For everyone hoping that the Braves make a blockbuster deal before the July 31 trade deadline, I've got some bad news: it's not happening.
Atlanta sits in a very favorable position as the second half of the season rolls around on Friday. They're six games up on Washington in the East, and while the Braves prepare for the lowly White Sox and Mets, the Nationals welcome in the Dodgers and Pirates, two of the hottest teams in baseball the past month or so.
There's no need for Frank Wren to make a groundbreaking deal in the next two weeks. It seems the club will be looking to add nothing more than a reliever or two, and maybe a bench bat. Let's dig into a few rumors from the past week.
- Ken Rosenthal penned that contrary to what some scouts believe, Wren and Co. are looking to add another "winning" piece to their bullpen, not a front-end starter. Rosenthal didn't include any teams as potential fits, although we can cross one high-priority name off the list...
- According to Jim Bowden, the Braves were one of a couple teams to contact the Twins about left-handed closer Glen Perkins. They were turned away, and it doesn't seem like Perkins will be dealt this month.
- Jesse Crain is currently on the disabled listed with a strained right shoulder, but if he can get healthy, he will be the best reliever on the market. Crain has a 0.74 ERA and 1.53 FIP over the course of 36 2/3 innings this season and has Craig Kimbrel-like strikeout numbers. The White Sox will be sellers at the deadline, and Bowden wrote in the same article that the Braves are one of many teams monitoring his progress. How'd you like the Braves to head into October with Crain, Luis Avilan, Jordan Walden and Kimbrel handling the last three innings?
- The Braves are one of the many teams showing interest in Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who could sign within the next week or two. I honestly don't know too much about him, but it will be something to keep an eye on.