Braves Urged to Acquire Former Playoff MVP at MLB Trade Deadline

Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer argued the Atlanta Braves should trade for a 2023 All-Star to solidify their outfield.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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Predictions before the 2024 season had the Atlanta Braves targeting starting pitching at the MLB trade deadline. Those projections only grew when Spencer Strider went down for the rest of the season in early April.

But near the midway point of the season, the Braves support the third-best ERA and WHIP in the National League. Atlanta has received a quality start in 43% of its game this season, which is the fourth-highest rate in the NL.

In May, the Braves offense went into a slumber, but the lineup has awakened over the past two weeks. They are averaging 5.1 runs per game with a team .483 slugging percentage and .792 OPS over the past 11 contests.

With all of this in mind, how do the Braves improve their roster before the MLB trade deadline? 

Well, because of injuries, the obvious choice is outfield upgrades. That’s what Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer argued on June 24.

Rymer also named Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Randy Arozarena as the outfielder the Braves should target at the deadline.

“He may be a Rookie of the Year winner and a playoff legend, but Arozarena is also a guy with just a .190 average and a .654 OPS to show for this season,” Rymer wrote. “He nonetheless still has solid peripherals, and it's reasonable to think he would be energized by a move to a contender.”

Through 77 games this season, Arozarena has recorded a .652 OPS. But all that could do is make him cheaper to acquire at the deadline.

No one is Ronald Acuña Jr., but Arozarena could help replace his power and speed. Each of the past three seasons, Arozarena has posted at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Last year, Arozarena made the American League All-Star team with a .254/.364/.425 slash line. 

Arozarena also performs best in the biggest games. In 33 career postseason contests, he’s hit .336 with a 1.104 OPS. 

During 2020, he set an MLB record with 10 home runs in a single postseason. In the 2020 World Series, he hit .364 with 3 home runs and 4 RBI. 

That was after winning the ALCS MVP while batting .321 with 4 home runs and a double to lead the Rays to the AL pennant.

Acquiring Arozarena could more than solidify the Braves outfield. He could help propel them to the World Series like the team’s summer outfield additions (Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario and Joc Pederson) did in 2021.

Dave Holcomb