Breaking Down Each Brave's Odds of Being Moved at the Trade Deadline
While the Braves are set to be buyers at the trade deadline next month, there is a chance that the team decides to move some players on their very deep roster. With extra starting pitching depth and a hole created in the bullpen due to injuries, there is a real possibility of Frank Wren deciding to move one of the guys on the active roster this year.
This article will look at the odds of each member of the Braves and what the odds are that they get traded next month. For purposes of this article, I will leave anyone on the disabled list out if they are expected to be out of action for the next month and I will only be examining the odds that these players are dealt in-season. Also, since the Braves will be buyers and not sellers, there aren't a lot of guys on the current team likely to be dealt by the deadline.
The following players have basically no chance at being dealt during this season. Some of these guys are on here because of their ability, but there are others on here because of their salaries or injury questions.
Dan Uggla—The guy many would love to see traded just isn't going anywhere unless the Braves decided to eat a large chunk of his salary. That wouldn't be an option unless the Braves felt that there was a replacement ready to at least play at Uggla's level.
Freddie Freeman—The Braves aren't going to deal their young RBI machine in a push for the playoffs.
Andrelton Simmons—Already considered by some to be the best defensive shortstop in the game, Simmons is untouchable.
Chris Johnson—There really is no replacement for him at third base, so I can't see him being dealt.
Ramiro Pena—Pena has been clutch this year and has been one of the best utility players in the game so far this year as he has surprised at the plate. Playoff contenders don't deal super-utility guys like Pena.
Jason Heyward—Now that Heyward has started to hit, the Braves won't trade one of the highest ceiling players in the game.
Justin Upton—After going out and trading for this slugger, the Braves will not deal him just a few months later.
B.J. Upton—Like Uggla, his contract makes him untradeable right now.
Jordan Schafer—As B.J. Upton is struggling, Schafer is playing the best baseball of his career. It's hard to imagine a true center fielder in the middle of a strong season getting traded when the regular center fielder just isn't producing.
Brian McCann—The Braves aren't likely to trade their veteran catcher in-season, especially considering the youth in the lineup.
Tim Hudson—Hudson may be struggling a little, but he is still one of the leaders of the team and the front office wants him around in October.
Kris Medlen—Medlen has quietly been very good this year and wouldn't be the starter that would be dealt.
Julio Teheran—Teheran is finally starting to pitch like the guy we heard about as a prospect for years.
Mike Minor—The left-hander has come into his own and the Braves aren't going to part with him cheaply.
Brandon Beachy—Coming off an injury his value is very low right now and the Braves won't take pennies on the dollar for him.
Luis Avilan—Avilan is too good to deal with the injuries to others in the bullpen.
Craig Kimbrel—You don't improve your bullpen by dealing one of the best closers in the game.
Evan Gattis, 1 Percent
The Braves aren't likely to trade Evan Gattis during the season. The power-hitting catcher is potentially the catcher of the future and is also a capable middle-of-the-order bat right now when he's in the lineup. Even when he isn't in the lineup, he's a major threat off the bench with his power and ability to come through in the clutch.
Gattis could be moved due to the presence of Brian McCann, but it's highly unlikely because of his value to the team both today and in the future. That's why I give him a 1 percent chance of being dealt.
Gerald Laird, 15 Percent
Gerald Laird is what he is, a solid, veteran backup catcher who could serve in an every day role for a short period if needed. His value to the Braves is actually a little different because although he does not play much, he allows Fredi Gonzalez to use either Brian McCann or Evan Gattis as a pinch hitter off the bench.
The Braves have a real weapon on the bench with either McCann or Gattis, so they aren't likely to deal Laird when they don't have another catcher capable of taking Laird's job. Still, the front office will listen if a team in need of catching makes a very strong offer on Laird.
Reed Johnson, 30 Percent
Reed Johnson is a valuable, veteran platoon player and pinch hitter, but he is expendable right now. With four outfielders ahead of him and having Evan Gattis as a pinch hitter most days, Johnson isn't a key piece for the Braves right now.
Johnson will have value to someone and a player like him could help get the Braves a reliever to help fill some of the holes in their bullpen.
Paul Maholm, 40 Percent
Prior to Brandon Beachy's recent setback in his return from Tommy John surgery, I would have put Paul Maholm at a 50% chance of being dealt at the trading deadline. It makes sense because the Braves have guys like Beachy, Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Tim Hudson and Kris Medlen ahead of him. They also have Alex Wood, Sean Gilmartin and J.R. Graham ready to fight for rotation jobs very soon.
None of the Braves' starters have bullpen experience, so if Beachy comes back healthy soon, the Braves could be in position to deal their most expendable starter for relief help.
Alex Wood, 20 Percent
While I don't think the Braves are going to deal Alex Wood due to the fact he is capable of helping in the bullpen this year as well as has a future in the rotation, there is still a chance he gets moved for a veteran reliever.
Wood has been strong in relief after being a starter throughout his minor league career, and that has helped to answer some of the questions that were raised after Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty went down with injury. That's why I give him just a 20 percent chance of being dealt this year.