MLB Rumors: Atlanta Braves Linked To Two Star Pitchers As Trade Suitors

With long-term injuries to Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson, somehow, some way, the Atlanta Braves are still sporting the lowest ERA in the National League. But can that last?

GM Alex Anthopoulos is too good of an executive to just stand by and hope that things will continue as is. He'll be on the hunt for pitching help as the trade season heats up, and a new report suggests two former All-Star starters will be on his radar:

Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians

The former Cy Young Award winner has one year of team control left, and you know that the Guardians won't be able to afford the massive long-term contract that he'll command as a free agent after next season. But the Braves can, as their recent spending on player extensions indicates. 

As is the Cleveland way, they'll be highly likely to deal Bieber while his value is still high rather than wait until he's about to become a free agent. And although he's not quite in Cy Young form just yet (3.57 ERA, only 6.1 K/9), his credentials from the previous three seasons (28-13, sub-3.00 ERA, sub-1.10 WHIP) will be the selling point. 

Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs

The former All-Star is having one of the best seasons of his career, sporting a 2.42 ERA and a league-leading 1.04 WHIP. He can opt out of his contract ($21M) at the end of the season and hit free agency, and the Cubs would be wise to get some nice assets for him now if they feel they can't extend him. 

Anthopoulos knows Stroman well, from their days together with the Toronto Blue Jays. And we know that AA wouldn't balk at dipping into the Braves' coffers to re-sign Stroman. 

Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports