Are the Braves buyers or sellers at the trade deadline? – BY BUCK BELUE

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Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte (11) and third baseman Ehire Adrianza (23) celebrate after scoring during fifth the inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

June 24, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – As pen hits paper, the Braves are hovering around .500 and still in the National League East mix. The team has been what some of the old-timers call “treading water.”

But the MLB Trade frenzy starts soon. What will the Braves do? Obviously, this team as constructed needs some help quick, in the bullpen and the outfield. However, one more losing streak could place the Braves into the dreaded seller’s market.

Word on the street says Liberty Media has told Anthopoulus that he will have money to spend at the trade deadline. How much? No info on that number. My best guess would be $5M.

So basically, we are talking about adding a bullpen piece, or a bargain centerfielder. Don’t get me wrong, either one of those additions would be welcomed. But don’t expect anything huge.

Ozuna put his family and the Braves in one horrible situation. Replacing Marcell would take something huge. Think for a moment how big it would have been to be getting him back for a late season run. Instead, the team will be probably looking for a bargain bat.

The Braves also have enough quality prospects to get something done by the trade deadline, but they have shown a reluctance to move any of these guys under Anthopoulus.

It’s reasonable to believe that Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright, Kyle Muller, Drew Waters, Wilson Contreras, Cristian Pache, Tucker Davidson or Jasseel De La Cruz would all have some marketability on the trade market. The educated guess here is that the untouchable prospect right now is catcher Shae Langeliers.

A combination of those guys should be able to provide the Braves immediate help.

Worst case scenario is the Braves fall back, become sellers and wave the white flag. Build for next year. This was supposed to be a World Series run year. This would be so disappointing for the fan base out in Braves Country.

Imagine trading Freddie Freeman at the deadline. That might not be so crazy, if the Braves aren’t serious about resigning him to a big-money, market value (5 Years/$136M or $27M per) contract extension. Just saying. Better to get something now, if you are going to lose him at the end of the year.

The Braves fan in me is hoping that this team can finish the first half of the season on the up-and-up and stay in contention. The team is currently playing a little better. We need that to continue that trend in the month of July.

Or else.

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