Making The Braves Better – Trade Targets

Written by Thomas on July 13, 2011 – 10:24 am

Heading into the Phillies series before the All-Star break, the Braves boasted the third-best winning percentage in baseball and were on pace to win ninety-six games. Obviously, the team constituted as such has a very good chance to make the playoffs; calculates those odds at 77.5%. So while the front office could justify sitting pat at the fast approaching trade deadline, the Braves certainly have enough pitching depth to exchange some for a centerfielder or shortstop if they find the right deal. The following is a list of players that have either been connected to trade rumors already or make sense for the Braves to target.

Carlos Quentin/ Juan Pierre

Both Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and Mark Bowman from recently reported that the White Sox have been scouting Braves pitching and may look to exchange a bat for a major league ready pitcher. Cafardo mentioned Quentin as a possible match for Atlanta, but Bowman stated that the Braves are unlikely to target a corner outfielder. Assuming the team has no plans to send Chipper Jones to the DL upon Martin Prado’s return, then Quentin is not a match. With Prado and Heyward locked in at the corners, the Braves would only be able to upgrade in the outfield with a centerfielder. Bowman’s mention of Sox outfielder Juan Pierre as a possible target warrants projectile vomiting from anyone that cares about the Braves. Not only is Pierre a horrible hitter (.287 wOBA in 385 PA this season), but he cannot and has not played centerfield since 2009. God willing, the front office has no interest in either moonwalk bounce house of these players, and these rumors are simply the result of unintelligent/lazy journalism.

Michael Bourn

Bourn should be the Braves’ primary trade target, and he appears to be obtainable. Not only do the Astros have the worst record in baseball this season, but their next taste of playoff contention appears to be many years down the road. Therefore, they should look to trade Bourn, who has one year left of arbitration, for someone that can help them win beyond 2012. From the Braves’ standpoint, Bourn would certainly provide them a significant upgrade in centerfield over Schafer or McLouth. Over the last two and a half seasons the Astros leadoff man has combined to produce 12.9 WAR by getting on base at a .348 clip, playing excellent defense, and being one of the best base runners in the game. If these two teams discuss a deal, it will likely center around Mike Minor or Brandon Beachy heading to Houston. In all likelihood the 2012 Braves’s rotation will not have room for both of these pitchers, so it makes sense to trade one in order to make this and next year’s team better.

J.J. Hardy

Hardy has reportedly been in contract extension talks with the Orioles, but if the two sides cannot reach a deal then Baltimore will look to trade their shortstop in the middle of his career year. He currently boasts a line of .289/.348/.520 this season and has always been a solid if not plus defender. Hardy would unquestionably provide an upgrade over the free swinging Alex Gonzalez by adding a little pop and patience to our lineup without sacrificing anything defensively. If extension talks fall through, the Braves should be first in line to kick the tires on Hardy and at least see what the Orioles are asking for him.

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Posted in Roster Moves | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Making The Braves Better – Trade Targets”

  1. By imissBelliard on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Being a Houstonian Braves fan, I would LOVE to see Bourn or Pence in a Braves uniform. I love watching them play when I get the chance and they'd without a doubt increase our productivity.

  2. By McCano on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Also a Houstonian (Galveston) Braves fan, I too would love to see Bourn or Pence, Particularly Pence, in a Braves uni. Pence could play CF and LF, and he has 3 more years of arbitration. He would be more expensive $ wise and trading wise, but with his Avg and OBP, he would make this a different line-up before Uggly and H-ward turn it around. See what houston wants, then give them something similar.

  3. By rickyb on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    I think we need hardy more than any outfield upgrade let mclouth and schaffer platoon center and with prado back and WHEN heyward gets goin we will be fine in the outfield Alex gonzalez has to go id rather see my 90 year old grandmother batt in his place,great fielding shortstop but the worst at the plate

  4. By Gregg Blanchard on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    The Braves need an CF. Is there a chance to land Adam Jones from the Orioles? They can offer a big league pitcher, Mike Minor, an outfielder and a minor league pitcher.


  5. By Bruce787 on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hunter Pence if a Brave would rival McCann as the teams best offensive weapon. Give Houston Any 1- Pitcher and 1- possition player they want from the minor league system. There are plenty of SS avaliable. Wren doesnt want to sell cheap. It would make the Escobar deal look bad…And it was…A bad deal. Made just so Bobby could be vendictive and get rid of a problem player instead of chaneling his ability. Oh my BAD that would require coaching. Good riddence BC.

  6. By Thomas on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    Adam Jones would be an offensive upgrade over our two CFs, but UZR hates his defense. The Orioles are unlikely to trade him bc he’s a player with a high ceiling who has been extremely dissapointing. He has very little trade value IMO. Now that Chipper has been disabled, Hunter Pence makes a lot of sense I think, but no one knows how much salary we can take on…may not have the cash.

  7. By easye4 on Jul 15, 2011 | Reply

    thats a great idea a little pop speed and definetly defense good look at things man.

  8. By easye4 on Jul 15, 2011 | Reply

    Booby was the best ever what is wrong with you

  9. By easye4 on Jul 15, 2011 | Reply

    good thinking I think we should get carlos beltran speed power and center plus he kills the braves so we cant get killed by him anymore i get dan uggla killed us to but he will come around soon carlos wont let us down

  10. By P. WINKLER on Jul 16, 2011 | Reply


  11. By billydavidson on Jul 18, 2011 | Reply

    i love the braves no matter if they win or lose im a big fan dont get 2 go 2 alot of games cause i live in cottageville s.c. but never the lest i will always pull 4 them go braves

  12. By terry on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply

    jason heyward most overrated player in baseball….id trade him in a NY minute to houston for hunter pence,,,throw in a pitcher and either mcclouth or schaffer and maybe get bourne too!!!!

  13. By ryan on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    have you bumped your head bruce you dont win 14 division titles in the nl east with bad coaching

  14. By ryan on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    also when we got alex he was among the top in the league at the ss position with rbi

  15. By Don on Apr 14, 2012 | Reply

    Get something worked out with Dish network. Getting tired of watching the Yankees. is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Atlanta Braves organization. Views expressed on this site do not reflect the views of the Atlanta Braves organization.