Before the MLB Trade Deadline approaches, the Atlanta Braves need to do one thing. That one thing is adding Marcus Stroman to starting rotation.
The Atlanta Braves have been one of the better teams in baseball all season long, but there has been one thing holding them back from being the best, and that thing is finding a fifth starting pitcher.
Adding Dallas Keuchel a few weeks ago was a great move by the Braves, giving them a pitcher who has had a ton of success in the majors so far throughout his career. Mike Soroka has also been a stud so far this season. Throughout most of his starts, Soroka has looked like a seasoned veteran, as he boasts a 2.24 ERA in 16 starts.
Max Fried had a great start to the season, slowed down a little bit, and has now won three of his past five decisions. Julio Teheran has been a wild card throughout the season, putting up a number of solid appearances, but has also had a number of bad starts as well.
The fifth starting pitcher has been a question mark all season long. The Braves expected Mike Foltynewicz to be the ace after making the All-Star Game last season, but after a shaky start to the season, he was sent down to Triple-A. Kevin Gausman also was a starter for the Braves to begin the season, but like Folty, he struggled mightily as well. Sean Newcomb also was a starter to begin the season off but was moved to the bullpen a few weeks into the season.
The Braves have also tried a number of younger arms, including guys like Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright. Thursday night’s loss against the Nationals showed why the Braves need to go add another starter though. It’s great to have young arms, especially when guys like Fried and Soroka have done a great job so far, but once the playoffs roll around, it’s important to add guys with a ton of experience.
Adding an arm before the Trade Deadline
There has been a lot of talk recently about teams adding pitchers like Marcus Stroman or Madison Bumgarner. Both pitchers would be a good pickup for the Braves if they were to pursue either of those guys, but what would they give up for a starting pitcher?
The Braves have the second-best farm system in baseball, so I’m sure a number of teams would be interested in a trade with the Braves if they were to give up some prospects in a trade. The Braves have a number of prospects or players that could see their name included in trade which includes: Ender Inciarte, Adam Duvall, Kyle Wright, Kolby Allard, Kevin Gausman, and possibly even Travis Demeritte.
If the Braves were to trade for an arm, there are a few prospects that every Braves fan would want to see stay in the farm system. If they are able to keep Drew Waters and Christian Pache, I’m sure a number of Braves fans would be satisfied in a trade.
I personally hope the Braves go after Stroman though. I’ve been a fan of Stroman ever since he dominated the World Baseball Classic. Don’t let his career record fool you either. He has been on a Toronto Blue Jays team that has struggled for a number of years after a string of injuries to players like Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, and Jose Bautista.
Stroman, despite having a 5-10 record this season, allows just 3.25 earned runs a game. One positive thing regarding a potential deal with Stroman is that he and Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos were together in Toronto for two years.
Stroman has a certain swagger to him as a pitcher and that’s the thing I love about him and is a huge reason I want him on the Braves. He also is a pitcher that has different releases to mess with the batter’s timing, as you see in the tweet below.
Marcus Stroman, Messing with Timing (regular windup, Stro mo and double leg pump), Overlay. pic.twitter.com/VjYdos0zSV— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 14, 2019
The Braves have a week in a half to make a move, as the MLB Trade Deadline occurs on July 31st.
Stroman made a start tonight with a number of scouts from other MLB teams in attendance, including the Braves.
The Braves might also be scouting bullpen pieces as well, including Ken Giles of the Blue Jays and Shane Greene of the Tigers.
It will be interesting to see what moves the Braves will make as the trade deadline approaches. The Braves will need all the pieces they can get to fend off division rivals in the Nationals and Phillies as the season winds down. Adding a guy like Stroman, or even Giles or Greene to the bullpen might also help the Braves contend with the Dodgers in the NL.