Atlanta Braves: Potential Waiver Wire Targets

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 10: Pitcher Kevin Gausman #45 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at SunTrust Park on August 10, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 10: Pitcher Kevin Gausman #45 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at SunTrust Park on August 10, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Braves (68-54), are heading into the final stretch of the season with a half-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies (68-55). Atlanta did a lot of work over the final week before the July 31st trade deadline to shore up some needs, and as the August 31st waiver deadline approaches, the Braves will most likely be on the market again. 

The Braves led by GM, Alex Anthopoulos, will be scouring the market over the next two weeks for any player that they claim, or that has cleared revocable waivers. While you still are allowed to trade after the August 31st deadline, any player that a team acquires after that date cannot be added to that team’s postseason roster.

This is why most teams opt to complete deals before the deadline passes. Atlanta may very well choose to stand pat rather than make a move if they feel the right deal isn’t there for them. However, as the playoffs become more and more realistic, the chance to add a proven veteran definitely would aid their chances going forward. With that being said, let’s look at a few potential targets the Braves might look to add over the following two weeks:

Curtis Granderson: 

At the top of the Braves wishlist right now is in all likelihood a lefthanded bench bat, and nobody on the current market fits that bill better than Curtis Granderson. The 37-year-old outfielder isn’t having the best year but is still very much an offensive threat. The Grandy Man is currently slashing  .236/.336/.424 to go along with 11 home runs and 35 RBI’s.

Serviceable in all three outfield positions, Granderson would be able to give any of Acuña Jr./Inciarte/Markakis a breather when needed, or could even serve in a platoon role as well. While many of the above options are possible, heading into the playoffs Granderson’s role will serve mainly as the first bat off the bench.

One area the Braves have struggled in this season is consistent productivity off the bench. Their first left-handed option off the bench currently is Ryan Flaherty, who hasn’t recorded a hit since July 7th. The addition of Granderson would help strengthen what is a vital position come playoff time.

Matt Adams: 

Many Atlanta fans would gladly welcome back a familiar face while gearing up for an October run. Currently serving in a platoon role for the Nationals, Matt Adams is another great option that could help deepen Atlanta’s roster. This wouldn’t be the first time the Braves acquired Adams, after a deal, last season sent Adams to Atlanta from St. Louis. Adams served as Atlanta’s first basemen while Freddie Freeman spent a chunk of time on the disabled list after fracturing his left wrist. Adams gave Atlanta everything they needed and more, providing much-needed pop to a lineup that lacked power from the left-side in Freeman’s absence.

This season, Adams is currently batting .261/.337/.518 with 18 home runs and 48 RBI’s. Unlike Granderson, it would be a little bit harder to find playing time for Adams, however, Atlanta would benefit greatly from his power off the bench late in games.

Adams can play leftfield, however, he is better equipped to play first base, which means his primary use would come off the bench.

Trading within your own division has been frowned upon in recent years, however, there have been multiple trades this year that have occurred within the division, and with Washington (62-62), spiraling out of the playoff race, it makes even more sense now for them to try and get what they can for some of their veterans.

Francisco Liriano: 

Next on Atlanta’s list of needs is pitching. While the Braves do have a plethora of young arms who are poised to make an impact on the team for many years to come, there is a common denominator amongst many on the current roster: experience. The truth is, many of the youngsters on Atlanta’s ball club don’t have the seasoning that many of the veterans in the game have as they prepare for the postseason. While the experience they have gotten is fantastic, you also have to be cognizant of the wear and tear that the seasons’ toll is taking on them. Many of the pitchers have never thrown this many innings, and it’s important to limit their work when you can. That’s where Francisco Liriano comes in.

The crafty 34-year-old lefty doesn’t have the best numbers at first glance this year. Liriano has pitched to a  3-8 record with a 4.72 ERA while striking out 77 batters over 97 and 1/3’s innings for Detroit. While the ERA is certainly alarming, there are a few things to consider with Liriano. He has experience in both the rotation and in the bullpen.

This would be a great asset to have if he needed to give someone a spot start or cover 3 or 4 innings out of the bullpen every so often. More importantly are Liriano’s splits. Lefties this season are hitting a measly .141/.247/.239 against him. If nothing else, Liriano would be a perfect left-hand specialist for Atlanta, who could provide crucial innings down the stretch as well as offer invaluable information to any of the young guys just as Aníbal Sánchez has done this season.

dark. Next. Braves Off-season Targets

Whether or not Atlanta decides to make a move remains to be seen, however, there are some solid options out there that could significantly improve their club for the stretch run as well as the postseason should they make it. Who would you like to see the Braves go after? Let us know below!