The B.S. Report: Braves looking to make trade for ace pitcher?

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Here I go talking baseball again. I just can’t help it.

Count me excited about the latest Braves trade rumor of them wanting Chicago White Sox star pitcher Chris Sale. He’ll be 28 years old next March. He’s 6-foot-6 and has three years left on his contract totaling $38 million dollars – which is cheap for a pitcher of his caliber. And believe this – Chris Sale is a number one starter. Chris Sale is an ace pitcher. Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball. And the Braves have the farm system to make a trade happen.

The White Sox say they are rebuilding, which means they will need a lot of talent in return. But will the Braves agree to trade top prospects for anybody? That’s the question. They have accumulated talent for two years now to make this type of trade, but the Braves will likely still be stingy when it comes to giving up certain prospects. For instance, the Braves likely won’t give up Dansby Swanson, and why would they? He’s a Cobb County kid who is going to be the face of the franchise. The day he was promoted to the big leagues last August, the Braves started promoting Swanson as the face that would help sell tickets in the new Sun Trust Park.

There may be a few pitchers they prefer to hold on to. But they’ve accumulated so many pitchers that they can probably survive losing some in a trade for who would immediately be their best starting pitcher. Imagine Sale in a rotation with Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey. Sale would make the Braves contenders for at least a wildcard spot next summer.

Remember, this team was 20-10 in its last 30 games and used 9 different starting pitchers. It was 37-35 after the All-Star Break and used 13 different starting pitchers. What would they have been with an actual rotation that was consistent with five starters? The Braves have waited for this type of trade – to add a star player to the roster that could make the team a winner again.

The price for Sale – or to be more appropriate – the Sale price – will be high. The Braves, or any other team, will likely have to give up at least four major prospects. But would Atlanta give up Ender Inciarte in a trade for Chris Sale? The White Sox may want him. Would they give up Ozzie Albies in a trade for Chris Sale? He’s the young 20-year-old second baseman who is expected to join Swanson in the middle infield at some point next season. They might have to in order to avoid giving up even more pitching talent from the farm system.

Remember, not many teams have the depth the Braves do to survive a trade like this. Many teams would make a major trade and deplete the farm system so much it would be difficult to make additional moves. Atlanta could survive it, as long as Sale became the pitcher the Braves need him to be – which is a star. I cringe at some pitching prospects in particular – Max Fried, Mike Soroka,  and Touki Toussaint – who I wonder if the White Sox would want in a trade. But the thought of adding an ace pitcher – a true number one starter – like Chris Sale may be cringe-worthy.

If the Braves are going to get back on track, pitching will be the key. And getting someone at this level may make the price worth the risk.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News, Sports

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