3. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are expected to be one of the most active teams at the MLB trade deadline, and sent lefty Jaime Garcia to Minnesota Monday after talks had supposedly cooled over the weekend. With Garcia off the trading block, the lefty probably is no longer the most sought after pitcher in the Atlanta starting rotation.
Julio Teheran has struggled this season, posting a 4.67 ERA and ugly 5.52 FIP in 20 starts. The 26-year-old right-hander has been hot-and-cold for the Braves since making his major league debut in 2011 at the age of 20. Though Atlanta is likely only to move Teheran for a great return, the club could be tempted by the Rangers, who would probably like to fill the hole left by Darvish’s departure with a two-time All-Star under contract through 2019 with a team option for 2020.
In return, the Braves would take Profar, Sopko, and out-of-favor catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The Braves would then flip Lucroy to Colorado, since the Rockies have gotten less offensive production than any National League team, and ranks dead last in Wins Above Replacement (-0.5 fWAR) at the position, according to FanGraphs. As an impending free agent, Lucroy won’t bring back much, and the Braves would settle for a pitching prospect.
With several other balls in the air, expect Atlanta GM John Coppolella to find new homes for impending free agents Brandon Phillips, R.A. Dickey and Garcia, as well. Let’s say Phillips ends up in Anaheim, given the Angels struggles at second base this season, and Dickey follows to provide depth in the starting rotation, and the Twins and Braves agree on the package going back to Atlanta by including the ever popular player to be named later.