Atlanta Braves Interested in Pulling Off Trade for Former Phillies Starter

The Atlanta Braves may move to make a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for a former Philadelphia Phillies starter.
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves are hoping that the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies hit a road block in their historic campaign and a window opens for them to once again claim the National League East division title.

But the Phillies look to be unstoppable and they will only get that much better once shortstop Trea Turner makes his return to the lineup.

The Braves know this so they are rumored to be interested in adding former Phillies starter and current Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Zach Eflin via trade according to USA Today.

Working in Eflin's favor is the fact that he is right-handed. Between Chris Sale and Max Fried, Atlanta may want to add a right-hander to the mix. With Spencer Strider out for the season plus multiple other unknowns, the Braves will need to do something before the MLB trade deadline.

Whether Eflin is enough in that department will be up to the front office and how aggressive they want to be. They may need to add more than just one arm to the rotation but in a season where pitching is the most expensive and coveted commodity, the farm system would take a massive blow to pull off trades for multiple starters.

Additionally, Fried will be a free agent after the season. Eflin has another year of team control after 2024, making him especially attractive to an Atlanta franchise that will need stability in order to continue to compete with their NL East rivals.

For Phillies fans, it appears that whatever kept him from reaching his full potential at a consistent level has been unlocked by the Rays. That would be particularly frustrating to see Eflin return to the division, pitch for a direct rival, and find more success than he did with Philadelphia.

Kade Kistner


Kade Kistner is the publisher and beat writer for Sports Illustrated's Inside the Phillies. An alumnus of Tulane University, Kade graduated in 2017 with a degree in Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish. Upon graduation, Kade commissioned into the United States Navy and attended Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Fl. He served as a Naval Aviator and was stationed in Jacksonville, Fl.  During his time in school and the Navy, Kade began covering the MLB and NFL with USA Today, SB Nation, and Sports Illustrated.  Kade covered the New Orleans Saints, Texas Rangers, and numerous other teams within the Sports Illustrated network before launching Inside the Phillies, Inside the Astros, and Inside the Cubs. You can follow him on Twitter at @KadeKistner, or if you have any questions or comments he can be reached via email at