could also play at third base.
Braves Get: OF Ramon Laureano
Athletics Get: OF Jesse Franklin V, RHP Alan Rangel, and SS Luke Waddell
With the ineffectiveness of Eddie Rosario, Guillermo Heredia, and somewhat Ronald Acuna Jr., and now Adam Duvall needing season ending surgery, the Braves have a pretty gaping need for some outfield help. Ramon Laureano would be a somewhat cheap outfielder who plays strong defense in right/center field and has been one of the few consistent hitters for Oakland. Laureano is a career .256 hitter with a .782 OPS, a 116 wRC+, and 10.1 WAR over his 5 year career, and is a guy that usually hits double-digits in home runs and stolen bases. Leareano started his 2022 season late after being suspended for P.E.D. usage but has still had a pretty solid season hitting .224, with a .701 OPS, 10 HR, and 9 SB, well also rating in the 87% in outfielder jump. He also has 2 years of control after this season so he would serve as a very solid 3rd or 4th outfielder. For all that the A's will want a pretty decent prospect haul that will most likely feature at least 2 or 3 top 30 prospects in the Braves system.
The 3 prospects that I think would make a good package for Laureano would be 3 AA players in OF Jesse Franklin V, righty SP Alan Rangel, and SS Luke Waddell. Jesse Franklin is a 23 year old left handed outfielder and the No. 8 prospect in the braves system per MLB.com. The Braves drafted Franklin in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft from Michigan as he showed big power potential in the college level. In 2021 was tied for first in A+ with 24 home runs, well also using his speed to steal 19 bases. This year he underwent tommy john surgery so he's out for the rest of the season, but I think he has a really bright future as a corner outfielder who can go 20-20, so he would be a really good addition for someone like Laureano.
Alan Rangel has never really been a highly touted prospect, but after the 24 year old southpaw had a breakout season last year in A+ and AA, he got some more attention in the prospect rankings. Rangel has three-pitch mix, including a low-90s fastball with movement that saw an uptick in velo last season, a curveball, and a changeup that has developed to become a really good whiff pitch. Rangel also has really good command of his pitches as in the last 2 seasons he has struck out 11.7 per 9, well only walking 3.6 per 9 which has gone up a bit this year. Luke Waddell is a guy that I'm really high on at AA, Waddell is a 24 year old contact first shortstop, but is probably more likely as a second baseman. Waddell has a really good eye for the strike zone that has helped him walk more then he's struckout 23 to 22, and fangraphs rates his projected hit tool to be the best in the Braves farm system at 70. His arm can be a bit problematic which is why I think he fits best as a 2nd baseman, but with his elite plate discipline he could be in the majors by next year.
The Athletics have a number of relievers who would be good buy low trade targets for the Braves including Lou Trivino who is one of the most unlucky relievers in baseball this year. Trivino had a 3.70 career ERA coming into the year, but this year its jumped way up to 6.68, even though he's striking out 12.48/9, has a 3.99 FIP, and a 3.05 xFIP, so there should be positive regression on the way for Lou along with his 2 extra years of control. Others of interest include Zach Jackson(2.77/3.66/2.53/4.06, 39.0 IP), A.J. Puk(2.13/3.33/2.53/3.19, 42.1 IP, FA: 2027), and Sam Moll(1.72/2.57/3.35/3.65, 31.1 IP, FA: 2028). None of these should take a big prospect haul at all, so if the Braves made a trade with the A's, they could decide to package one of these guys with Laureano or Montas.
Let me know what you think of these below!