4 teams that should save Braves All-Star Bryce Elder from the minor leagues

Bryce Elder being optioned to the minors gives these teams the opportunity to potentially trade for him.

Sep 15, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bryce Elder (55) and  catcher
Sep 15, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bryce Elder (55) and catcher / Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
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Bryce Elder entered last season with just 10 MLB appearances and nine starts under his belt but he was in the Atlanta Braves' Opening Day rotation. Expectations were low for the inexperienced right-hander but in the first half of the season, he was among the best pitchers in the National League.

Elder had a sparkling 2.97 ERA in 18 first-half starts. Not only was he winning virtually every time he took the ball, but he was a National League All-Star. The second half, however, was a completely different story for the 24-year-old who posted a 5.11 ERA to finish the year and was roughed up by the Phillies in his line playoff start.

Elder hoped to turn his struggles around this spring, but he's allowed 11 runs in his 12 innings overall. It was looking like the Braves were going to turn to Reynaldo Lopez to serve as their fifth starter, and that's the decision they wound up making on Monday with Elder being optioned to AAA.

There's a good chance that Elder is the next man up and will see big league time with the Braves this season, but these four teams could certainly use him now and should try to get him.

4) The Astros should save Bryce Elder as they continue to be ravaged by injuries

The Houston Astros can almost field an entire starting rotation on their Opening Day IL. Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, and Jose Urquidy are all expected to begin the season on the IL, which obviously impacts the Astros, a team trying to win the World Series, in a big way.

The injuries have caused the Astros, a team that already signed Josh Hader this offseason and has several of their own players to pay in the near future, to enter the Blake Snell sweepstakes. It's unclear as to whether they'll land him, but the fact that they're interested shows their desire to add an external arm.

Instead of spending what will presumably be over $30 million annually on Snell or even Jordan Montgomery, the Astros can attempt to pull off a trade for Elder, a player who doesn't even hit arbitration until after the 2026 campaign. He's certainly a more appealing option than players like Brandon Bielak and Ronel Blanco who are the presumptive favorites to begin the season in the rotation after Urquidy's recent injury.