The San Francisco Giants rebuild has begun. The best remaining players on the roster will soon be leaving the bay. As the trade deadline approaches, Marc Delucchi will look at how each contender fits as a potential trade partner. Next up, the Atlanta Braves.
After last night’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants are now 11 games under .500 and 18.5 games back in the NL West. To add some salt into the wounds, their run-differential actually suggests their record should be worse than it already is.
Recent rule changes have eliminated August waiver trades for big league players. That could make both buyers and sellers more aggressive earlier than we’ve seen in years past. Contenders won’t want to miss the chance to fill a hole and sellers won’t want to miss the opportunity to move their best assets set for free agency.
The Atlanta Braves clearly fall into the contender category.
They surprised a lot of people last season when they won 90 games en route to an NL East title. As we approach the end of June, they’ve built a 4.5-game lead on the Philadelphia Phillies and appear primed for another postseason run.
It will be interesting to see how the Braves approach the deadline They have one of the five best farm-systems in baseball, but also don’t have a lot of holes to plug. Go look through their lineup and you’ll find eight players who would be one of the most productive players on the San Francisco Giants roster.
That said, the bullpen is the clear area of need. Closer Luke Jackson is the only reliever with a FIP below 3.10 and they don’t really have any relievers with a long history of success. The starting rotation has been an area of concern for some time, but they inked Dallas Keuchel to a one-year deal and he’s slated to debut on Friday.
However, even after adding Keuchel, here’s how the Atlanta rotation stands:
- Mike Soroka (2.12 ERA/3.08 FIP)
- Julio Teheran (3.40 ERA/4.35 FIP)
- Max Fried (4.03 ERA/3.97 FIP)
- Mike Foltynewicz (5.53 ERA/6.04 FIP)
- Dallas Keuchel (no 2019 stats)
Both Sean Newcomb and Kevin Gausman are on the IL, but Newcomb was strong out of the pen and Gausman’s ERA is 6.21 on the season. Bumgarner would still fill a hole for Atlanta in the rotation.
Furthermore, the Braves would be playing keep away from some of their biggest NL competition. As I’ve written about in previous editions of the series, the Phillies, Brewers, and Cubs are all prime candidates for at least one of Bumgarner or closer Will Smith.
I’ve been adamant that the Giants are very unlikely to package Bumgarner and Smith together in a deadline trade. As two of the best players available this summer, the Giants should be able to find solid markets for both. However, the Braves are one of the few exceptions. Their farm system is flush with top talent and the Giants best means of extracting a big return might be to ship them to Atlanta as a pair.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few potential trade packages that could make sense for both the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves.