With a little over a month to go until the trade deadline, the Braves have a lot of questions to mull over. At 32-37, they are currently in 2nd place in the division by one game over the Marlins. While that certainly isn’t a good record, the team is on pace to finish in a much better place than they have since the start of 2015. John Coppolella has a few assets that could muster a nice return for as the deadline looms.
Dat Dude BP has been an enormous gift to the Braves this season. He holds a .304 average with 4 HR and 7 SB. Add in his winning attitude and clubhouse presence, the Braves could flip hm to a contending team in need of 2B production. However, being 35 and in the last year of his contract, the best return you can get is a few low level prospects that add depth to the farm system and nothing more. But, with Cincinnati covering all but 1 million dollars of his contract and Ozzie Albies playing well in Gwinnett, fans should expect Phillips to be moved.
Garcia has without a doubt been the best pitcher in the rotation this season. His 3.59 ERA is the only one in the rotation that is under 4.00. With his free agency looming at the end of the year, it is unlikely the Braves would extend the veteran left hander with Sean Newcomb, Kolby Allard, Max Fried and several other lefties making their way through the system. A contending team would love to add a quality left handed pitcher to their rotation during the playoffs. With Coppolella being a trade wizard, he could fetch a nice return for Garcia if he continues to pitch well into the deadline.
Markakis has been the most solid bat in the lineup the past 2 ½ years behind Freeman. Batting .288 with a .368 OBP, Markakis bring a veteran bat, glove and attitude to any clubhouse needing a solid RF. With one more year remaining in his contract at an affordable $11 million, there could be many teams calling and asking about Markakis. Keep in mind, Ronald Acuna is dominating Double-A right now and will project to play RF whenever he is called up because of the contract extension to Inciarte. While Markakis is loved in Atlanta, his days as a Braves may be limited.
Overall, Coppolella has a lot of moves to think about. Any move he makes will be for the future and more than likely will not make the Braves better this year. But, that’s just the road you take when you’re in a rebuild. However, the Braves are in the driver seat this trade deadline and have a chance to once again add tremendous depth to this organization.