As the trade deadline is approaching, the Atlanta Braves are considering trading for an outfielder to improve their struggling offense.
The Braves currently own several potential Major and Minor League trade candidates. Some of these players would be worth trading away, while others might not bring back someone of sufficient value.
Jair Jurrjens is the Braves ace. However, it has been said that he is currently at his highest trade value because he is currently performing better than he is likely to sustain in the future.
Thus, because he is still young, the Braves may consider trading him now.
However, it would be extremely unwise to trade Jurrjens away. Even if he does not continue to put up the outstanding numbers he has to this point in 2011 he has shown throughout his tenure with the team that he could still be an asset for years to come.
The Braves should hold on to him as long as possible.
Derek Lowe has been the subject of many recent Braves trade discussions.
Lowe has been putting up similar numbers since 2002, and consistently wins more than 10 games each season.
And though he is on track for another 10-win season, his recent performance has been sub-par.
However, he is a solid starter, and another team may be able to put him to very good use.
The Braves have extreme depth in their starting rotation, and could manage without Lowe, especially if they will benefit from an outfielder who can hit.
In my opinion, trading Derek Lowe is not a bad idea.
Julio Teheran has the potential to become an all-time great.
He has perhaps the most potential of anyone in the Braves' amazing farm system, and he is listed as the No. 4 prospect currently in the minor leagues.
This situation reminds me of when the Braves traded Adam Wainwright for J.D. Drew. While they benefited from Drew's offense, it was nowhere near what Wainwright could have contributed to the team.
If the Braves were truly desperate for offense, Teheran would be an ideal trade piece. However, the Braves can manage with the offense they currently possess, and should hold on to Teheran.
Aside from Teheran, the Braves have a few lesser prospects in their farm system, who also have great potential.
Among these, the most prominent are Mike Minor, Arodys Vizcaino, and Randall Delgado.
Players such as these are great trade pieces for teams like the Astros, who are looking to build a team for the future.
Though these players do have lots of potential, I do think they might be worth trading away if the Braves retained Teheran.
The Braves' farm system is stacked with great pitchers, and the Major League club could benefit if they traded a few of them, especially if these trades would bring greater consistency to the team's offense.
Also in the Braves' amazing farm system are multiple potentially great position players.
Some of the Braves' top hitting prospects are Matt Lipka, Jose Constanza, and Ernesto Mejia.
Unlike their pitching prospects, I think the Braves should value each of their hitting prospects, as consistent offense for them is currently difficult to come by.
I do not recommend that the Braves trade away any of their minor league position players, for each of them may be very valuable in future years.