The Cleveland Indians have made a recent run up the standings and currently sit at 52-40.
This doesn’t mean that long-standing rumors that the team will sell off some of its assets are false. Cleveland could very well be looking to both buy and sell, adding players that are under team control long-term while selling off soon-to-be free agents.
The likes of starting pitcher Trevor Bauer and closer Brad Hand, both All-Stars, have come up on the rumor mill.
According to this report from The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, the Atlanta Braves could very well make a play for the pair in what would be a blockbuster trade.
“The Braves have the farm system to make this deal happen, and a trade of this magnitude would put them in a legitimate position to win the World Series,” Bowden notes. “Atlanta has to be concerned about how its young pitching will react in September and October, when some of them will reach uncharted innings levels.”
Among the best young teams in baseball, Atlanta already finds itself as a top-end contender back east. It also boasts what is still a deep and talented minor league system.
As Bowden points out, pressure and fatigue could set in when it comes to Atlanta’s young pitching staff. Youngster Max Fried was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.
As it relates to the Bauer/Hand combo, these two would come in and improve Atlanta’s pitching staff big time.
Bauer, 28, has pitched to an 8-7 record with a 3.65 ERA and 1.19 WHIP this season. Meanwhile, Hand has closed out 25 games while posting a 2.29/0.99 split.