The Braves have been playing a very dangerous game with regards to their outfield for most of the season. Injuries to Marcell Ozuna and Cristian Pache depleted the starting lineup, then utility players such as Ehire Adrianza and Guillermo Heredia how battled nagging ailments and ineffectiveness. The outfield now consists of Abraham Almonte, Ender Inciarte, and Ronald Acuna. The latter was scratched from the lineup on Wednesday, however, with reported back tightness. His absence leaves an already thin outfield nearly untenable, which leads to the question: will the Braves add an outfielder?
One issue that complicates the trade market for Atlanta is their current place in the standings. The Braves leave New York trailing the Mets by five games in the division, which is likely their only avenue to a playoff spot given the strength of the NL West. With that in mind, would Alex Anthopoulos be willing to part with top prospects to add talent at the major league level?
If the front office opted to push in their chips, which outfield options make sense? The list begins with Joey Gallo, in my opinion. The Braves would obviously benefit from his powerful bat, but would also enjoy his Gold Glove defense. Other options such as Ketel Marte, Starling Marte, Trey Mancini, and Nick Castellanos will be discussed, along with lower-level options, but Gallo fits very well and seems attainable. Investing capital in rentals seems risky, given the deficit that exists for Atlanta, which also makes Gallo a good fit. He is controlled through 2022 and would greatly boost the Braves lineup, acting as a failsafe in the event that Ozuna does not return.
Who makes the most sense for Atlanta if they add an outfielder?
The Atlanta offense could not overcome early struggles from Kyle Wright, who was not sharp in this one. He continues to fail in his attempts to solidify a spot on the major league roster.
The Braves absolutely cannot afford to be without Acuna for any length of time.
Freddy Tarnok is impressing early in the 2021 campaign.
How would we feel about Will Bednar?
24. Braves: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi StateThe same pitcher names keep coming up with the Braves: Chandler, Bednar, McGreevy, Schwellenbach and Saint Mary’s left-hander Ky Bush. Atlanta may prefer Schwellenbach as a shortstop.
Who is available and which teams will be in the market for them?
We are watching a once-in-a-generation talent on display in Anaheim. Shohei Ohtani is incredible.