Angels Rumors: Could Braves look to LAA for Ronald Acuña replacement?

The Halos could be an intriguing trade partner for the Braves.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

In what's been a year of troubling injuries, the Atlanta Braves may have suffered the most costly one to date. Over the holiday weekend, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. went down with a non-contact injury. After exiting the game, it was later revealed that the superstar suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the 2024 season.

The Los Angeles Angels know all too well the sorrow that comes from losing your top performer to injury. The Halos are currently without Mike Trout while he is rehabbing from knee surgery.

But the Braves, unlike the Angels, have World Series aspirations. As such, Atlanta is likely to seek a replacement for Acuña, and may need to pull off a trade in order to do it. Might Braves President of Baseball Operations Alex Anthopoulos be giving Angels GM Perry Minsian a call in the near future? MLB insider Jon Morosi believes the answer is, yes.

Angels Rumors: Braves could look to LAA for Ronald Acuña replacement

During an interview with MLB Network, Morosi dropped three potential trade targets the Braves may look to acquire over the next few weeks. Among them were Oakland A's slugger Brent Rooker, Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham, and Taylor Ward of the Angels.

Obviously the A's will be selling at this year's trade deadline, so Rooker's name comes as no surprise. Pham is essentially an MLB mercenary at this point, and the White Sox will be looking for the highest bidder as the July 30th deadline approaches. But Ward's name may be a bit of a surprise to Angels fans.

Ward just entered his first year of arbitration eligibility last offseason, is on an affordable $4.8 million deal this season, doesn't enter free agency until after 2026, and has a 126 OPS+. Why would the Halos even think about trading him?

Quite simply, it's not a bad idea. The Angels are in no way looking to compete this season, and would seem unlikely to be part of conversation in 2025 either. (Ward is also already 30 years old.) While the idea of being a seller at the trade deadline is not appealing to the fanbase, it could be the quickest way for LA to get back to being a competitive organization. Trading Ward could fetch the Angels several intriguing prospects in return.

Ward may not be the only Angels player who hears his name come up casually in trade deadline talks over the next few weeks. The Braves will try to replace Acuña internally for the next few weeks, but if those efforts fail, the trade talks are sure to intensify.

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