Ender Inciarte remains a popular trade target despite already being moved once this offseason, as the Atlanta Braves continue to field calls for the talented center fielder.
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Astros Have Expressed Interest in Inciarte
Thursday, Jan. 14
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported Wednesday the Houston Astros have contacted the Braves about Inciarte, but they would need to move Carlos Gomez in order for a trade to work.
Grant McAuley of CBS Radio added that the asking price remains "very high."
Atlanta acquired the outfielder in a blockbuster deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks that also featured 2015 top overall pick Dansby Swanson heading to the Braves and starting pitcher Shelby Miller going to the D-backs, among other pieces.
Inciarte is coming off a strong season with Arizona that saw him hit .303 with 38 extra-base hits and 21 stolen bases across 132 games. It backed up a solid debut campaign and, along with his ability to play defense at any of the outfield spots, made him a coveted commodity.
The 25-year-old rising star doesn't seem like the type of player the Braves would want to move. They are in the middle of an extended rebuilding process and have mostly focused on replenishing their system with pitching prospects. It's left a lack of promising young hitters.
Adding Inciarte and Swanson started to solve that problem. But president of baseball operations John Hart and general manager John Coppolella have enjoyed success on the trade market, so perhaps they are just keeping the lines of communication open in case another king's ransom becomes available.
If he does get moved, the Braves will likely turn to veteran Michael Bourn in center until the speedy Mallex Smith is ready for a full-time role.
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