11Alive Sports offers a speculative listing of the Atlanta Braves' seven most prized assets among other clubs, heading into the MLB trade deadline (July 31).

The prized label comes with one notable caveat: This countdown targets only the veterans (arbitration mode/second contracts/imminent free agents) who've been part of baseball's rumor-mill discussion over the last few weeks.

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There's also a realistic component to this exercise.

Namely, you have better odds of getting struck by lightning twice over the next 18 hours ... than the Braves have with trading for Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom or Nationals slugger Bryce Harper in the next 18 days.

Why? Both stars operate inside National League East boundaries.

Note: All stats run through July 12.


STATS: 23 HR, 64 RBI, 46 runs, 7 steals, .316 batting, .385 OBP, .957 OPS

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

SKINNY: Here are a few things to celebrate:

**For the month of July, Machado has zoomed out of the gate with batting average (.372), on-base percentage (.449), slugging rate (.698) and OPS (1.147).

**The Orioles visited SunTrust Park last month. During that three-game set, Machado developed a keen understanding of the ballpark, accounting for one homer, one triple and three runs.

**He could be a beast immediately after a trade. For his career, Machado owns monthly career bests during August with homers (33), RBI (102) and batting average (.310).

Young Manny (turned 26 last week) has also performed well in other categories during August, citing runs (89), on-base percentage (.335) and slugging rate (.540).

**Whoever trades for Machado should probably comply with his request to remain at shortstop. Check out these career splits:

3B——715 games ... .279 batting, .327 OBP, .472 slugging, .799 OPS, 95 OPS+

SS——143 games ... .301 batting, .370 OBP, .560 slugging, .931 OPS, 126 OPS+


STATS: 2-4, 2.91 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 64/15 K-BB, 24 saves

CONTRACT STATUS: Free agent in 2022; team option for $10 million in 2021

SKINNY: The Padres were supposed to part ways with Hand before last year's trade deadline; instead, they decided to hold tight on one of baseball's best closers.

Smart move. Given the dearth of elite-level relievers on the open trade market, Hand should fetch a fair price among interested contenders.

These prospective suitors would benefit in the long run, as well. Counting the club option for 2020, we're basically looking at a $21 million commitment for Hand over the next three seasons.

A certifiable bargain in today's baseball market.

Since May 1, opposing batters are hitting at a meager .200 clip against Hand.

Enough said.


STATS: 3-4, 4.41 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 79/28 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2022 (team options for 2020-21)

SKINNY: Presuming good health moving forward, Archer should have four more showcase starts before the July 31 deadline.

Not that Archer needs more time to convince others of his worth.

Charting his previous eight starts, dating back to May 1, the 29-year-old hurler allowed three or fewer runs seven different times; and with an eminently doable contract of $24 million over the next three years, Archer could be one of the most attractive final pieces on the trade market.

Only one question remains: Will the Rays be motivated sellers over the next three weeks?

It's not easy to part with a 20-something pitcher who's an annual lock for 200-plus strikeouts, when healthy.


STATS: 0-1, 3.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 54/16 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2024


STATS: 1-1, 2.41 ERA, 19 saves, 1.05 WHIP, 45/14 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2021

SKINNY: On the surface, the Reds would seemingly have no interest in parting with Garrett—an Aroldis Chapman clone, delivery-wise—who's under team control for another five seasons.

But aside from Hunter Greene (Cincy's No. 2 prospect), the Reds need to replenish their minor-league pipeline of potential starting arms; and Garrett, given his tremendous upside, would collect a robust return in open trade circles.

That's also the problem here: Cincinnati doesn't necessarily want to advertise Garrett's availability, just in case the club has to put that genie back into the bottle after July 31.

So, prospective talks with other clubs might be silently entertained, on a case-by-case basis.

That aside, if any organization has the goods to execute a trade, it's the Braves.

Five of their top six prospects are being groomed as starting pitchers; and with Mike Foltynewicz and Mike Soroka already helping the big-league club, logic dictates that Atlanta general manager Alex Anthpoulos will eventually move some of the high-end assets at pitcher.

Perhaps well before their major-league careers get rolling.

Iglesias would for make an interesting trade investment. Short-term stability for the latter innings; potential closer with the Braves as early as next year.


STATS: 5-2, 0.98 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 23 saves, 56/13 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2021

SKINNY: In a perfect world, Treinen would rank substantially higher here.

However, those pesky Oakland A's (53-41) are only five games out of an American League wild-card slot.

In that vein, what would be general manager Billy Beane's motivation for trading Treinen before the deadline?

On second thought, Hollywood would never build a classic baseball movie around a linear-thinking general manager.

Historically speaking, Beane should have no fear in executing a sizable trade at the deadline, if it enhanced the team's short-term bottom line and long-term roster construction.

Besides, in most sabermetrics circles, closers are viewed as eminently replaceable assets. Especially if the reliever in question merits a return of Braves prospects Kyle Wright and Austin Riley.


STATS: 1-2, 3.95 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 11 saves, 45/14 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2019

SKINNY: For a brief moment, forget about the meh stats above.

Since June 1, Romo has been a cumulative force in the categories of ERA (1.37), WHIP (0.83), opponents' batting average (.179), K/BB rate (17/4), opponents' OBP (.225) and opponents' slugging (.239).

Plus, the right-hander has converted on eight of his last nine save opportunities.

Come July 31, this mini-run of sustainable glory will determine whether Romo commands a decent price on the trade market.

It might also foretell his value during the postseason.


STATS: 3-8, 4.11 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 91/36 K-BB

CONTRACT STATUS: Unrestricted free agent in 2023

SKINNY: It would be easy for Braves fans to compare/contrast Fulmer's seasonal numbers with the potential of their minor-league studs ... and openly wonder why Fulmer should even be a trade consideration.

However, something caught my eye on Friday.

MLB.com insider Jim Bowden (and former MLB general manager) threw out a potential blockbuster deal involving Atlanta and Detroit.

Braves receive: Fulmer and 3B/OF Nick Castellanos

Tigers get: RHP Kyle Wright (Braves' No. 2 prospect), LHP Kolby Allard (No. 5), OF Cristian Pache (No. 8), C/3B Drew Lugbauer (No. 28)

Here are a few positives about Fulmer:

**He's under team control for four more seasons.

**Since June 8, Fulmer owns strong tallies with ERA (3.10), opponents' batting (.234), opponents' OBP (.280) and K-BB rate (36/9).

**The durable Fulmer has pitched into the sixth inning for each of his last six starts.

**Since May 18, spanning 10 outings, Fulmer has a strike rate of 66 percent.

For Asset #2, Castellanos leads Detroit in homers, runs, hits, doubles, RBI, batting average, slugging and OPS. His fielding acumen has also improved in right field.

Which brings us to this: If the Braves traded for Castellanos, who would be the odd-man out in the Atlanta outfield?

Common sense suggests All-Star Nick Markakis and rookie dynamo Ronald Acuna Jr. would be safe, thus leaving Ender Inciarte as the expendable reserve.

(In this hypothetical, Markakis would likely move to center field.)

From June 2 to July 11, Inciarte posted marginal tallies with batting average (.225), OBP (.320) and slugging (.310); and during that span, only 26 percent of Inciarte's 29 hits were of the extra-base variety.

Bottom line: If the Braves can upgrade the outfield for the playoffs and bolster their starting rotation for another four years, it's likely worth the risk of upsetting Inciarte in the short term.