If you had to pick one team who was going to sell off everything that isn’t nailed down this summer it would probably be…..the A’s, because, duh, Billy Beane. But if you had to pick two, the other would have to be the Braves, who are tied with the worst record in Major League Baseball.
Jon Heyman’s most recent rumors column belies that, as he reports that, “Heck, everyone can be had with the possible exception of [Freddie] Freeman.” Heyman particularly notes that teams have checked in on Nick Markakis, Alexi Ogando and Julio Teheran, and that Kelly Johnson might be on the move as well. Essentially, if it isn’t nailed down, the Braves are willing to discuss it. So as we look forward to the trade deadline, here are the Braves likely to be on the market, from most to least likely to get dealt:
Ogando has become a pretty decent reliever, after proving incapable of holding up under a starter’s workload. He has a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings this season with 23 strikeouts. He walks too many guys, but that’s pretty par for the course for relievers. Signed to a very reasonable $2 million, one-year deal this offseason, Ogando is affordable and the Braves won’t benefit from keeping him around. He should bring back a live arm from somebody. Heyman thinks he could be the next one out the door.
Johnson has been awful this year, hitting .210/.276/.295, but posted a 107 OPS as recently as last year. He can also play multiple positions and hits left-handed, making him a good bench option for some National League contender who needs depth. He might get them a minor league reliever.
He’s on the disabled list right now, but Beckham had a great first 100 plate appearances for the Braves this year, hitting .284/.382/.432. Obviously, he’s not this good, but he can play second base and third base and come off the bench as a pinch hitter. Like Johnson, he could bring in a minor league reliever.
He has absolutely no power, but Markakis can still get on base as a table setter, and is perfectly adequate in right field. He’s signed for two more years, and $22 million, much of which the Braves are going to have to eat if they’re going to get any kind of a prospect back for him.
Francoeur is a decidedly below average corner outfielder at this point, but is only 32, still hits lefties well enough to be an asset against them, and is genuinely beloved by everyone who comes into contact with him. A club like the Indians might have good use for a guy like that, especially with Marlon Byrd suspended for the rest of the year, since Francoeur won’t buck in a bench role. Again, he’s worth a minor league reliever.
Flowers flopped so many times for the White Sox, you’d be forgiven for not trusting his .253/.364/.352 line through 107 plate appearances. But with catching in short supply, and with a reasonable contract for next year as well, maybe Toronto or Seattle would be interested in him, at least as a backup.
I honestly can’t imagine the Braves letting Teheran get away at this point. Braves GM John Coppolella agrees, saying "I expect Julio Teheran to be on the team a long time." He’s only 25, and he’s under team control through 2020 for an indescribably reasonable amount. That, of course, is why he would be so valuable if the Braves chose to deal him. Certainly, he would command the biggest return of any Brave short of Freeman with his excellent track record and commanding 2016 so far, and the list of suitors would not be short. Still, even if it takes the Braves two or three more years to rebuild, Teheran can still be a big part of the next good club, and may command an even bigger return over the offseason when contenders can afford to deal MLB-ready talent.
A.J. Pierzynski, Erick Aybar, Adonis Garcia, Bud Norris, Eric O’Flaherty
Veterans all. Inexpensive all. And the Braves have no use for them. But, seriously, given the way they’re playing, neither does anybody else.