Braves have widened their focus
Now that the Giants have Carlos Beltran and the Phillies have Hunter Pence how will the Braves answer? While they might not make an acquisition that creates as much attention as Beltran and Pence, it seems quite certain they will add an outfielder before Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.
When this week began, it seemed more likely that the Braves would add a right-handed hitting corner outfielder. Their focus has widened since they put two centerfielders — Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth — and All-Star catcher Brian McCann on the disabled list this week.
The Braves’ wish list now includes the Rays’ B.J. Upton, the A’s Coco Crisp and the Astros’ Michael Bourn. Each could play center and bat leadoff.
While the Braves and Astros have briefly discussed Bourn, it doesn’t sound like those talks have progressed past the preliminary stage. With Crisp, the Braves have some concerns about his ability to stay healthy.
The Braves have continued to show interest in Upton, but it does not seem they are willing to get him in exchange for any of their top four pitching prospects — Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Arodys Vizcaino and Mike Minor.
Because the Braves have a surplus of young pitching talent in their organization, fans and even some of their players (off the record) have questioned why they are not willing to deal Minor or some of their other pitching prospects.
The Braves showed some late interest in Pence but were never interested in him enough to use any of their pitching prospects to acquire him. The Astros asked the Braves for two of their top pitching prospects in exchange for the outfielder.
The Braves were much more interested in Beltran than they were in Pence. But they were not willing to part with their pitching prospects to simply have him in their outfield for two months. — Mark Bowman