The 2011 MLB trade deadline is less than 72 hours away and the Atlanta Braves are allegedly looking at a short list of outfielders who could help the club as they make their run towards the playoffs. Let's take a look at a few of the rumors from Thursday, July 28.
From Jayson Stark:
Clubs that have spoken with the Braves say they have three primary names on their buy-a-bat shopping list: Hunter Pence, Willingham and Ludwick. The Braves looked into Upton, but don't seem prepared to pay a big price for him. We also haven't heard much that suggests the Braves are still bullpen shopping.
For one, I don't buy the bullpen shopping tidbit for one second. We may not be involved for Mike Adams or Heath Bell, but rest assured Atlanta is looking (and likely will) add a right-handed relief pitcher before July 31. We always do.
As far as the hitters go, the price for Hunter Pence is going to be astronomical and he isn't worth the price tag. Pence is a solid outfielder, but he creates more questions in our outfield than he solves. Josh Willingham and Ryan Ludwick would make sense as a right-handed bat off the bench and occasional starter in left field, though that means Wren is content with not adding an impact bat.
From Ken Rosenthal:
Source: Braves "hot" for Quentin - and #WhiteSox love ATL's young arms.
Quentin is an interesting player and is a force at the plate, but he's purely a left fielder and has battled injuries in past seasons. Would he help? You bet. With Chipper Jones' health a constant question, there's a good chance Martin Prado will be playing third base quite a bit in the next two months. In addition, the club seems intent on at least giving Jason Heyward a few games off against left-handed pitchers, and Prado is capable of playing right field.
Basically, when Martin Prado is covering at third, Carlos Quentin plays left field. When the club is facing a tough left-handed pitcher and Jason Heyward could use a day off, Prado moves to right field and Quentin stays in left. And if Chipper is healthy, Prado is healthy and doesn't need a day off, and we're facing a right-handed pitcher, well, we cross that bridge if and when we get there.
The outfielder has pounded left-handed pitching the last two seasons, even though he has actually performed better against right-handed pitchers over the course of his career. That should be taken into consideration as well.
And the most intriguing part of this whole ordeal: the White Sox would probably move Quentin without requiring one of our top-pitching prospects.
And finally, this tweet came from David O'Brien just moments ago:
Don't know significance, but Wren & asst. GM Manno walked w/ sense of purpose to field to talk w/ Fredi for few minutes, then back upstairs