Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos suggested today that he’s not looking only to make a minor addition or two. Rather, as Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM tweets, the Atlanta executive says his club “can afford to add a starter and reliever and a bat.” And the organization won’t just be considering adding supplemental temporary pieces; rather, per Anthopolous, “we are looking for acquisitions on players we can control rather than rentals.” Needless to say, those comments tend to expand the conceivable array of possibilities for the Braves. With a healthy array of prospects available to deal from, the Braves could certainly make a run at a player who’d be viewed as a major present and future asset.
Here’s more trade chatter from the day …
- MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand pegs the Cubs as a possible Nathan Eovaldi suitor. It’s easy to see the connection: the Rays right-hander holds out some real promise of being a weapon down the stretch, but his injury history and thin recent track record will likely limit the return the Tampa Bay organization can achieve. Meanwhile, the Cubs are arguably well-positioned to take a risk on a dynamic arm, as they have a decent array of at-least serviceable hurlers already on hand and also perhaps lack the upper-level prospect capital to chase down a more valuable commodity.
- Unsurprisingly, Feinsand further reports, the Indians are working hard to make an outfield addition. The club would prefer a player that’s capable of playing both center and right field, he notes. Perhaps the slate of targets depends most of all upon the degree to which the club feels it needs innings up the middle. Certainly, there are quite a few outfield possibilities listed among MLBTR’s top 75 trade deadline candidates. Among them, though, only a few really have significant experience in center. And the most obvious candidates that do — Curtis Granderson and Adam Jones — perhaps aren’t optimal up-the-middle defenders at this stage. (That’s not to say that either of those two names is currently of interest to Cleveland, though the organization has previously been tied to Jones.)
- While the focus is on the pitching staff, the Mets are getting some hits on mid-season acquisitions Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). Both players are headed for the open market at season’s end, though they are in different contractual situations otherwise. Bautista is playing for the league minimum, while the Mets owe Mesoraco some real cash. (Per reports at the time Mesoraco was acquired for Matt Harvey, the Reds sent money sufficient to pay down the difference in the two players’ salaries, suggesting that the Mets still are responsible for the balance of a $5.6MM annual salary.) It seems reasonable to anticipate that both players will be moved. Since joining the Mets, Bautista has produced a strong .235/.396/.432 batting line and Mesoraco has sported a league-average bat while lining up behind the dish.
- Speaking of Harvey, he’s also a potential trade chip after a mostly sturdy showing thus far with the Reds. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick runs down the latest on his market, noting that the Mariners and Brewers have poked around a bit on the former ace. Both teams, presumably, see Harvey as a potential upgrade over internal options, though certainly there’s not much to commend him as a front-line hurler at this stage. Through 68 frames in Cincinnati, Harvey is carrying a mid-nineties heater. But he still hasn’t rebounded in the swinging-strike department and owns only a 4.50 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.0 B/9.
- The Brewers are evidently open to being rather creative, as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that they have actually considered the idea of bumping Travis Shaw to second base to facilitate the acquisition of Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. That’s a bit of an eyebrow-raising concept at first glance, given that Shaw — who’s listed at 6’4 and 230 pounds — has never lined up at second base as a professional. While Moustakas figures to help out some contending organization, it’s not as if he’s a unique piece on the market. And there are quite a few accomplished hitters available who have experience up the middle.