Tyler Pastornicky Rumors

Braves Notes: J. Upton, Johnson, Gattis, Pastornicky

Here’s the latest news on the Braves out of San Diego:

  • Echoing the prior report, president of baseball operations John Hart says that he will keep both Upton and Gattis unless he gets what he is looking for, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The club still has the option of attempting to compete by keeping them and adding another starter and a second baseman.
  • Teams in discussions with the Braves now feel they might be likely to keep Gattis, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.
  • The Braves are now packaging Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in trade talks with teams, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).

Earlier Updates

  • Atlanta is fielding interest on Upton from the Orioles, Rangers, and Padres, Bowman reports (Twitter links).
  • When the Royals asked about Gattis several weeks back, the Braves asked for young righty Yordano Ventura in return. Needless to say, that seems to have been a non-starter.
  • The Braves “seem ready to be aggressive,” sources from competitors tell MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links). Justin Upton and Evan Gattis remain the two most talked-about trade targets, but infielder Tyler Pastornicky and righty Anthony Varvaro “could also be included in talks,” per Bowman. Pastornicky is a 24-year-old infielder who could figure into Atlanta’s plans at second if he is kept. Varvaro, 30, has been a fixture in the Braves pen over the last several years.
  • While there remain several teams that are good potential matches on Upton, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Padres might be the best given their supply of young, controllable pitching. A note from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports earlier today also suggested a viable connection between those clubs on Upton.
  • While there is general agreement that Upton is a more valuable commodity than was the previously-traded Jason Heyward, teams remain hesitant to beat the return for the latter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. There is a general sense that the package given up by the Cardinals, headlined by Shelby Miller, may have outstripped Heyward’s value.

East Links: Pastornicky, Braves, Sabathia, Mets, Sox

Dan Uggla‘s role with the Braves is becoming increasingly smaller, as MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes that Tyler Pastornicky will be given the opportunity to serve as Atlanta’s everyday second baseman. Pastornicky has just two hits in 17 at-bats this season but has a solid Triple-A track record. Should he falter, the Braves also have Tommy La Stella waiting in the wings at Triple-A, though his strong OBP (.379) has been accompanied by a notable power outage, as he’s slugging just .328 with a .039 ISO. More from the game’s Eastern divisions…

  • Within that same notebook piece, Bowman notes that the Braves will utilize a six-man rotation at least through next week. Manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t like the idea, but the team feels it has little choice with six starting options that are throwing so well. The manager did concede that the six-man grouping might help later in the year by limiting the workload on Alex Wood and Gavin Floyd.
  • The Star Ledger’s Jorge Castillo reports that CC Sabathia‘s visit to Dr. James Andrews confirmed that there’s no structural damage in his knee. The Yankees are hopeful that Sabathia will be able to return as soon as he is eligible to help an injury-plagued pitching staff.
  • Bud Selig isn’t concerned over reports that partial Mets owner Saul Katz is looking to sell his shares of the team, writes Christian Red of the New York Daily News
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports asked Red Sox chairman Tom Werner if the team is committed to using a Will Middlebrooks/Xander Bogaerts tandem on the left side of the infield and was told “for the moment” (Twitter link).

Braves Seeking Second Baseman On Waivers, Trades

5:55pm: Braves GM Frank Wren confirmed that the club is looking at possible trades for second basemen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).  Wren said that if the club can't find the "right fit…we'll go with what we have."

3:15pm: The Braves took another hit to their infield depth when it was discovered that Tyler Pastornicky has a torn ACL in his left knee and will undergo season-ending surgery, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman. The 23-year-old Pastornicky was set to man second base on an everyday basis while Dan Uggla recovered from LASIK surgery. Uggla isn't eligible to be activated until Aug. 28, at the earliest.

In the meantime, the Braves have called up Phil Gosselin, who could serve as depth while Paul Janish starts at shortstop. However, Bowman writes that Janish's limited abilities with the bat "have led the club to actively search for an infielder who could be acquired via a waiver wire deal."

Janish is a career .214/.284/.288 hitter in 1,175 plate appearances, so it's no surprise that the Braves would want a stronger option at second base. The 24-year-old Gosselin might not be a substantial upgrade either, as he reached Triple-A for the first time this season, where he was batting .277/.326/.343 in 183 trips to the plate.

We've already seen a pair of middle infield options change hands this August, with both Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio heading to the Royals in waiver deals. A look at the list of players who have cleared waivers shows that Brendan Ryan could be had, but he certainly doesn't fit the profile of an offensive upgrade. This is just my own speculation, but perhaps Ryan Roberts — who was designated for assignment by the Rays yesterday — could serve as a fit with Atlanta.

Blue Jays Inquired On Tyler Pastornicky

The Blue Jays have inquired on Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  The Blue Jays are apparently looking out-of-house for some reinforcements after learning that Jose Reyes will be sidelined for three months with a severely sprained left ankle.

Toronto traded Pastornicky to Atlanta in July of 2010 along with Alex Gonzalez and Tim Collins in the deal that brought back Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes.  Last year was the 23-year-old's first season in the majors and he posted a .243/.287/.325 slash line in 76 games.