With Josh Donaldson now on his way to Minnesota, the Atlanta Braves are left with a gaping hole in the middle of their lineup. While Atlanta has a pair of capable options to fill in at third base in Johan Camargo and Austin Riley, neither is close in terms of an offensive threat as Donaldson at this point. Atlanta could ultimately turn to the trade market but they have seemed reluctant to get involved in trade discussions for Kris Bryant or Nolan Arenado.
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the Braves will now focus on acquiring an outfielder with Camargo set to take over at third. In that scenario it would seem that Austin Riley would likely start the season at Triple-A but could be in the mix early in the season.
With Donaldson off the board, the Braves will focus their search for an outfielder. Camargo currently stands as the most likely to start the season at third base. But Riley, who shares an agent (Dan Lozano) with Donaldson, could become part of the mix early in the season— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 15, 2020
The Braves have been linked to free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna earlier this offseason. Nicholas Castellanos would seemingly be another option as well. Atlanta currently has Ender Inciarte and a platoon of Nick Markakis and Adam Duvall penciled in around Ronald Acuña Jr. in the outfield.
Inciarte would look like a trade candidate given his contract status and his defensive ability in center especially with outfield prospect Cristian Pache on the horizon. Still, Inciarte’s defense would also still be valuable to Atlanta as they would likely be taking a step back defensively with a corner outfield addition.