Atlanta Braves Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with the Latest Trade Chatter

Todd SalemContributor IIIJuly 21, 2014

Atlanta Braves Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with the Latest Trade Chatter

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    With the MLB trade deadline approaching and trade season in full swing, many fanbases find it hard to weed through all the rumors and determine what is real and what isn't.

    Certain sellers like the Philadelphia Phillies or San Diego Padres see their own players thrown into fake trades every hour. On the buyers' side, things are kept a bit closer to the vest, as organizations don't want to release who they're specifically targeting or who they're willing to give up.

    For the Atlanta Braves, we have a general idea of what they want, but rumors have been hard to come by these past few days. Atlanta is searching for some bullpen and bench help. It also may be eyeing a starting pitcher, but specifics aren't coming from the Braves.

    There have been a couple rumors worth mentioning and explaining whether they are real or a bunch of hooey. Everything around this time, no matter the source, must be taken with a grain of salt. However, based on the information at hand, it is possible to determine what's believable (fact) and what's not (fiction).

David Price Is a No-Go

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Braves are not interested in pursuing a starting pitcher, which puts quite a damper on the hopes of Atlanta creating an offer for Tampa Bay's David Price.

     

    Fact

    I never believed Atlanta was a logical landing spot for Price in the first place. The best part of this team all year has been its starting pitching. Sure, Aaron Harang and others have overachieved, but the rotation is still five deep with reliable arms.

    Also, the Braves hardly have the minor league assets to create a viable offer for Price. Unless they were going to throw Alex Wood and another player already in the majors at Tampa, there isn't a likely trade that fits.

    And if that was the case, Atlanta would be trading away part of its rotation to bring in the starter, which hardly makes sense unless the upgrade costs little else.

B.J. Upton Is out the Door

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    According to Peter Gammons, the Braves are looking to dump B.J. Upton for anything—or almost anything.

     

    Fiction

    B.J. Upton hasn't finished a season with at least a .300 OBP since 2011. He's only slugged above .500 once in his career, back in 2007. With the incredible amount of strikeouts and low batting average, it is no wonder that rumors would be swirling that Atlanta wished to dump Upton for anything it could get.

    However, that doesn't seem realistic to me. Even though Gammons' quote is rather ambiguous, "almost anything" implies Atlanta just wants to rid itself of Upton. Perhaps the Braves would get a player in return, but they would really just want someone to eat some of the contract.

    For a player who will easily clear 400 at-bats this season, even while batting near the Mendoza line, that line of thinking hardly makes sense. Upton has more value than that to Atlanta.

    His baserunning is good. His defense is still an asset, especially while he roams center field. While Atlanta may indeed be looking for someone else to play center every day, saying they wish to dump Upton for almost anything is far from fact.

Braves High on Andrew Miller

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week, the lefty reliever Atlanta is the highest on is Boston's Andrew Miller.

     

    Fiction

    The news is a bit older than some of the other rumors. There has been no update concerning Miller other than a tweet from Gammons again, saying a number of suitors are pursuing the big lefty.

    I don't doubt that Atlanta has its eye on Miller. He is a good fix for the Braves' current bullpen problem, and he is having a great year. However, marking Miller as the top guy seems foolish. Right now, there are so many options around the league to fill what Atlanta needs, marking anyone as the top priority is bad business.

    Antonio Bastardo, Tony Sipp, James Russell and many other lefty relievers around baseball play for losing clubs who will be looking to deal these guys before the deadline arrives. Why get into a bidding war for Miller when someone just as good could be had for less?

    If Miller comes to Atlanta for a fair price, it is a good move. Claiming he's the team's highest priority is not.