Atlanta Braves Players Most Likely to Be Dealt Before Opening Day

Daniel Kock@@dannykockContributor IIIJanuary 3, 2013

The 2013 year is upon us, and in months, the 2013 Opening Day will be as well.

The Atlanta Braves enter the new year with lingering questions as to what they are going to do with their left field position and leadoff hitter.

The Braves may still look at the free-agent market or could acquire a player via trade.

The key to completing a successful trade is getting rid of a player when their value is at its peak.

Past players and prospects like Mike Dunn, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Andy Marte were all traded when their value was really high.

Why did the Mets trade Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey this offseason? He is an older pitcher and his value will never be higher.

General manager Frank Wren will be looking to continue to improve the roster, and here are a few players who still could be traded.


Julio Teheran

Julio Teheran's value has dropped slightly after struggling more last year in the minors but still is a wanted commodity being the top pitching prospect just a year ago.

The Braves' 2013 rotation will be crowded with the emergence of Kris Medlen and Mike Minor along with veterans Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm.

Teheran will enter Spring Training with a chance to earn the No. 5 spot but lost in a similar battle to Randall Delgado last year.

Brandon Beachy will be returning from his injury and be back sometime this summer. He will also have a spot in the rotation.

The Braves may look at that pitching depth as an opportunity to go after Mark Trumbo or Justin Upton.

That would become more likely if their left field options struggle in Spring Training.

While those deals don't look likely at this time, a lot can change between now and Opening Day.


Randall Delgado

Basically everything that applies to Teheran also applies to Delgado.

Delgado will also be competing for that No. 5 spot in the Braves' 2013 rotation.

What gives Delgado the edge over Teheran is his experience at the major league level. He won the battle last season and started the year with the big league team.

However, Wren was ready to part ways with Delgado to acquire Ryan Dempster from the Cubs before that deal fell through.

At this point, the Braves would want a high-caliber player for a young pitcher like Delgado.

As previously mentioned, Delgado's future may be determined by how this Spring Training plays out.


Tyler Pastornicky

Tyler Patornicky began the 2012 season as the Opening Day starter at shortstop for the Atlanta Braves.

Pastornicky had some bright moments but lost the job to Andrelton Simmons due to his struggles in the field.

The Braves brought Pastornicky back up last year in a back-up role, and he filled in as a pinch-hitter and base-runner.

However, the Braves signed shortstop Ramiro Peña, second baseman Blake Dewitt and re-signed shortstop Paul Janish.

The infield has now become crowded, and Pastornicky will likely be on the outside looking in.

Pastornicky's average hovered around the .250 range as a starter last year, and teams could be willing to overlook his fielding issues for what he can bring on offense.

He has good speed and showed signs of having a little bit of pop. The Braves could look to trade him for an intriguing prospect with high upside.

If you twisted my arm and made me make a prediction right now, I would guess all three guys will be with the Braves' organization at the start of 2013.

But, we all know Wren will be looking to improve the roster, and the Braves have surprised us before.


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