MLB Rumors: Cardinals trade doors open, Braves trade deadline shift, absurd Jackson Holliday trade

Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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MLB Rumors, Atlanta Braves, Jesse Chavez
Atlanta Braves, Jesse Chavez. (Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) /

MLB Rumors: Braves trade deadline plans shifting, bullpen the top priority

One thing that has not changed with the Atlanta Braves is that the best team in the National League — by a wide margin — is going to be one of the buyers at the upcoming MLB Trade Deadline. In that light, however, the calculus of how they’re going to buy has almost surely been altered pretty starkly.

3 Braves trade targets from selling Pirates, 1 to avoid. light. More Braves

Early in 2023, it seemed as if the Braves would surely be targeting a middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher and perhaps an outifielder/designated hitter to supplement Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario in those roles. Then, if it were viable, the bullpen could’ve used more help. That has all now flipped.

Particularly with Jesse Chavez out, the bullpen is thinner than Brian Snitker or any fan would like. Meanwhile, Ozuna and Rosario have come on extremely strong and more starting pitching options have emerged with Michael Soroka, Kolby Allard and, to a lesser degree, AJ Smith-Shawver. On top of that, Chavez’s recovery does not appear to be going smoothly as he’s reportedly walking with a cane and is unsure when he’ll return.

It’s worth noting that the Braves should have a bevy of options on the bullpen market with guys such as Scott Barlow, David Bednar, Jordan Hicks, Kendall Graveman and numerous others all fitting the bill at various prices on the trade market as well given their contract situations.

Regardless, we still don’t know exactly what the Braves are gearing up for at the deadline. But reading the tea leaves with injuries and the way the season has played out, expect the bulk of Alex Anthopoulos and the front office’s attention to be paid to upgrading the bullpen — though that might not be all.