Oddsmakers connect Braves with several trade candidates

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Braves were linked to several popular trade candidates in recent odds released by BetOnline. The MLB trade deadline is Friday afternoon.

Note: The odds aren’t an indication of the Braves’ possible interest. We’re simply looking at these names for conversational purposes.

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, a Baxley native who reportedly couldn’t reach an extension agreement with Minnesota, was given 5/1 odds of landing with the Braves. The Yankees (2/1), Astros (3/1) and Phillies (4/1) have better odds.

Buxton fills an obvious need and comes with an additional season of contractual control, making him a logical fit for the Braves. Buxton has immense potential but comes with serious injury risk. When healthy he’s a dynamic player.

The Braves were also given 6/1 odds of acquiring Cubs outfielder/third baseman Kris Bryant. The Mets are the favorites to acquire the free agent to be, given 2/1 odds. Bryant has been linked to the Mets throughout the season. The A’s (3/1), Brewers (4/1) and Red Sox (5/1) likewise had better odds than the Braves.

Credit: Paul Beaty

Credit: Paul Beaty

Bryant’s versatility and track record will make him appealing to most contenders, but he’s a rental who will seek a nice payday this winter. It’s difficult to envision the Braves heavily pursuing a big-name rental at this point. They already made a trade with the Cubs for outfielder Joc Pederson, who came at a much cheaper price (prospect Bryce Ball).

Marlins outfielder Starling Marte, who like Buxton didn’t agree to an extension, was linked to the Braves at 8/1 odds. The Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Astros and Phillies each had greater odds. While Marte would help the Braves, it’s unclear if Miami, under new leadership, would trade within the division. In reality, it also might not be worthwhile for the Braves to win a bidding war for a rental.

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

Interestingly, the Braves were given the second-best odds of adding Rockies shortstop Trevor Story at 3/1. The Yankees were listed as favorites at 2/1. Story is another rental who hasn’t had his best season. He’s also not a clean fit with the Braves. Dansby Swanson has played better in recent days and Story wouldn’t be a long-term solution. The Padres were reportedly among the teams inquiring about Story as a center fielder, though he hasn’t played the outfield in his major-league career.

Given the Braves’ track record under general manager Alex Anthopoulos, it’s likely any deals they make will come out of left field. The team began a pivotal five-game series with the first-place Mets on Monday. The Braves entered the series trailing the Mets by five games in the division.