Atlanta Braves 5 Most Tradeable Players for the 2013-14 Offseason
The Atlanta Braves often look to the trade market to make improvements during the offseason.
Last season, the big acquisition was bringing in Justin Upton and Chris Johnson for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and a couple of other prospects.
While those are some of the hot names, there will be others to pop up during this offseason.
Will general manager Frank Wren make another big splash this offseason?
That remains to be seen, but here's a look at the Braves' top assets that could help Wren make another trade in the coming months.
5. J.R. Graham
Don't forget about J.R. Graham, who remains one of the top pitching prospects in the system (No. 2, according to MLB.com).
Graham and Alex Wood were the hot names in spring training this past season, as both demonstrated excellent stuff during the spring.
They were virtually a dead heat as the pitcher to step up to the MLB level if injuries hit the Braves.
Unfortunately for Graham, he dealt with a shoulder issue of his own that kept him sidelined for the majority of the season while Wood went on to have success with Atlanta.
Despite coming off the injury, Graham remains a top prospect due to his mid-to-upper 90s fastball, which has sink a la Tim Hudson.
Graham remains a top prospect in the Braves' farm system and would be an intriguing player to target for an opposing team.
4. Kris Medlen
Kris Medlen reminds me of Martin Prado from last offseason—a fan favorite who is a great teammate and player that the team does not want to lose but could if the right opportunity presented itself.
The difference is, the Braves still hold Medlen under control for two more seasons. Prado was entering his final season under contract with the Braves.
With that being said, Medlen will continue to be more expensive as he hits arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2016.
Coming off a season in which he posted a 3.11 ERA in 197 innings, he could be a nice addition to a team looking for immediate returns.
The Braves will not be actively shopping Medlen, but he could be a name that comes up in talks as Prado did last season.
3. Christian Bethancourt
Christian Bethancourt could be one of the most intriguing players to watch as the offseason unfolds.
The 22-year-old catcher has MLB-ready defensive skills and showed improvement at the plate at Double-A Mississippi last season (.277 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI).
Do the Braves feel confident he can make the necessary improvements at the plate to be the catcher of the future?
Do they play the waiting game and let him progress more at the minors in 2014?
Or do they see Evan Gattis taking over as the catcher for many years and look to move him when his stock is high?
Bethancourt is a player to watch this offseason, no matter what the Braves do with him.
2. Evan Gattis
While Evan Gattis looks to have the inside track at the starting catcher position, the Braves may like the elite defensive skills that Bethancourt possesses more than the offense of Gattis.
And, speaking of offense, that is what makes Gattis a tradeable asset for the Braves.
It is tough to find reliable offense from the catcher position.
In his first full season in the majors, Gattis slugged 21 home runs and drove in 65 runs in just 105 games.
Gattis should only continue to improve as a hitter as he makes adjustments to how pitchers start attacking him.
I think Gattis will start 2014 as the starting catcher, but once again, he will have value on the trade market this offseason.
1. Alex Wood
The Braves could use Alex Wood to pry away some talent if they so choose.
Wood is so valuable as a trade piece due to his stuff as a young, left-handed pitcher.
Teams are always searching for young pitchers who have the potential to be top-end starters to build their team around—and Wood has that potential.
The 22-year-old went 3-3 with a 3.13 ERA in his first season at the MLB level.
He should continue to get better as he develops his fastball, changeup and breaking ball, which are all plus pitches already.
Young pitchers are always hot on the trade market. Wood fits that mold.