The Atlanta Braves are having a disappointing 2021 season.
Despite playing in an extremely weak National League East division, the Braves have been unable to capitalize.
With that being the case, the club will likely look to act as sellers at the upcoming trade deadline.
Fans never like to see their favorite players traded away, but it’s in the best interest of the future of the organization.
Which players could be on the move?
3. Drew Smyly
Drew Smyly is a perfect trade candidate.
He is signed through the end of the season and has been just good enough to garner some attention on the trade market.
This season, the lefty has a 4.79 ERA, 5.41 FIP, and 1.31 WHIP over 13 starts.
Those numbers are hardly impressive, but there are a handful of contending teams who would go to great lengths to add rotation depth, and Smyly can provide just that.
The 32-year-old has a solid track record.
He entered the 2021 season with a career 4.13 ERA.
Drew Smyly's third straight strong start combined with Will Smith's scoreless ninth gives the Braves a 3-2 win over the Reds at Guillermo Heredia Stadium
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 26, 2021
He also has some postseason experience which is always a plus.
Way back in 2013, he made 10 appearances as a reliever in the playoffs for the Detroit Tigers.
He totaled seven innings of two-run ball.
Smyly might not garner a huge trade return this year, but it would be a win if the Braves were able to snatch a decent prospect in the deal.
2. Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton is one of the more under-appreciated players in baseball.
In recent years, he has become one of the most reliable starters in the league, posting a 3.39 ERA over 112 starts since the beginning of the 2017 season.
He got some recognition in 2018 and 2019 when he was named an All-Star in both campaigns, but it still seems like Morton doesn’t get the attention he deserves.
This year, he has a 3.68 ERA, 3.42 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP across 15 starts.
Like Smyly, Morton has playoff experience.
In fact, he won a title in 2017 with the Houston Astros.
Morton has a career 3.38 ERA over 13 postseason outings (12 of which were starts).
With his contract up after the season, the Braves would be wise to move him to a contending team as a rental.
And with his value at a high, the return could be attractive.
1. Freddie Freeman
Although Braves fans would hate to see Freddie Freeman traded, it seems like the best course of action.
The four-time All-Star will hit free agency this offseason, and his perceived value on the trade market is presumably relatively high.
Freeman is a career .293 hitter with an .889 OPS.
Freddie Freeman is one of the best hitters in Baseball because he uses all fields so well. Check out this walk-off against Hader, and this bomb of Buehler. Freeman is my third hitter posted in the NL I have four more in each league. #MLBHighlights #Braves #FreedieFreeman #MLB2020 pic.twitter.com/gYSyouz0Yo
— G.T. Julian Guilarte (@JulianGuilarte1) June 27, 2020
He is a perennial MVP candidate and even won the award in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.
He has taken a small step back this year, but on the whole, he has still performed at a high level.
His season in a nutshell: .254/.362/.468 slash line, 17 home runs, 10 doubles, 1.2 WAR.
Those numbers don’t blow you away, but they’re good, and we all know that Freeman is capable of going on a tear.
Just look at his MVP season in 2020—he batted .341 with a 1.102 OPS over 60 games.
He’s capable of getting going like that again.