The Atlanta Braves have been swirling around the trade winds this past week, and it has been reported the Braves will make a trade for a bat, at the very least, and are nearing a deal. Given that, the two biggest needs the Braves are focusing on are a RH power bat and a RH reliever. The only reason the Braves are discussing trades for a RH bat is for the lack of production from Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward. Both though, have shown signs the past week they can turn it around … but it might be too late. I highly doubt it, but there has been talk of Heyward being demoted, as well, if they make a trade for a top outfielder who could only play right field. Here is a brief roundup on what’s going on around the Braves front.
2011 Atlanta Braves needs
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RH power bat — Braves are seeking a power bat that can play the outfield, preferrably all three spots.
RH reliever — given that the Braves are heavy on the lefties and are at the top in the majors in appearances, it seems the Braves need another reliever to fill that void and give rest for the back of the bullpen. The Braves have options in the minor league system they could promote, but seem to only desire a veteran reliever with closer experience.
2011 Atlanta Braves trade targets
- Carlos Beltran — It was rumored that the Braves were in talks with the Mets for a Beltran-Mike Minor deal. It’s growing now that the Braves would be reluctant to give up Minor to the division rival Mets, as they would have to face him throughout the upcoming years. Deadline for a deal to be reach would have to be one week from today, as they have to request approval from Beltran first. Giants, Phillies and Braves are the leaders.
- Hunter Pence — Not the Braves first choice, as he would cost some prospects and would be expensive next year.
- Heath Bell/Mike Adams — Braves are just sniffing around at bullpen help here.
- Jonny Gomes — Please no.
- B.J. Upton — Unknown how serious the interest is.
- Ryan Ludwick — Started with interest in Pence and Ludwick, but both are on plan Bs right now.
- Tigers prospects/cash — In a deal for Derek Lowe. Wouldn’t be surprised it it’s a Lowe for PTBNL and cash.
2011 Atlanta Braves trade pieces
- Mike Minor — Been rumored in a trades for Beltran and Pence.
- Randall Delgado — Been rumored in a trade for Beltran.
- Arodys Vizcaino — Been rumored in a trade for Beltran.
- Juan Abreu — RH relief arm speculated as trade bait.
- Jairo Asecio — Same as Abreu.
- Anthony Varvaro — Same as Abreu and Asecio.
- Derek Lowe — It’s been rumored (for a long time) that his salary needs to go.
Interesting notes that could play a part
The Braves have moved Arodys Vizcaino to the bullpen in triple-A. Stunned? So am I. This makes me think they aren’t that serious in the trade market for a RH reliever. As stated, they have options and are even dangling their top RH relievers in trades. Vizcaino could be promoted to the majors as a September call up just in case the Braves don’t make a trade. Plenty of teams have done this with top-tier pitching prospects to ease them into the majors.
The Braves are sleepers in the Colby Rasmus sweepstakes. Cardinals GM claims he is staying put, but others disagree. It’s known the Braves have coveted Rasmus for a couple years now. Rasmus is struggling to keep his CF job in St. Louis.
Kris Medlen, who suffered another setback, is probably done for the year. Medlen was being looked upon to strengthen the bullpen as early as August. It’s unknown when Peter Moylan will return as well.
Uggla (hitting .294 with four HRs in his last 10 games), Heyward (4-13 with two HRs in last three games) have both provided a punch recently that the Braves have been looking to fill. This week is crucial to the Braves’ trade deadline aspirations as those two can put a rest to the Braves rumor talks and save prospects in the system.