July 23, 2010

One Week Until the Trade Deadline

The Braves just finished up a three-game series against the now second-best team in the National League, the San Diego Padres, taking two of three (which should have been a sweep). The Phillies and Mets, on the other hand, have not been so fortunate lately. The Mets lost two of three to the Giants (which also should have been a sweep since the umpire blew the call at home), were just swept three straight by the D-Backs, and lost the first game against the LA Dodgers on Thursday. The Phillies were just about as bad, losing three of four to both the Cubs and Cardinals. The Braves have increased their lead in the NL East to 7 over the Phillies and 7.5 over the Mets—for those of you wondering the Braves Magic Number is down to 61. I’M JUST SAYING…

The Braves will start a 9-game, 3-city road trip Friday that will bring them to Florida, Washington D.C. and Cincinnati—and the Braves just may leave Florida with a new outfielder… Every publication I read, from Miami to Boston, has the Braves trading for Marlins’ OF Cody Ross in the next week or so. Earlier this week the Braves sent their top two scouts to watch the Rockies vs. Marlins indicating that they are VERY interested in someone and all reports are saying that someone is Cody Ross.

It makes sense, seeing that the Braves biggest question mark is in centerfield. Nate McLouth has just recently come off the DL and has to prove to everyone he isn’t the same player we saw earlier this season—something I don’t see happening. Melky Cabrera has been solid lately, but Ross would certainly be an upgrade.

So, what would the Braves have to give up for a guy like Ross? Well, everything I have read indicated the Marlins like LHP Mike Dunn, who the Braves acquired in the deal for Javy Vazquez last winter. Dunn has been up with the big club recently and has pitched…ehh…OK. He throws hard (95 MPH), but has issues with his control—not someone I’d want pitching in a tight situation. I’m not sure if the Braves would have to give up much more than Dunn, and if not, I’d say the trade is a no-brainer. And if Ross isn’t available, I hear the Mets are shopping Jeff Francoeur…

If this trade does happen, someone has to be the odd-man out. It could be Cabrera, if the Marlins ask for him in return for Ross, or he could be used in another trade (if need be). I would guess however, that it would be McLouth that goes, whether in a trade or some other form. I’m sure the Braves will give McClouth plenty of playing time this week to either show them he has bounced back from the .176AVG to start the year, or to increase his trade value. It only takes one team to believe he can do it.

This appears to be the only “big” trade the Braves would make, barring some type of injury. There was a bit of a scare Thursday when Eric Hinske injured his foot after being hit by a pitch, but all indications are that Hinske is OK, as he was in the lineup for Friday’s game.

It will be interesting to see what happens. Most of the rumors you read this time of year never come to fruition and the moves that do happen are mostly unexpected. Frank Wren has been one of the most aggressive General Managers of late, so I do except something to happen. What that will be? We will just have to sit back and wait…

Until Next time…Go Braves!



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