PHILADELPHIA -- Though the Braves remained quiet through Monday afternoon's non-waiver Trade Deadline, they will still have an opportunity to move some of the veterans they have recently shopped and possibly spend some of the money they saved by trading Jaime Garcia last week.Before the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed Monday,
PHILADELPHIA -- Though the Braves remained quiet through Monday afternoon's non-waiver Trade Deadline, they will still have an opportunity to move some of the veterans they have recently shopped and possibly spend some of the money they saved by trading Jaime Garcia last week.
Before the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed Monday, the Braves did not find potential suitors for second baseman Brandon Phillips and closer Jim Johnson. Now, these two players will join R.A. Dickey and some of the club's other veterans as candidates who will be placed on waivers and possibly traded within the next month.
In order to be included in any Major League trade made over the remainder of this season, a player must first be placed on waivers. A significant percentage of the league's players will be placed on revocable waivers over the next couple of weeks. This simply provides clubs some understanding of potential future interest and the flexibility to move players who are either claimed or passed over through this process.
The Braves created some payroll flexibility when they traded Garcia to the Twins on July 24. Initially, there was some hope the $4.7 million saved via this deal might benefit the club's hope to add a controllable starting pitcher, who could benefit the front of the rotation beyond this season. The primary target was A's right-hander Sonny Gray, who was traded Monday in exchange for three of the Yankees' top 12 prospects per MLBPipeline.com -- outfielder Dustin Fowler (No. 4), infielder Jorge Mateo (No. 8) and right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian (No. 12).
The Yankees, who also received $1.5 million in international bonus slot money, were comfortable making this deal as they use Gray during this year's playoff push and control him through the end of the 2019 season. Having seen their slim playoff hopes evaporate during their current 1-8 stretch, the Braves would have simply been gaining two years of control of the 27-year-old right-hander, whose value was enhanced by a slim starting pitching market.
As the Braves looked for a controllable starting pitcher who might be able to enhance the club's hope to become a legitimate playoff contender next year, they evaluated and inquired about the Tigers' Michael Fulmer. But over the past couple weeks, it became clear Detroit was not ready to move Fulmer. If he becomes available this winter, he would likely again pique the Braves' interest.
With Ozzie Albies waiting in the wings and Sean Rodriguez's early return enhancing the middle-infield depth, the Braves attempted to trade Phillips, who has a partial no-trade clause as he progresses through the final year of his contract. The 36-year-old Atlanta native's market is thinned by the fact he can block a trade to 12 clubs and seemingly has a desire to play the remainder of the season for his hometown team.
Johnson's market was damaged when the approximate $6 million he is owed through next season became less attractive as he posted a 5.25 ERA over his past 24 innings (25 appearances).
As for first baseman Matt Adams, the Braves seemingly would rather deal him in the offseason when more potential suitors might be available. But as the left-handed first baseman has hit .258 with three homers and a .738 OPS over his past 28 games, he's created further reason to wonder if it might be better to deal him now before his value continues trending in the wrong direction.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.