Matching the Atlanta Braves With Their Most Likely MLB Trade Deadline Targets

Mike Esposito
Atlanta Braves v San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

With a 58-39 record, the Atlanta Braves find themselves in the driver's seat of the National League East and look like they could make some noise this postseason. While the Washington Nationals are surging up the standings, the Braves might need to make another move or two in order to stave off the Nats and claim the NL East title.

If the Braves do ultimately address their pitching staff, something that seems like Atlanta's biggest need, at the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline, here are five possible deadline targets for the current AL-East leaders.

5. Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Marcus Stroman's 5-10 record does no justice to just how well he's been pitching in 2019. The 28-year-old righty has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, sporting a top-10 ERA (3.25, No. 8 in AL) and pitcher WAR (2.6, No. 9 in AL). A 2019 All-Star, acquiring Stroman would provide much-needed stability to Atlanta's rotation, which has a 4.42 starter's ERA.

4. Matthew Boyd, SP, Detroit Tigers

Matthew Boyd has been getting plenty of trade buzz and one of his many possible suitors could be the Braves. The 28-year-old lefty has an AL-best 6.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which should be attractive to playoff contenders. Acquiring Boyd may take a haul, as he'll be under team control through 2023, but he would give the Braves' rotation a top-end starter for years to come.

3. Kirby Yates, RP, San Diego Padres

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Arguably the best closer in baseball in this year, Kirby Yates would be a welcome addition to a Braves' bullpen that's in desperate need of a lights-out reliever to lock things down in the ninth. The team has 16 blown saves, tied for fourth-most in MLB. The 2019 All-Star has been incredible in 2019, recording an MLB-best 30 saves to go along with a 1.10 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. He may require a king's ransom to pry him away from San Diego, but acquiring one of the league's premier relievers with one more year of arbitration remaining could be worth the price for the Braves.

2. Shane Greene, RP, Detroit Tigers

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Yates could end up being a bit too expensive for Atlanta's taste as the trade deadline draws nearer, and, if that ends up being the case, the Braves can't go wrong by shifting their focus to Tigers' closer Shane Greene. A first-time All-Star this season, the 30-year-old righty has been dominant this season, sporting a microscopic 1.06 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 22 saves on the year. Having allowed 19 hits in 34 appearances this season, Greene could be the lock-down closer the Braves need to make a deep postseason run.

1. Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner just might be the crown jewel of the starting pitcher trade market, now that Max Scherzer is seemingly unavailable. Despite his 5-7 record, the 29-year-old southpaw is in the middle of another respectable season, posting a 3.86 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 121 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings pitched. Bumgarner is a quintessential innings-eater (with six-plus innings in 16 of his 20 starts) and could return to his ace-caliber form with a change of scenery.

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