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Ronald Acuña's Injury Spotlights 3 Trade Targets for Braves

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By Jerry Walters - - 5 Mins Read
Ronald Acuña Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves reacts against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 23, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.
Ronald Acuña Jr | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves surprised everyone on Sunday night by announcing that their star player, Ronald Acuña Jr., will be out for the rest of the season due to an ACL tear.

The injury occurred during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates when Acuña injured himself while attempting to change direction while running. This is particularly devastating for Acuña as it is the third time he has injured his ACL, having suffered similar injuries in 2018 and 2021-22.

Without Acuña, the Braves are in a tough spot. They're currently six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East, and they don't have many good options to replace him.

This injury couldn't have come at a worse time, leaving the team scrambling to figure out how to keep its chances of making the playoffs alive.

With the Ronald Acuña injury news out there, the Braves are probably talking to other teams about possible trades to help them out. Losing their best player means they need to find someone else fast to strengthen their team and keep up with the season.

The Braves are feeling pressure to overcome this setback and stay in the playoff race.

They have Adam Duvall playing for them and three guys who've played outfield before in Triple-A and are on their 40-player roster: J.P. Martínez, who just got called up on Monday, Forrest Wall, and Luke Williams. So, they'll likely be checking out some outside help before Major League Baseball's July 30 trade deadline, especially with the Ronald Acuña injury.

Now, whom might the Braves pursue? Let's consider three potential options early on. Keep in mind, this is based more on intuition than concrete evidence, and there's still plenty of time before the trade season becomes active. (Just to clarify, these players are not ranked in any specific order.)

1.) Tommy Pham, Chicago White Sox

Tommy Pham joined the struggling Chicago White Sox with a clear mission: to showcase his skills and get traded by the deadline. He's been on fire despite starting late in late April, hitting .313 with three homers in 32 games.

Even though he turned 36 in March, he's still smacking the ball hard, with an average exit velocity of over 90 mph. Will Pham be traded again before August, making it three years in a row?

With Ronald Acuña's injury and Braves trade rumors swirling, all eyes are on potential moves. But for now, Pham's making waves in Chicago, proving age is just a number in baseball. Will his hot streak continue, or will he find himself in another team's colors come August?

2) Jesse Winker, Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals brought Jesse Winker onboard, hoping to flip him before the deadline just like Pham. After a couple of rough seasons, he's rebounded well, hitting .264 against right-handed pitchers.

But there's a catch – he struggles against lefties, meaning he'd need a partner to platoon with for maximum effectiveness. This could make him less appealing to the Braves, who already shuffle their lineup to protect Jarred Kelenic from facing same-handed pitchers.

With Ronald Acuña sidelined and Braves trade rumors swirling, every move is under the microscope. Could Winker be the missing piece for the Braves, or will his platoon issues put a damper on any potential deal?

3.) Brent Rooker, Oakland Athletics

Brent Rooker, who turns 30 soon, defied doubts to shine in last year's All-Star Game. He's keeping up the momentum this season, batting .286 with 11 homers in 42 games.

Despite his strikeouts, hovering around 33%, the Athletics might not hesitate to trade him before the deadline. With their impending move to Sacramento, they seem more focused on the future than their current roster.

Amidst Ronald Acuña's injury and swirling Braves trade rumors, Rooker's performance catches attention. Could he be the missing piece for Atlanta, or will the Athletics be quick to part ways with him?