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MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves (Still) Interested In Seth Smith

The trade rumors between the Braves and Rockies will seemingly never die. Since the first week of the offseason, Atlanta and Colorado have reportedly been in talks that surround Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado. On paper, the two clubs match up; the Rockies are looking for a second baseman and starting pitchers, while the Braves need a corner outfielder for 2012 and outfield prospects for the future.

Seth Smith is a corner outfielder who is reportedly on the trade market. Colorado recently signed Michael Cuddyer which makes Smith expendable. Here's the problem for the Braves: Seth Smith isn't that good of a baseball player.

At first glance, his career slash line of .275/.348/.483 is impressive. Take a little deeper look into it and you'll see that Smith's numbers are enhanced a ton by playing in Coors field. If the Braves were to acquire Smith, he would play primarily against right-handed pitchers, because, well, he hits left-handed and can't hit southpaws. 

Over the course of his career, Smith has batted .318/.388/.606 at Coors, which may be the most hitter-friendly ballpark in America. On the road against righties, he's batted .266/.343/.443. Those numbers aren't bad -- as a matter of fact, they're awfully close to the league average -- but he's hardly the "impact bat" the Braves are rumored to be after.

Then there's his defense. Smith is regarded as a below-average fielder in terms of range, although he has a strong arm that can make all of the throws. He would be able to handle both left and right field with Atlanta, but do not expect anything more than average from Smith.

My take on the rumors: only take Seth Smith if he's paired with some of Colorado's better prospects. Teams around the league are giving up a ton for young, talented starting pitchers and the Braves should be able to get a solid return for Jurrjens. If the Rockies aren't willing to give up their better guys in the farm system, Atlanta should move on.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.