Top 4 Trade Targets For Braves After Acuna's Devastating Injury

 The Atlanta Braves suffered an absolutely devastating injury on Sunday, with the news that Ronald Acuna Jr. has another ACL tear, this time in the other knee, and will be out for the season. Of course, the last time this happened, in 2021, Atlanta GM Alex Anthopoulos went out and made some stealth outfield pickups via trade, plugged the hole, and went on to win the World Series. 

This time around, let's have a look at who AA can go out and snag as a potential Acuna replacement (just to be clear: there IS NO Acuna replacement in all of baseball...) 

We start with a couple of a Rosarios:

Eddie Rosario, Washington Nationals

Eddie is the most natural fit of anyone on this list, as he was one of the trade deadline acquisitions in 2021 and wound up winning the NLCS MVP for the Braves. He's having a somewhat mediocre season for the Nationals, but he's still only 32, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him crank it up with a return to the scene of his greatest accomplishment in baseball. 

And guess who got himself a nice ovation in Atlanta today in his first appearance there this season with the Nats? 

Amed Rosario, Tampa Bay Rays

He had somewhat of a disappointing season in 2023 with the Cleveland Guardians and LA Dodgers, but the former NY Mets high-end prospect is off to a decent start with the Tampa Bay Rays this year filling in around the diamond. He added outfielder to his list of positions the past few seasons, and while it's not his natural position, he could take it on in a pinch. 

Ramon Laureano, Free Agent

Just DFA'd by the Cleveland Guardians, Laureano is a former top talent when he was with the Oakland A's, providing a tantalizing combination of power and speed. He posted 24 homers and 13 stolen bases with a .288 average and an .860 OPS (OPS+ of 129) in 2018.

But injuries took their toll on the Dominican outfielder, derailing his career after that. Of course, he didn't do himself any favors with an 81-game PED suspension in 2021 either. 

He's free for the picking, if the Braves think he can recapture some of his earlier skill-set. The rest of the players on this list would require giving up some assets.

Mauricio Dubon, Houston Astros

This one could be the most difficult to pull off. While it's true that the Astros are having a bit of a resurgence and are not quite out of the playoff picture just yet, it's possible that they could be up to making a few moves, and Dubon is having a terrific season thus far and could get them a nice little haul. He won a "Utility" Gold Glove last season, and appeared at every position on the diamond except pitcher and catcher for Houston in 2023. 

This year, he's hitting a sizzling .319 with a 124 OPS+ while again spreading himself around the diamond. It could take quite a bit to pry him loose, and he is under club control for two more seasons. 

Photo: © Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports