I finally have time to check in an get something up. I spent four days in Germany with family and now I've moved on to Amsterdam for the next three days. I just had a very nice beer out in one of the majors squares so I'm ready to go. We've come to a time, with nine days left until the trading deadline that has become one of the most exciting for Braves fans. Still squarely in the playoff hunt and with Schuerholz at the helm, you know trades are coming. Let's get a rundown of some recent rumors.
Dan Graziano at the Star-Ledger is reporting†that the Braves are interested in Texas' CJ Wilson. Wilson a left-hander has great stuff against lefties and has made it known that he wants to close in the future, but he gets hit too hard by righties for that to happen. He has good numbers with a 2.81 ERA in just over forty innings this year but his command has been quite mediocre. His use has been about 50/50 between lefties and righties so far though. Against lefties, Wilson has a 1.31 ERA and has allowed only seven hits and walks in 20.2 innings while striking out 23. This would be a very good move for a pen that has lost both of its good lefties in Macay McBride and Mike Gonzalez over the course of the year. Wilson has been a bit overshadowed in trade talks by Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne, but a good LOOGY should draw a decent return on the market. Obviously Schuerholz would rather bring in a proven pitcher than give the role off to someone like Will Startup.
Ken Rosenthal mentioned that the Braves could shop Edgar Renteria this off-season in a recent article. This is pure speculation, but it is speculation that keeps coming up. There aren't a ton of above-average offensive shortstops in the league and even fewer that are solid with the glove. If Yunel isn't moved within the next two weeks, then that could be a strong signal that Renteria would be heavily shopped during the winter. Not only would it save money, but after two good seasons and with a reasonable price tag, Renteria could bring in some much needed starting help. The White Sox, A's, Astros, Giants, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Devil Rays are all teams Rosenthal mentions who could upgrade at short or replace their impending free agent.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors saysthat Buster Olney has an article up of rumored Braves interest in Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. If you remember, I speculated on Arroyo as a target after the Braves scouted one of his starts. The 30-year old right-hander is coming off the best season of his career in his first season with the Reds. It was probably a fluke since Arroyo is†a fly-ball pitcher, pitching in a tiny park. Even though his ERA has shot up over a run this year to 4.51, Arroyo has improved his homerun rate.†He comes with a pretty hefty price tag but is still around the going rate for a middle-of-the-rotation innings eater. Dierkes says that Olney thought Jarrod Saltalamacchia would be the price tag but don't worry, if they are asking that much, it won't happen. GM's always ask too much, but as we get closer to the deadline, that price may drop.
Jayson Stark mentionsthe Braves interest in Royals reliever Zack Greinke. I speculated on just this subject earlier in the season and it isn't surprising he is drawing interest. He is a supremely talented pitcher and very young so the price would be high, but he just hasn't been able to put it all together as a starter so Schuerholz may not be willing to break the bank for him. Greinke has been much better since moving to the pen, improving his hits, homeruns, and strikeouts. Presumabely as a Brave he would be starting though. Ex-Braves Assisstant GM Dayton Moore and the current GM of the Royals has already hooked up with John Schuerholz on the Tony Pena Jr. deal so you'll hear a lot of Royals-Braves rumors going forward. It would take a top tier prospect to land Greinke so Yunel Escobar's name will come up. Tim Dierkes of MLBTR mentionsDan Smith and Elvis Andrus as possibilties to move. Smith seems to be pitching above his ability but moving Andrus would be strange. I guess the Braves have the depth but you usually don't see all tools, no polish players like that traded.