Ronald Acuña Jr. Trade Rumors: Braves Not Considering Dealing RF This Offseason

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 15, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 15: Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves runs to first base against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eighth inning in game four of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 15, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves signed Ronald Acuña Jr. to an eight-year, $100 million contract extension in April 2019, and the right fielder reportedly will not be traded.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Monday that the National League East team is "not considering" dealing the 24-year-old.

"While the club, as a matter of policy, does not award no-trade clauses, a player who signs an extension does it with the implicit understanding he will not be traded," Rosenthal wrote. "Obviously, things can change—a player, for example, eventually might want out. But if the Braves break the trust they've created internally, players will become more resistant to the extensions that have positioned the team for long-term success."

While Acuña's résumé includes the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year Award, three All-Star selections and two Silver Slugger Awards, durability is something of a concern after he tore his right ACL last season.

He played just 82 games in 2021 and missed Atlanta's run to the World Series title, and then he appeared in 119 games in 2022. He posted solid numbers with a .266/.351/.413 slash line, 15 home runs, 50 RBI and 29 stolen bases, but he was unable to replicate his head-turning numbers from his first and only full season in 2019.

Acuña finished that year with a .280/.365/.518 slash line, 41 home runs, 101 RBI, 37 stolen bases and 127 runs. The final two figures marked NL bests and hinted at a bright future.

His absence has dampened some of that enthusiasm, but there is still reason to think Acuña will be a major part of the Braves' core for the foreseeable future.

A trade would change that calculus, but it doesn't seem like one will happen.