Braves Looking For Bench, Bullpen Depth

The Braves are still looking for a right-handed bench bat who can play the outfield or third base, and possibly also a reliever to replace the injured Arodys Vizcaino in the bullpen, reports's Mark Bowman.  With Chipper Jones injured, Martin Prado shifts to third base while Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske will platoon in left field, thus creating a hole in the Braves'' pinch-hitting corps.

Atlanta has been connected to Xavier Nady, Marlon Byrd and Will Venable within the last week.  David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves also have interest "a couple of lesser available Cubs" as well as Byrd.  If these "lesser Cubs" are relievers, I'm not sure Chicago is a fit as a trade partner, given that the Cubs are themselves trying to figure out their bullpen.  An outfielder is probably an easier pickup for the Braves than a third baseman, as they'd be competing with the Phillies, Athletics and Twins, among others looking for infield help.

Right-hander Cory Gearrin (who has 18 1/3 Major League innings under his belt) and rookie southpaw Yohan Flande are projected for the two remaining spots in Atlanta's bullpen, so there's certainly room for the Braves to add another experienced arm into the mix.  Off the top of my head, the Rangers are shopping Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara, though they're looking for a right-handed hitting bench bat themselves.

57 Responses to Braves Looking For Bench, Bullpen Depth Leave a Reply

  1. ARod's Ring 3 years ago

    Get Travis Snider!

  2. OnDeckBatta10 3 years ago

    Randall Delgado for Brett Jackson.. do it

    • cubs223425 3 years ago

      Haha, not happening.

      • OnDeckBatta10 3 years ago

        It won’t happen, but it would make sense for the Braves. Bourn will not be back after the season and Jackson would take over in CF. Cubs could use the pitching

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          The Cubs could also use the offensive prospect, seeing as Szczur’s nowhere near close and they have crap all over the OF after 2013.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It would take an insane deal to pry Jackson from the Cubs.. He is extremely high on the FO and Managers radar.  It would take a heck of a lot more than a couple of relievers who pitched under 50 innings combined and bourn wouldn’t be interesting since he’d be 30 going into next year.

          • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

            I don’t think you have a clue who Randall Delgado is.  He is a top 50 overall MLB prospect just like Jackson.  And he isn’t a reliever, he is a starter.  Also, the OP didn’t mention the Braves trading Bourn to the Cubs.  He was saying that the Braves will likely need a new CF next season.

            In any event, neither team would make the trade since both kids are too highly regarded within each system.

          • cubs223425 3 years ago

            Except the Braves would be trading an unneeded commodity from a position of strength for one the Cubs actually need.

            If the Braves trade Delgado, they still have Hanson, Jurrjens, Hudson, Beachy, Minor, Medlen, Vizcaino, and Teheran.

            If the Cubs trade Jackson, they have Soriano, Byrd, DeJesus, and Campana, all of whom are 3rd and 4th OFs.

      • ARod's Ring 3 years ago

        Let me propose a ‘Nelson’ type trade right now: 

        Braves Get: Brett Jackson, Garza, Byrd, Campana.

        Cubs Get: Delgado, Heyward, Gearrin.

        I’m semi-serious right now…

        • kast2L 3 years ago

          so while looking for OF help we send one away? 

          • ARod's Ring 3 years ago

            Original reply was for ‘Cubs223425′

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          1. What is a “Nelson-type trade?”

          2. Hah, not after what Garza did last season (pitched awesomely) and Heyward didn’t (anything good).

          • kast2L 3 years ago

            plus Braves can’t take on the money Garza and Byrd make in that trade anyway 

          • OnDeckBatta10 3 years ago

            Braves don’t need the starting pitching either.

          • cubs223425 3 years ago

            Very true. They’re trading SP/OF for SP/OF, which makes no sense, seeing as the Braves need the offense now and the Cubs need the CF in the future as well.

          • ARod's Ring 3 years ago

            There’s a member from this site called ‘Nelson’… He isn’t the brightest cat around, and sometimes comes up with some ridiculous trades.

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          You altered it and made it worse! Why would the Cubs add Byrd and Campana (a guy I like quite a bit–TONS of speed), while the Braves add a prospect that John Sickels didn’t even put in his top-20 for the ATL organization?

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          Garza is the most overrated pitcher on the market right now, next to Jair Jurrjens. 

          • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

            Put Jurrjens in the AL East and see how he pitches. Garza’s a #2 in any rotation in baseball.

          • rundmc1981 3 years ago

            I would love to put Jurrjens in the AL East. That’d mean he’d be off ATL.

        • tomymogo 3 years ago

          Heyward……no way, keep Campana, add Dewitt, and Braves keep Heyward and add Prado

          • cubs223425 3 years ago

            So take a deal that’s terrible for the Cubs already and make it worse?

    • absolutely zero chance, especially with this FO.  Jackson’s eye and patience makes him pretty much a sure thing to remain here for a long, long time.

  3. cubs223425 3 years ago

    The Cubs have Marlon Byrd as an OF trade candidate, and they could even eat a bunch of money and send Soriano out, if a team wants his bat.

    For the infield depth, I’m sort of surprised people aren’t asking about DeWitt or Baker, not that I like either.

  4. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    Let’s see…if this is anything like the rest of our offseason it will go like this. Interest in a whole bunch of guys that make perfect sense but not a whole lot of talent and we won’t acquire any of them. Sound about right? I’m trying to be optimistic but it’s getting a bit challenging.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Frank Wren loves to procrastinate then thumb through his notes from 4 years prior and obtain the highest guy on the list. That explains the Ankiel trade, and interest in Xavier Nady. His obsession for OF that were good in PIT is maddening. I’m surprised he hasn’t traded the farm for Jason Bay yet.

      • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

        lol, they tried. It got so close to happening that they had a jersey made for him then the Red Sox swooped in.

  5. Can Eric Hinske not be the backup 3B? I’m sure he’s going to be below-average, but then again you’re talking about a third-string option at this point when a number of other teams are also looking for infield depth. Grab an extra OF (who hits right-handed, I realize Hinske doesn’t) and use Hinske at 3B if need be. He’s started there as recently as 2009 and 2010 and of course played there primarily in his younger days. Still has more games at 3B than any other position…

    • Jeff 3 years ago

      Drew Sutton is the backup 3B should Prado go down.  Jack Wilson can also play 3rd.

      I really don’t see the need for a bench bat for the IF.  A OF bench bat, I can see that, but not the IF.

    •  Well, they all but refused to play Glaus there. Hinske probably has a bit more range, but I think if he was a viable option he’d be working there this spring.

    • OnDeckBatta10 3 years ago

      Hinske is best used as a pinch hitter and can occasionally give someone a day off in the OF and spell Freeman at 1B. Prado and Wilson will back up 3B. Biggest concern is finding a legit RH bat for LF. Odds are Prado will see a lot of time at 3B this year.

  6. tomymogo 3 years ago

    I would love Mark Lowe or Koji Uehara, and Marlon Byrd. 

    They should trade Matt Diaz, and Jose Constanza. Maybe JJ Hoover, Todd Redmond, Zeke Spruill, Phillip Gosselin, Ernesto Mejia, Evan Gattis, Nick Amhed, and Cole Rohrbough are good trade bait.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      What is there to love with Byrd. I know ATL has liked him for ages, but the guy will provide mediocre numbers filling in and doesn’t project to be a starter, though he’s an upgrade over Diaz/Constanza – though who isn’t?

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        He is an upgrade over Diaz, can play all 3 OF positions, right handed pop. His value is down, which is good because the Cubs can’t ask for much in return, but why was his production down. He was 34 years old, so you would expect some decline, but I’d bet a broken face had something to do with it, remember he had to used this weird looking helmet that may have altered his vision.

        This guy had a 357 AVG with a 916 OPS vs lefties in 2010. Since Chipper is having so many injuries, Prado will play more 3B than usual. They really don’t have a backup CF either, that’s why they’ve been playing Heyward at CF which is risky, and he is such a great RF.

        Byrd improves the Braves, no doubt. They could platoon Hinske and Byrd in LF. 

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          You’re right, Byrd is an upgrade and actually could be a starter. Diaz/Hinske aren’t starters on any team. They shouldn’t be in ATL. I wonder how much CHC would want for Byrd, knowing he’s out of our price range if we took his contract.

  7. Ken 3 years ago

    We could bring back Mike Gonzalez. Or maybe the Rangers will take a one year rental player and give us Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus and Matt Harrison back!

    • wadebets 3 years ago

      Lol good one.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Feliz is experiencing arm trouble – have enough of that between Hanson, Vizcaino – Andrus signed an extension that we don’t want – Simmons should be better – and Harrison isn’t nearly as good as our Minor. I’m more angry we traded Tex to LAA for nothing and lost the 2 picks we could have gotten from NYY that LAA used to grab Mike Trout and Tyler Skaggs. 

      • roberty 3 years ago

        The Braves never would have drafted Trout and Skaggs because they don’t like to spend on the draft.

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          I know that’s always been attached to ATL, but that’s hard to believe based on drafting Heyward ($1.7M signing bonus) and signing international free agent Edward Salcedo. I think their strong international presence in Latin America combined with the fact that they’re usually too good to get a pick slotted for a substantial signing bonus (1-12), but that’s just my opinion. 

          I wish ATL was deeper in the OF and had 1 of these great OF prospects like Brett Jackson, Tim Wheeler, etc. but alas…

  8. tomymogo 3 years ago

    Dewitt is not a bad idea

  9. My guess would be that the ‘lesser cubs’ would be DeWitt or Baker.

  10. Not like the Braves have been searching for a Right Handed Outfielder for the last half decade or anything.

  11. Jeff Westcott 3 years ago

    I’m only half joking here, but why not Brandon Inge? He can play third or the outfield. He still has a little pop in his bat which is a plus for a pinch hitter. And I’m sure the Tigers would be willing to eat virtually all of his contract and ask for almost nothing in return. Brandon would have to waive his 10-5 rights, but if the Tigers make clear that his only options are a trade to the Braves or being released I’d bet he’d welcome a trade.

  12. Trevor Crowe seems to be a possibility. Injury bug hit last year but the kid has good speed and a good eye. Seeing as we just sent Jairo over to Cleveland maybe we kept talking to the Indians.

    I really really wanna see the Braves grab Venable though. His power/speed combo would really help us out. Jackson would be nice and if the Cubbies would do Delgado and a lesser prospect I’d be interested but I doubt that would happen since their minor league depth is already…strained…

  13. tomymogo 3 years ago

    Braves get:
    – RHP Mark Lowe 1.7 million
    – OF Marlon Byrd 2.0 million(Cubs pay 4.5 million)
    – IF Blake Dewitt 1.1 million

    Rangers get:
    – OF Matt Diaz 1.125 million (I heard Pirates paid 1 million)
    – RHP JJ Hoover

    Cubs get:
    – C Evan Gattis
    – SP Zeke Spruill
    – SP Cole Rohrbough

    • ultimaparadox 3 years ago

       Braves dont have more than a few million to spend, at the MAX

  14. BG921 3 years ago

    I really wish the Braves would have signed Andruw Jones this offseason. (Yes, it goes further than “OMG I MISS ANDRUW”). He would’ve essentially filled 3 holes the Braves currently have. 1.) RH power against LHP 2.) Can play decent defense in all 3 OF positions 3.) Great in the clubhouse and relatively cheap.

    I’m not sure if Andruw doesn’t want to return to Atlanta or if the Braves just refuse to sign him, but he would’ve been the perfect fit for the Braves.

    • Going into the offseason and given the Braves budget restraints, Andruw made more sense to this team than any player on the market. Just going to expand on your list……

      1. Plays the corner outfield positions really well, can pass at CF.

      2. He would’ve brought good to great production against lefties to a team that could really use it.

      3. He was a better option than Hinske, who isn’t as good with the bat and a butcher at every position(not bashing the guy, I love him….as a pinch hitter).

      4. He improves the defense at multiple positions. With Chipper battling chronic knee injuries and being MUCH more potent with the bat from the left-side, the Braves could’ve given him the day off when a lefty is on the mound and shifted Prado to 3B while plugging Andruw in at LF. That improves the defense at LF and more importantly, 3B. Also gives Chipper a much needed break.

      5. With Heyward and Prado suffering recent injuries, he would’ve been a nice  backup option should one of them go down for a significant period of time.

      With so many flyball pitchers(Beachy, Minor, Hanson), I’m not really comfortable with a Diaz/Hinske platoon, despite Bourn out there covering ground.

  15. leachim2 3 years ago

    Nelson type trade=terrible trade for one of two teams made by a poster round these parts named Nelson.

    ex.Rokies get:  dvid writ, jury famila
        Mets get: wheeler

  16. roberty 3 years ago

    I would love to see Mike Gonzalez back in a Braves uniform.  You can never have too many lefties! 

  17. JLaw 3 years ago

    Does anyone else having a hard time understanding why the Braves are looking for bullpen help, yet just traded away Jairo Asencio for almost nothing…?  Hopefully, they are looking to just pick up another bat.

    • kray1000 3 years ago

      Because Ascencio seemingly wouldn’t have made the team over Gearrin or Flande, is out of options, and wouldn’t have cleared waivers.  Gearrin and Flande both have control issues and will likely be used to pitch to only one hitter before being lifted if the game is close.  Plus the Braves have a very young bullpen and could use an affordable veteran reliever.

      • JLaw 3 years ago

        I understood the premise that it was better to trade him than get nothing for him, that’s not the argument. The argument is, if you’ve got Flande, Gearrin, Asencio and possibly Moylan later in the year… why not give Asensio the chance rather than a one out specialist like Flande. If he ends up not working out… then trade him or let him be claimed off of waivers with no harm done minus the few dollars lost… the reward far outweighed the risk, because with Asencio you may have given up a 7th or 8th inning solution.

        • kray1000 3 years ago

          Evidently the Braves think Gearrin and Flande are closer to being major-league ready than Ascencio.  It does seem like the Braves are giving Ascencio away though.

          I’m not enamored with any of the three, though… I can understand why the Braves are keeping their eyes open for an upgrade.  Moylan can hopefully replace one of them later in the year.  

  18. Which was exactly what I was saying…….

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