Things aren’t turning around for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves should be ready to take advantage of that at the MLB Trade Deadline.
One of the biggest potential hurdles for the Atlanta Braves at the upcoming MLB Trade Deadline is the simple lack of sellers that could be out there. Sure, there are obvious candidates like the Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and, sadly, usual suspects.
With so many divisions simply not looking good overall, though, teams that would be well out of playoff contention otherwise are still in the mix. The St. Louis Cardinals, however, appear as if they might shockingly be falling into a position where they could end up joining the list of sellers. The team is now 12 games under .500 and falling dangerously out of the postseason race.
Given the expectations around the Cardinals entering the season, that should now be one of the first places the Braves look at the MLB Trade Deadline. They have more obvious talent that could help Atlanta’s World Series chances outside of the other teams in the seller category and have players who fill the Braves’ biggest needs. Although, not every potential trade target is worth going after.
Taking all of that into account, let’s take a look at three Cardinals who should be Braves trade targets and two players who Atlanta should avoid at the deadline.
Braves Rumors: Trade target No. 3 from Cardinals – Jordan Montgomery, LHP
The jury is still out on AJ Smith-Shawver, the Braves’ 20-year-old top prospect who just made his first MLB start and has looked good in two outings in the big leagues overall. Of course, he started the year in Single-A, so there could be a desire within the organization to keep using some kid gloves with, well, the kid.
All of that still points to the biggest need for Atlanta that Alex Anthopoulos and the front office should try to upgrade at the trade deadline. Max Fried should be back soon but Kyle Wright’s return is less certain, leaving rotation depth and perhaps the fifth starter role in flux for this team.
The Cardinals have a number of options to remedy that, though, one of which is the southpaw they traded for at the deadline a year ago, Jordan Montgomery.
Look past Montgomery’s 3-7 record and you can see that he’s been far better than that would indicate this season. Though he’s not been as good as he was at the end of last year, he’s still posted a solid 3.88 ERA and 1.33 WHIP and his underlying numbers regarding FIP (fielding independent pitching) suggest he’s not getting lucky either.
Adding another lefty to the rotation with Fried could be crucial for the Braves’ playoff push and, with Montgomery in the final year of club control with no extension in place, he could be a nice rental option to fill the void in the rotation.