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The Atlanta Braves are in need of some outfielders and pitching depth.
Despite winning 15 of their first 17 games in the month of June, the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves only have a 0.5 game lead on the third and final NL Wild Card spot — and they’re still 6.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.
As the trade deadline looms in the next month and a half, the Braves will have to make some upgrades to have a shot at becoming the first team to win back-to-back World Series titles since the 1998-2000 New York Yankees.
The two areas that the club needs to address the most are their outfield and starting rotation depth, so here are three trade targets that the Atlanta Braves should make a reality to remedy any deficiencies.
The Braves should trade for Royals OF Andrew Benintendi
The Kansas City Royals really don’t have many players that will have much value on the trade market this season, but Andrew Benintendi is the most valuable, and the Atlanta Braves could definitely use him.
Benintendi, who turns 28 in a few weeks, is having quite a season with the Royals. He entered Monday hitting .295/.358/.382 with an OPS+ of 112, or 12 percent above league average.
The main problem for Benintendi at the plate is that he hasn’t hit for much power, which his .382 slugging percentage indicates, but the Braves really don’t need it. The Braves entered Monday with a slugging percentage of .440, which is the highest in the NL.
Benintendi almost exclusively plays left field, but he has been a far superior defender than Marcell Ozuna in left. So if the Braves acquired Benintendi, they could move Ozuna to the DH spot full-time instead of 50 percent in left and 50 percent as DH.
Benintendi is a free agent after the 2022 season, so the Braves should be able to get him fairly cheap.