Braves trade for Ronald Acuña replacement in official start to Cubs fire sale

The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs to fill the void left in right field.

Just ahead of the All-Star break, reports indicated that the Chicago Cubs were going to sell at the trade deadline after they plummeted down the NL Central standings. Well, the Cubs did not waste any time ahead of the return for the second-half of the season.

On Thursday, the Cubs have traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for first base prospect Bryce Ball.

Braves acquire Joc Pederson from the Cubs to fill void left by Ronald Acuña

Atlanta was dealt a tough blow heading into the second-half, as star outfielder Ronald Acuña suffered a torn ACL when attempting to catch a fly ball in last Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins. With Acuña done for the season and sidelined for the next 9-to-10 months, the Braves chose against selling and to go for the NL East crown by acquiring Pederson.

The Cubs did not spend all too much in free agency this past winter, but one of their biggest gets was Pederson, who had just won the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. There was promise for the Cubs at the start of the season, where they were positioned at the top of the divisional standings. But, an 11-game losing streak officially caused Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to pivot to selling, especially since the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are set to hit free agency after the season.

This season, Pederson is slashing .230/.300/.418 while recording 11 home runs, 39 RBI, 35 runs scored and 59 hits.

Atlanta will be sending over their 12th-overall prospect in Ball, their 24th-round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, to Chicago. This season, Ball is slashing .207/.354/.396 while recording six home runs, 30 RBI, 24 runs scored and 35 hits in 53 games in High-A.

The Braves filled a void left in the outfield by acquiring Pederson, while the Cubs begin to bolster their farm system ahead of a crucial offseason. Now, we await to see what other moves are made by the Cubs ahead of the July 30 trade deadline.