Braves Rumors: Morton replacement, ESPN surprise prediction, untradable prospect

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves, MLB trade deadline, MLB Rumors
Atlanta Braves president Alex Anthopoulos (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Braves Rumors: ESPN outlines Atlanta’s trade deadline approach

Yes, the Braves are down two of their best starting pitchers in Max Fried and Kyle Wright, but don’t expect them to rush to acquire high-end starters come late July. Ideally, by that time, both Fried and Wright will be off the injured list or nearing a return.

Bradford Doolittle of ESPN recently outlined trade deadline plans for all 30 teams, including Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Surprisingly, those plans did not include much room for pitching upgrades:

"“Why they will add: The foundation of the Braves looks as rock solid as ever, with supreme performances from Ronald Acuna Jr. and Spencer Strider marking Atlanta as a prime World Series contender. Under the hood, things look a bit more uneven as a rocket-ship start to the season began to fade around the middle of May as the injuries mounted, particularly to the rotation. The Braves have maintained their perch in the NL East at least in part because their anticipated challengers (New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies) have yet to mount a consistent charge. By the deadline, the Braves should have a more fixed idea of their needs as the injured pitchers hopefully work their way back. Right now, the Braves’ team defense looks like a weakness and they have scrambled a bit in the bullpen. With injury luck, the acuity of those cracks in the mortar will be clear by late July.”"

As Doolittle outlines, starting pitching has actually been a strength for the Braves, despite their recent injuries. If Fried and Wright are back, there’s no real rush for them to go out and acquire the likes of Marcus Stroman, Dylan Cease or Corbin Burnes. Defense, as well as bullpen help, are prominent issues that Anthopoulos will have to deal with sooner rather than later.