Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves reportedly have a couple of targets in mind as they are looking to bolster their roster ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi “tops their target list,” and they’d also “jump at the opportunity” to add Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo.
Bowden noted that the Braves are enamored with Benintendi “because he is a strong defensive player with a high on-base percentage and he’s a left-handed hitter, which would help balance their lineup better.” The season-ending wrist injury to Adam Duvall also creates a significant need in left field for Atlanta.
Benintendi was named an All-Star for the first time in his career this season. His .322 batting average is tied for fourth in the majors, and he’s tied for sixth with 109 hits. He’s also contributed three home runs and 39 RBI through 91 games.
Castillo is one of the most sought-after starters on the trade market. The two-time All-Star has a 2.77 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 82 strikeouts through 13 starts this season. The 29-year-old right-hander would be a massive addition for any contending team hoping for a deep playoff run.
The Braves entered Tuesday trailing the New York Mets by two games for first place in the NL East. Adding a difference-maker like Benintendi or Castillo would boost Atlanta’s chances at overtaking the Mets down the stretch of the season to claim a fifth straight division title.