Braves will continue to focus on moving their pitchers
With this being the last fully day of this year’s Winter Meetings, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Braves general manager Frank Wren will leave Indianapolis on Thursday possessing the same offensive needs that existed when he arrived.
Wren has placed his current focus on fulfilling his role as the GM, who has the pieces to solve the pitching needs possessed by a number of his peers.
Before traveling back to Atlanta, Wren will continue attempting to move Rafael Soriano and Derek Lowe (or Javier Vazquez if necessary). Yesterday he mentioned that there was at least one club that might be interested in trading for both of these veteran pitchers.
But despite the fact that they fit this description, there’s little reason to believe that Wren would contemplate sending his former ace and former closer to either the Phillies or the Mets. In fact, he’s going to continue exploring all options before reaching a point where he would determine that it would be best to send either of these hurlers to either of these division rivals.
I’ve previously mentioned the Astros as a potential suitor for Soriano. But there seems to be a belief that their financial situation might eliminate them from being a major player in the bidding for the right-handed reliever’s services.
As mentioned last night, there appears to be mutual interest between the Braves and Xavier Nady. If they were able to secure him with a free-agent deal, it appears he would primarily play first base and also spend some time in the outfield.
Nady’s versatility would allow him to occasionally spell one of the regular outfielders — a group that I would currently project as being Nate McLouth, Matt Diaz and Jason Heyward.
Martin Prado would be able to play first base during those days when Nady (or another player that possesess similar versatility). While Omar Infante could fill in as the second baseman, there’s also reason to wonder if the Braves will reach a point during this offseason, when they attempt to add another middle infielder.
With the Yankees seemingly prepared to add Curtis Granderson to their outfield mix, there have been reports indicating that Nick Swisher will be available via trade.
The Braves were interested in Swisher last year and like Nady he would be able to provide the same kind of 1B/OF versatiliy.
Mark DeRosa would also fit this category. But he won’t fit on the Braves radar until his cost drops closer to the $5 million (average annual salary) range.
This provides a sense of what Frank Wren has been alluding to when he has mentioned that he is still exploring a number of options that could satisfy his offensive needs.
The Braves had some interest in Ross Gload (another player who could serve as a 1B/OF) before he signed with the Phillies last night. They were very high on his defensive skills at first base.
One American League scout described Gload as “a guy who will hit .270 play solid defense and provide little power.”
To which I was left to wonder, “Does he also come with Casey Kotchman’s vibrant personality?”