post. It's a long article so I'll pick and choose a couple of the more interesting bits.Dave O'Brien of the AJC ran down the rumor mill in his latest
- O'Brien sees Pittsburgh left-hander Damaso Marte as a possible target to compliment Royce Ring in the pen next season. Marte is very mediocre against right-handers, but just dominates lefties when he's on the mound. Marte pitched 19.2 innings against left-handers, allowing no runs and six hits, good for a .094 BAA, while striking out 25. The only question is how much it would take since teams like the Yankees have already been rumored to be interested as well.
- Has Chuck James pitched his last game in an Atlanta uniform? O'Brien thinks so, saying he "cant help but think someone is going to make an offer for James that the Braves cant refuse". Atlanta has Jair Jurrjens, Jo-Jo Reyes, Mike Hampton, and Jeff Bennett competing for the last two spots even without James, so there is definitely some depth there. Mike Hampton and Jo-Jo Reyes are especially large question marks heading into next season so while I see where he's coming from, I don't think the Braves would be so quick to trade the young lefty.
- Matt Diaz? Come on, I really don't see the Braves willing to move the outfielder no matter how well Brandon Jones performs in the spring. This is still Bobby Cox's team and he generally doesn't turn to rookies to start the season, much less ones that struggled so much in their only major league experience, and who are blocked by a dependable starter already. This is the only one I strongly disagree on.
- Last but not least, DOB brings up the possibility of trading Scott Thorman, who just finished a disappointing Mexican League stint. He's penciled in as the backup for Teixeira, but Brayan Pena seemed to handle first fine when I saw him in Richmond. Thorman's power isn't really questioned, however he really fails to make solid or for that matter any contact. He really doesn't carry much value right now, however I could see a change of scenery trade where the Braves acquire another underachieving player for him.