Braves’ Wish List Starts with Greinke

The Braves will keep their starting rotation in place with the intention of spending the next two weeks determining how aggressive they should be leading up to the Trade Deadline.   Barring a drastic change during this period, they will enter the All-Star break interested in the potential to land Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke via a trade and then sign him before he would be eligible to hit the free agent market at the end of this season.

With Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson currently standing as the only reliable assets in their starting rotation, the Braves will likely make landing a starting pitcher a priority before the Trade Deadline.  Greinke, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Edinson Volquez would be among their potential targets.

But if the Braves reach a point where they are committed to land a starting pitcher they will target Greinke, who would be the top-of-the-rotation asset that could capably replace the injured Brandon Beachy and have the ability to compete in a postseason setting.

The Braves would like to avoid giving up the prospects that would be required to land Greinke.  But they will likely be tempted to do so unless Jair Jurrjens spends the next couple of weeks proving last Friday’s  start against the Red Sox was not a fluke.

But even if the Braves enter the break confident that Hudson, Hanson and Jurrjens will solidify the front end of their rotation for the remainder of the year, they still might be tempted to add another veteran presence to their rotation.

If the Brewers opt to trade Greinke, the Braves’ interest would hinge on being able to lock the former Cy Young Award winner up with a long-term contract.  They are not interested in landing the right-hander to be a two-month rental.  Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, they would no longer be eligible to receive draft pick compensation if he exited as a free agent after this season.

This means the Braves would likely have to be willing to offer something similar to the contract recently signed by Matt Cain, who will be guaranteed $112.5 million over the course of the next five seasons (2013-17).

Though the Braves do not have much payroll flexibility this year, they have already discussed the potential of using the money budgeted for 2013 to address their needs via the trade market this year.

With Chipper Jones ($14 million), Derek Lowe ($15 million), Michael Bourn ($6.84 million) among those coming off of the payroll at the end of this year, the Braves will have some money to play with this winter.  But some of these funds will be needed to either re-sign Bourn or acquire at least one more outfielder.    —  Mark Bowman

10 Comments

Would the Braves really, seriously spend $20 million per on Greinke?? I understand the need for pitching…I really do, but I would put a priority on resigning Bourn and buying a LF bat this winter plus signing Prado long term even though he has 1 arb year left. He has proven that he is a irreplaceable player on defense and at the plate. I think we would royally screw ourselves out of Bourn if we gave ZG $20 million. Plus, every time we do this, like Lowe, KK and Tex, we end up on the short side of the deal with tons of money tied up in no return. Plus, what would Milwaukee command in return. Teheran?? No way…Bethancourt?? No way…Vizciano?? No way…This scares me on multiple fronts. Your thoughts please. Thanks.

Very well put. Couldn’t agree more

They better resign bourn. He is a big key to the offense. Plus I think he likes Atlanta

The priority for the Braves needs to be signing McCann to a long term extension. They are kidding themselves if they think the grossly overrated Christian Bethancourt is a major league caliber catcher. Check out his stats at the minor league level. His OBP is UNDER .300. At the very least he looks to be 3 – 4 years away from being major league ready and that is ONLY if he ever learns to hit. Otherwise, he is a defensive replacement back-up.

I just can’t see the Braves trading Teheran plus two to three more premium prospects to get Greinke AND then pay him 20M a year. If they do that then we can all say good-bye to McCann and Bourn.

I know we need another pitcher & giving Zach a long term deal will not benefit the Braves in the long run. We need to sign Bourn, McCann & Pardo to long term deals.

Pitching wins baseball games, I also think they should target Greinske, he is a proven starter, not a new prospect that you think is going to be great. We need to win now and we have a lot os pitching in our minor leagues and we cant wait a little bit more for them to grow up. We need Greinnske and resing Bourn, We can worry of Mccann next year. Go ahead and get greinsky. Trade Mike Minor, Jair Jurjens, Tyler Pastornicky, and one more pitcher for him and signed him long term.

Resign Bourn? Dumb move. Sure he’s great this year..but he’s a speedster on the wrong side of 30 with declining speed. And Boras is his bubba…And it’s a contract year (surprise) so yeah, go ahead and pull for Bourn; just don’t cry when the wheels fall off and your stuck with a medium speed outfielder with no power.

Sort of speechless about this comment. Do you even watch baseball?

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