The Atlanta Braves are reportedly looking for bullpen help as Major League Baseball’s trade deadline approaches on Friday afternoon. The Colorado Rockies have a reliever who could fit Atlanta’s needs, but will the Rockies be sellers?
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Braves are trying to bolster their bullpen as the trade deadline (4 p.m. Eastern time/2 p.m. Mountain time) nears on Friday. One of the options that could be available for the Braves is Colorado closer Daniel Bard, who has 15 saves on the season. However, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com is reporting that the Rockies have “no plans” to trade shortstop Trevor Story, starting pitcher Jon Gray, or Bard before the deadline.
Could the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies still be trade deadline partners?
That all depends on the Rockies and their mindset heading into the deadline. Interim general manager Bill Schmidt has gone on record to say that he will do a deal only if it benefits the Rockies in some way and that his franchise shouldn’t be viewed as “a farm system” for other teams.
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The 36-year-old Bard is eligible for arbitration again in 2022 and won’t become a free agent until 2023, so any team that would trade for him would also have an extra year of control, making Bard even more valuable in the eyes of the Rockies.
Additionally, Bard is viewed as the veteran leader of a Rockies bullpen that has already gotten younger this week as veteran reliever Mychal Givens was traded on Wednesday to the Cincinnati Reds.
There are plenty of reasons why the Rockies won’t trade Bard. However, if Colorado is offered a return that is viewed as favorable, don’t be surprised if Schmidt pulls the trigger. But the deal will likely need to strongly favor Colorado more than Atlanta if it is to happen.
Will the Rockies and Braves make a deal? On the surface, it’s unlikely, but it’s something we will be keeping an eye on as the day progresses.