Of all the contending teams, the Atlanta Braves could end up being one of the more aggressive clubs leading up to the MLB trade deadline on July 31. They lead the division, and right now, the only team in the National League that is undoubtedly better than them are the Los Angeles Dodgers.
To have a chance at surpassing the Dodgers in a postseason series, the Braves need to add some pieces, particularly in the pitching department.
One player that has been tied to Atlanta on the rumor mill has been San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
Atlanta trading for him makes all the sense in the world. Bumgarner is from Braves Country and we all know his postseason accolades, owning a 2.11 ERA over 16 appearances (14 starts). On top of that, Bumgarner is having a fine year, posting a 3.86 ERA and 9.3 K/9 over 20 starts. He would immediately sit atop this rotation, and the Braves certainly have the prospect capital to swing a deal.
He's not the only worth taking a look at, though. It will certainly cost more, but there's another left-handed starter who the Braves could look at.
According to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, the Braves have interest in Matthew Boyd, who has pitched at a high level this year and has three years of club control remaining, something that Bumgarner doesn't have.
What other options are left out there?
A trade package of Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer and closer Brad Hand would be a huge get, and both are under club control beyond the 2019 season. They would address both needs for Atlanta, however, they'd need to be willing to part with several of their top prospects.
Either way, expect Atlanta to make plenty of noise leading up to the trade deadline.