Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Trade Deadline Preview: Freddie Freeman on the Block?

The Atlanta Braves are the worst team in all of baseball and with few major league assets, they will have some tough decisions to make at next months deadline.

A once proud Atlanta Braves franchise went from one which won 14 division championships in 15 years to one that will be lucky to win 60 games this year. They have already started their rebuilding process by shipping Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels and many more moves are expected to be completed in Atlanta as they get ready to open their new stadium next year.

The two names that will garner the most attention for the Braves are Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran.

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Freddie Freeman signed a six year, $135 million contract just two years ago when the Braves were preparing for another perennial playoff run. Viewed as the heir to Chipper Jones as the face of the franchise for the next 20 years, Freeman has the most potential of anyone on the Braves current roster. The team's General Manager has repeatedly said he will not trade Freeman, but if the right offer comes there could be a lot of heat not to do the deal.

Teams that could use a first baseman may be the Pittsburgh PiratesHouston Astros, and the Washington Nationals, although I doubt the Braves would want to trade within the division.

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Julio Teheran on the other hand is readily available and will be one of the top pitchers available at next months trade deadline. To acquire a young, rising pitcher with a relatively cheap long term contract that runs through his 29th birthday will cost a team a boatload of prospects. 

There were multiple teams reportedly going after James Shields before he was traded to the Chicago White Sox, including the Los Angeles DodgersBaltimore OriolesBoston Red Sox, and Detroit Tigers. Each of those teams could be in on Teheran, as could teams such as the St. Louis Cardinals who could swap a veteran like Mike Leach and prospects. 

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Other than Freeman and Teheran the Braves do not have a lot of valuable trade assets. If anyone else is worth a look for other teams it would be outfielder Nick Markakis. The veteran outfielder should be a relatively cheap option for a team looking for a serviceable outfielder, such as the Cleveland Indians.

Cleveland lost Marlon Byrd to a PED suspension and Michael Brantley is on the disabled list once again. Middle-tier prospects such as pitchers Adam Plutko and Shawn Morimando are possible guys to watch if Cleveland makes a move at the trade deadline. 


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