At 56-37, the Atlanta Braves are currently leading the NL East by six games and, despite their signing of Dallas Keuchel, they may not be done acquiring starting pitchers as they load up for a World Series run.
While the Braves' rotation is undeniably talented, Atlanta relies on a lot of young, unproven pitchers and the team could use another veteran presence. Thankfully, Atlanta's farm system is loaded and the Braves likely have the assets to swing a big deal.
With that in mind, here are three pitchers the Braves may target ahead of the July 31 MLB trade deadline.
3. Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Now that Max Scherzer is likely off the table following the Washington Nationals' recent surge, the Braves could turn their focus to someone like Marcus Stroman. Despite a 5-9 record, Stroman is having one of his best seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays, posting a 3.18 ERA thus far. The ground-ball pitcher could welcome a change of scenery, as he'd likely receive quite a bit more run support in Atlanta.
2. Shane Greene, RP, Detroit Tigers
The Braves may also seek some bullpen help in the form of a new closer. While the team has the second-best bullpen ERA in baseball (3.68), their production in the ninth has been shaky at best, as current closer Luke Jackson has six blown saves on the season. Meanwhile, Shane Greene is having a career year with the Detroit Tigers (22 saves, 1.09 ERA and 0.88 WHIP) and has been heavily rumored in trade talks. The first-time All-Star also makes sense for the Braves, especially since he could be packaged with the next player on this list.
1. Matthew Boyd, SP, Detroit Tigers
The Braves are reportedly one of several teams trying to acquire Matthew Boyd from Detroit, as the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres are also rumored to be interested in the overpowering lefty. Boyd is drawing a lot of interest for a player whose numbers have dipped considerably since May, but the underlying stats, namely strikeout-to-walk ratio, show a pitcher who still has elite potential. If the Braves can make a godfather offer for Boyd and Greene, they can address two big areas of need in one fell swoop.
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