Where Will Atlanta Find A Bat?

Mark Bowman of MLB.com has a new mailbag up. The first question leads to a discussion of the Braves adding a bat this off-season. The Braves have $45MM to spend this winter, and could use every penny to fortify their team. While pitching is certainly a concern, the team would like to add a bat. They could use an outfielder or three.

Bowman begins by listing the usual free agent targets: Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn, though he notes that the team isn’t necessarily interested in either. In the Braves offseason outlook, Tim also mentioned free agents Raul Ibanez and Juan Rivera. Given a guess, I’d say the latter ends up in Atlanta. He’s coming off a poor season and could end up being a bargain. Bobby Abreu could be an option, too. He wants multiple years, while the Yankees seem to be content offering him arbitration and allowing him to sign elsewhere.

On the trade front, Bowman gets a little unorthodox. Jason Bay and Matt Holliday get first mention, though they’re quickly written off. It’s unlikely Bay leaves Boston. He’s signed for $7.5MM next year before reaching free agency, and will certainly earn his pay. The Holliday mention is a nonstarter; there’s little chance the Braves will pay a ton in prospects for a guy who will reach free agency next year. I suppose the same goes for Bay, too.

He makes the most compelling case for Xavier Nady, whom the Braves attempted to acquire at the deadline. It appears unlikely, however, that the Yankees would part with the outfielder, who is entering his last year of arbitration. Perhaps if Casey Kotchman were involved, but that’s highly doubtful. If the Braves are intent on acquiring a bat through a trade, it now appears that Delmon Young could be available.

If you’re so inclined, you can check out River Ave. Blues, Joe’s Yankees blog. Today we’re talking Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia.

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