MLB Trade Speculation: Colby Rasmus and 10 Players Atlanta Braves Could Target
The Atlanta Braves have gotten off to a rough start in 2011, going 9-12 through their first 21 games.
Despite the losing record, the Braves haven’t played bad baseball. Their pitching has performed well and their defense has been exceptional. Their big issue is their hitting.
Things will get turned around and the Braves will still compete for a playoff spot, meaning that they will be buyers come July 31st.
Here are 10 players the Braves could target before the trade deadline.
10. Coco Crisp
The Oakland Athletics have a very crowded outfield, and that doesn’t include Chris Carter, who is waiting to be called up.
A free agent at the end of the season, Coco Crisp is a great target for the Braves this season.
He could provide speed at the top of the order, while also giving them a good defensive center fielder.
The A’s love prospects, so giving up a couple Single-A or Double-A players could bring Crisp to Atlanta.
9. Mark DeRosa
Mark DeRosa would be a great addition to the Braves, playing a similar role Omar Infante did last season.
The former Brave is stuck on the bench out in San Francisco and it wouldn’t cost much to bring him back to Atlanta.
DeRosa is one of the best utility players in baseball, and as Braves saw last year with Brooks Conrad, having plenty of depth on the bench is crucial for winning in the playoffs.
8. Shawn Camp
The Braves’ bullpen has been solid so far, but adding another good arm can never hurt.
If the Braves were to add a reliever, it would be a right-handed setup man, which is exactly what Shawn Camp is.
Camp would help the Braves’ pen much like Kyle Farnsworth did in 2010.
7. Wilson Betemit
With the recent injury history of Chipper Jones, the Braves could use a back up third baseman other than Martin Prado.
Former Braves prospect Wilson Betemit would be a good fit.
He is a free agent at the end of the season, so acquiring him would be cheap.
Betemit would give the Braves a serviceable backup to Jones while being able to provide another bat off the bench.
6. Josh Willingham
Josh Willingham is another one of the Athletics’ outfielders that could be moved, especially since he is one of the highest paid ones at $6 million this season.
Though he hasn’t produced during his short time in Oakland, a move back to the NL East could help Willingham out.
Willingham would be a good fourth outfielder for the Braves, or could potentially replace Nate McLouth if he continues to struggle.
5. Juan Pierre
The speedy Juan Pierre is in the final year of his contract, and would be a great addition to the Braves.
He would give the Braves a legitimate threat on the basepaths that they have lacked in recent seasons.
As good as the Braves are at manufacturing runs, Pierre would make them that much better, which would be crucial for the postseason.
4. Johnny Damon
Though Johnny Damon just signed with the Rays, he could still be moved.
If Tampa Bay falters and falls out of the race, they could ship their big name outfielder for some young talent.
Damon would give the Braves another postseason veteran, much like Edgar Renteria gave the Giants in 2010.
3. Corey Hart
A trade for Corey Hart was a hot rumor last year around the trade deadline.
Although the Braves instead acquired Rick Ankiel, they could still make a run at Hart.
Just like in 2010, a deal revolving around Hart and Mike Minor could still get done.
2. David DeJesus
David DeJesus was another outfielder the Braves were looking at last season, and again could be moved this year.
He was dealt to the Athletics last offseason, and as stated before, Oakland doesn’t have a shortage of outfielders.
The veteran center fielder gets on base at a much better rate than Nate McLouth and places solid defense in center field.
DeJesus is the most desirable Oakland outfielder to the Braves and could be had for two minor leaguers.
1. Colby Rasmus
Acquiring Colby Rasmus would be a dream scenario for the Braves.
A native of Columbus, GA, Rasmus would fill the void in center field that is Nate McLouth.
It seems as if he has patched up his relationship with manager Tony LaRussa, but he could still be shipped for the right price.
The Cardinals offense is on fire in 2011, but their pitching is still a question mark.
Sending Jair Jurrjens and Arodys Vizcaino might do the trick.
If a Rasmus deal were to get done, Atlanta would have their starting center fielder for years to come.