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Stoking the Fires: The Atlanta Braves' Rumor Mill

Joel Barker@joelabarkerSenior Writer IMay 27, 2009

KANSAS CITY - MAY 5:  Jermaine Dye #23of the Chicago White Sox runs the bases during the game against the Kansas City Royals on May 5, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

After commenting on another Braves' rumor article yesterday on this very site, I realized that my comment was stupid and uninformed.

I actually had the gall to mention that this Braves Outfield was set, and that there probably wouldn't be any changes out there.

I then stumbled upon something I did not know.

The Braves are apparently shopping Jeff Francoeur!

Yes, Jeff Francoeur. 

One would think that the No. 5 Braves writer on this site would keep up better than that.

Well, the truth is I still do not want to believe the report.

After last season, Francoeur was seemingly down to his last chance in Atlanta.

He started this season strong, but has faltered tremendously since.

It's unbelievable how Francoeur's Atlanta career (that started with so much promise just four short years ago) could end in a gigantic thud in 2009.

I see the reasoning behind trying to trade him, but I just cant get over it.

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This guy was supposed to be the next Dale Murphy. The crowd favorite. The heir-apparent to Chipper Jones.

Well, that's not going to happen Braves fans. Francoeur is on his way out.

Good for him. A change of scenery might be just what he needs.

If it happens, I bid Jeff godspeed and I hope he tears opposing pitchers up for years to come...So long as those opposing pitchers aren't wearing tomahawks across their chests.

So, who will want the former top prospect?

Some have said the Royals because of GM Drayton Moore's obsession with his former Braves prospect. Moore was the Director of Player Development when Francoeur was the Braves' No. 1 prospect.

There's also talk of the Texas Rangers being a possibility because of Francoeur's relationship with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

Would the Royals part with their own version of a former great prospect that has never panned out, David DeJesus?

Would the Rangers part with David Murphy in a deal for Francoeur?

I like both of those options.

Really, I do.

But if you are looking for either of those two to come in and make a huge difference in this Braves lineup, then you'll be looking for a while.

The Braves need an established veteran who can belt 30 HR's and knock in 80+ RBI.

The Braves need Jermaine Dye. I've been saying it since the end of last season.

This would be a tremendous homecoming for the former Braves prospect. In what was probably the worst trade of John Shuerholtz's career, Atlanta sent Dye to the Royals for Keith Lockhart and Michael Tucker back in 1997.

Dye is a lot older now. He makes a lot of coin, ($11 Million) and is in the final year of his contract with the White Sox.

Jermaine Dye also has 12 HR's this season, or five more than the entire Atlanta OF has mustered thus far.

So how do we work it out?

Would the ChiSox take Francoeur and a prospect?

Face it Braves fans, you aren't getting a guy like Dye without giving up a prospect.

Francoeur is making around $3 million this season, so the Braves would only take on around $8 million in the deal.

Would the Braves include Kris Medlin in the deal?

How about LHP Cole Rohrbough?

I think the Braves need to trade for Dye sooner rather than later and as long as Tommy Hanson, Freddy Freeman, and/or Jason Heyward isn't involved then Wren needs to pull the trigger.

Another possibility the Braves should be looking at is Mark DeRosa—another former Brave that blossomed elsewhere is supposedly available now. He's considerably cheaper than Dye ($5.5 Million) and would surely require less of a ransom from Atlanta.

He's not as productive as Dye, and would not provide the lineup with the big-bat it so desperately needs.

But DeRosa still has more HR's (seven) than any current Braves outfielder.

Either deal would really make this NL East race interesting to say the least.

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