MLB Trade Rumors: Atlanta Braves: 5 Huge Trades That Could Happen This Offseason
The Atlanta Braves have had many different trade rumors going around during the past few weeks.
The biggest news of late is their announcement of a possible trade of Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens. Since placing these players on the trading block, multiple teams have expressed interest to the Braves. By trading Jurrjens and Prado, or a few young pitchers, the Braves can greatly improve their team for the 2012 season.
If the Braves decide to make a large trade this offseason, their team could become the best in baseball.
Here are five huge trades that could happen for the Braves this offseason.
Matt Kemp, one of the best hitters in baseball, may be pursued by the Braves this offseason.
Kemp would be a huge improvement to the Braves offensive production, especially from the outfield. Although because of Kemp's superlative talent, the Dodgers will be reluctant to trade him away.
Even though he will be difficult to acquire, the Braves should offer for him as much as they are willing. This would most likely be Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, Mike Minor and perhaps a few second-tier prospects.
The Dodgers would like this deal because Jurrjens and Minor would give them two potential aces to pitch behind Clayton Kershaw. This would be extremely helpful to their shallow pitching staff.
Also, by acquiring Martin Prado, the Dodgers would have a super utility player with a career average of .293.
For both the Braves and the Dodgers, this trade is risky.
Matt Kemp has already proved himself to be a great hitter; however, neither team can know how well Jurrjens and Minor will perform in the next few years.
Although this deal is unlikely, if it does occur, both teams involved would be greatly improved.
If the Dodgers are unwilling to deal Matt Kemp, they may listen to offers for Andre Ethier.
Ethier, although he hit only 11 home runs and 62 RBIs in 2011, has a career batting average of .291, and could bring great improvement to the Braves lineup.
Ethier should be slightly less expensive than Kemp, as he has not recently had an MVP-caliber season.
If the Braves trade for Ethier, they should offer Martin Prado, who has great value as a utility player, as well as a pitcher with great potential, such as Mike Minor or even Jair Jurrjens.
Both teams would benefit greatly from this deal.
If the Braves decide not to pursue an expensive outfielder, they should take a look at Chicago White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin.
While his offensive production was not nearly as impressive as Kemp's, he put up decent numbers, batting .254 last season, with 24 home runs and 77 RBIs.
This would be an improvement over some of the Braves' current outfield production, and Quentin does have the potential to improve his offensive production.
The White Sox, like the Dodgers, are lacking greatly in starting-pitching depth, and a deal for Quentin should not be too expensive for the Braves. He would probably cost a top prospect such as Mike Minor or Randall Delgado, or possibly Jair Jurrjens, if the Braves are willing to trade him.
Trading for Carlos Quentin would not be the ideal trade for the Braves, though, because Quentin's bat is not nearly as impressive as some of the other outfielders on the trading block.
The most likely trade on this list is sending Martin Prado to the Colorado Rockies for Seth Smith.
Compared to the other trade possibilities mentioned, this one would have the least impact.
This trade is feasible because the Rockies have recently expressed a fair amount of interest in Prado. Prado could improve the Rockies offensively as well as defensively, because he has the ability to play every position aside from catcher and center field.
The Braves would be interested in Smith because they have lacked offensive production from their corner outfielders for the past few months. Smith could be of use here; in 2011 he hit .284 with 15 home runs and 59 RBI.
This trade, while not the most exciting, would give a nice improvement to the Braves squad.
Another trade possibility for the Braves is Wil Myers.
Myers is one of the Royals' top hitting prospects, though, and they are currently unwilling to trade him away. However, the Royals are very much in need of starting pitching depth, and the Braves have much to offer in that area.
Kansas City has one of the best farm systems in baseball, and they have a very promising future. The Braves could add to this by sending to the Royals a young pitcher with great potential, such as Jair Jurrjens or Mike Minor, for Myers.
While the Royals will surely be reluctant to let go of Myers, the Braves' pitchers may convince them otherwise.
This deal would be great for the Braves, because Wil Myers, in his minor league career, has hit .296 with a .399 OBP. The Braves would be in need of Myers once Michael Bourn's contract expires, if they don't re-sign him.
Although this trade is not likely to happen, its occurrence would make a great impact on both teams involved.