With the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline less than a week away, the Atlanta Braves have seemingly reached a stalemate with the market. A recent piece from the AJC’s Dave O’Brien highlighted the bevy of great pitching prospects in the Braves’ farm system, but it hardly made it seem as though Frank Wren is interested in including any of them (possibly with the exception of Mike Minor) in a deadline move. Without a doubt the Braves would love to upgrade in centerfield, but the only name out there right now is the Marlin’s Cody Ross. If the Braves could acquire Ross for virtually nothing (Jo-Jo Reyes-like prospects, cash, etc.) then they should do so. The only problem is that other teams, such as the Red Sox and Yankees, are reportedly inquiring about him as well. Ross is under team control for the 2011 season and would be a nice upgrade in center over anyone in the Braves’ organization, but he is obviously not worth getting into a bidding war over.
Beyond centerfield there are very few areas, if any, where the Braves are likely to upgrade. The team seems content, and justifiably so, with a Diaz/Hinske platoon in left which would be the only other position where the Braves would conceivably add a bat. In an ideal world the Braves would be able to go out and handpick a centerfielder to trade for, but this is simply not the case. Their offense is, for the most part, set in stone unless they acquire Ross from the Marlins.
Wren may explore adding bullpen depth but not much else. It would have been interesting had the Braves entered the Dan Haren sweepstakes using one of Vizcaino, Teheran, or Delgado as the centerpiece. Although their rotation has been strong this year, Haren would have made it significantly better come playoff time despite his struggles this season. As I am writing this, it has been reported that the Angels have acquired him by packaging Joe Saunders with two “eh” prospects and a player to be named later who is supposedly the centerpiece. Atlanta could have matched this package easily; the question is do you think they should have attempted to improve their rotation or keep their stockpile of young pitching talent intact?
Tags: Cody Ross, Trade Deadline, Trade Rumors
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