With the first half of the MLB season in the books, things on the trade front will really start to heat up over the next couple of weeks. Many of the teams expected to be buyers lived up to the hype in the first half like the Dodgers, Astros, Padres and White Sox. Others like the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Washington Nationals have fizzled and are now stuck with some tough decisions to make.

The Braves sit at 44-45 overall which isn’t great but in the NL East, it means they’re only 4 games back of the Mets for first place. With superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. going down for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, life for Atlanta will be that much more difficult.

Atlanta could be active at the MLB Trade Deadline but they will need to figure out first if they will buy or sell, given where they are overall and with the news of Acuna Jr. being done for the year. Here are three trades the Braves must make after Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his ACL.

 

Trade for: Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs are in a free fall after a 42-33 start to the season. Interestingly enough, they got to that 42nd win by throwing a combined no hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since that victory, the Cubbies are 2-13. They will no doubt be selling at the deadline with plenty of their big name players set to hit free agency at the end of the year. It’s the perfect opportunity for a team like the Braves to pounce.

Kris Bryant is having a phenomenal season and was putting up MVP type numbers in the first month or so of the season. Like many of the Cubs’ top players, Bryant would be a rental for the Braves which makes this a little dicey. Yes, Atlanta is a game below .500 but if they still have aspirations of competing for a postseason spot, acquiring Bryant would help them immensely in the absence of Acuna Jr.

There won’t be many, if any players as versatile as Bryant available at the MLB Trade Deadline. He can play either corner outfield spot and either corner infield spot as well. His 16 home runs along with his .353 OBP and his ability to flex in plenty of positions defensively have helped land Bryant in Coors Field for the MLB All-Star Game this year.