Stoking The Fires VII: Even More Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IJuly 26, 2009

BRONX, NY - MAY 08:  Ryan Garko #25 of the Cleveland Indians hits the ball against the New York Yankees during their game on May 8, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx Borough of  New York  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Well folks, your Atlanta Braves have been playing pretty well of late. As a result, the rumor mill has slowed to a near halt. Still, there are rumblings that the Braves are in on a couple of deals and that something could definitely happen before Friday's deadline.

A few of the rumors I'm sure you've heard include Danys Baez, John Grabow, and others. Also, I have read lately about Troy Glaus and Garret Atkins as potential big bats that might be Braves targets.

The Braves definitely need a reliever. Mike Gonzalez has been ineffective when healthy lately. Peter Moylan has still not regained his form either. I've been calling for David Weathers for a few weeks now. I don't know if it will happen but if the Reds would take Jo-Jo Reyes and/or James Parr, then Wren should do it.

Baez has played in Atlanta before and didn't do that entire great, so that rumor is doubtful to me. Grabow, however, intrigues me. He's a lefty, but I believe he'd be a great addition to the bullpen.

All thee "experts" seem to think that Atlanta still needs a right-handed bat off the bench or at first. I really do not think that Wren wants to sacrifice the chemistry of this team to add a big time bat.

The Glaus and Atkins rumors will not go away. With either of those guys, however, their respective clubs will have to chip-in on salary as both guys make upwards of $7-$8 million a year.

One name I have not heard mentioned yet in Braves rumors is Ryan Garko. There have been rumors floating around Garko for quite some time, but conspicuously absent from those rumors is the Braves.

Garko is still a year away from free agency, and to me is a right-handed version of Casey Kotchman—offensively and defensively. Although Garko does have a bit more pop offensively than Kotchman.

Does a deal for Glaus or Atkins make sense? Either would be forced into being a role-player. Either could give Kotchman a break at first, fill-in for Chipper every once in a while, and/or play in left field. Unfortunately, I just don't see a fit there.

With Garko, however, I see a fit. I can see the Braves dealing Kotchman for Garko straight up. I can see the Indians taking that or maybe asking for Brandon Jones in addition.

Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said today that he believes the Indians are working to trade Garko, whose bat has been hot lately. The only reason I made the correlation to the Braves is because the experts are still hearing that Braves want more punch from their first baseman.

I think it would be a great deal. I like Kotchman, but he's not the typical offensive threat that most first basemen are. Garko would be a tremendous addition and his right-handed bat might be just what this offense needs to sustain the big numbers that they have enjoyed recently.