Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors: Options for the Braves' Deadline Plan

Alan ParrishContributor IJuly 22, 2011

Six-time outfielder Carlos Beltran is rumored to possibly land in Atlanta.
Six-time outfielder Carlos Beltran is rumored to possibly land in Atlanta.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Looking at the MLB rumor wire, it seems as though all the trade talk surrounds a deal that would send Mike Minor of the Atlanta Braves to the New York Mets for Carlos Beltran. That sounds good, but there is an option no one seems to be kicking around.

Ladies and gentlemen, it seems to me that this year is the last year we will see Chipper Jones pick up a bat for the Braves. While that is a tough reality, it gives the Braves an opportunity to pick up a couple of good players before the trade deadline comes this year.

With Chipper probably gone next year, Martin Prado would get a chance to move back to third.  However, if he would be willing to stay in left, it would free up third base for a guy named Aramis Ramirez.

It seems that Aramis has found his groove again and, if he keeps this up, could be seriously beneficial to this Braves team.

Aramis is hitting .302 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs for the Chicago Cubs thus far in the season. The major argument against him is his performance the past few years, but he may have been in a stagnant period of sorts. He seems to have shaken it, though, and is ready to excel at the major league level again. This could bode well for the Braves, and we could see the following scenario:

1. Aramis and Chipper could platoon, with Aramis getting the most playing time, giving Chipper the chance to sit and rest as much as possible. Aramis could bring a hot bat to the lineup without having to completely give up on Chipper. This could also give Chipper a chance to do some work at first if he so chose.

2. The Braves could complete a Minor-for-Beltran deal and put Carlos Beltran in center field. Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer could do backup duty, giving the Braves a huge boost in all three sections of the lineup. 

3. Once Chipper retires, Aramis Ramirez would be able to take over full-time for the Braves at third.  If Aramis falters, then Martin Prado would be available to take over third, and either Schafer or McLouth would be able to take left field. 

These two options give the Braves a massive opportunity to cash in and get some decent talent.  Hopefully, the Braves can get something good by the deadline and give them the push they need to overtake the Philadelphia Phillies.