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A Braves-Cubs trade for much-needed pitching help: Is it realistic?

The Atlanta Braves could look to trade for Marcus Stroman at the deadline in a deal with the Chicago Cubs to help solidify their rotation.

Maybe the Atlanta Braves could make a deal with the Chicago Cubs for right-hander Marcus Stroman before the MLB trade deadline in a few weeks?

Atlanta stands a great chance to win its sixth straight NL East crown, but the Braves may need a boost to its pitching staff to help them get over the top. While the Philadelphia Phillies have struggled this season, the Miami Marlins have overachieved, and the New York Mets are bound to get hot at some point. With Chicago pretty much circling the drain, they may be selling off pieces…

Although Atlanta just got back Michael Soroka, and should get back Max Fried and Kyle Wright later this season, you can never have enough good arms on your quest for another pennant.

Let’s look at why the Braves could be interested in Stroman and other needs they might have.

Atlanta Braves could target Chicago Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman at trade deadline

Stroman is technically a free agent after this season. He does have a player option, which he could choose to pick up, depending on where he pitches at the end of the year. If he isn’t traded at the deadline and is done with the Cubs, then I would get it. Conversely, if he were to be dealt to a contending team like the Braves and wants to stay in 2024, he could exercise that player option.

While the Braves have done business with the Cubs recently, you have to wonder how much Atlanta would want to concede to Chicago out of its already depleted minor league system. Though they tend to do well with whatever crop they harvest, we are kind of at that point of diminishing returns of you’re the Braves. This is what happens when you win all the time, y’all!

Would, and maybe more so should, Atlanta have interest in acquiring a talented starting pitcher like Stroman? Sure, but I don’t think it’s going to happen until the 11th hour. This has everything to do with where the Braves sit in the NL East standings and Senior Circuit pecking order, as well as how rotational arms like Fried and Wright are progressing. Just play it by ear.

Simply put, I think Atlanta would get outbid in their quest for Stroman’s services. Not to say they’d have to pay a gross premium in dealing for him intraleague, but it’s more about who they’d have to give up. Pretty much every other farm system is deeper than the Braves. So with that in mind, they should only trade for Stroman in a worst-case scenario. Focus on the bullpen instead.

See, I would expect for general manager Alex Anthopoulos to be ultra-aggressive at the deadline in acquiring relief pitching. That has been the Braves’ bugaboo for the better part of the year so far. Fortunately, even the most talented relief pitchers aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg like a starter would, regardless of how many years are left on a particular player’s contract.

Frankly, I think Braves Country would be excited about the addition of Stroman should he be coming to Atlanta. While I’ll believe it when I see it, the Cubs have something Anthopoulos could potentially want. The question is if starting pitching is as big of a need for the Braves a few weeks from now, as well as if the Atlanta farm system produces anything of interest the Cubs would like.

Stroman to the ATL would be as cool as it would be fascinating, but don’t count on it just yet.

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