Moves the Atlanta Braves Must Try to Pull Off at the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings
The MLB hot stove has started to heat up even though the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings aren't set to begin until Monday.
The Atlanta Braves have been relatively quiet to this point in the offseason, as the biggest news surrounding the team has been the losses of veterans Tim Hudson and Brian McCann.
General manager Frank Wren did bring back utility infielder Ramiro Pena on a one-year deal, however, as he proved to be a valuable asset before his season-ending injury.
While the Braves don't look to be big spenders this offseason, that doesn't mean Wren won't search for a couple moves to better the Braves' roster.
Here's a look at a few moves the Braves should try and pull off as the Winter Meetings get set to begin.
1. Trade Dan Uggla
The Braves would be huge winners if they could find a suitor for second baseman Dan Uggla sooner rather than later.
The more likely scenario is that this plays out into the winter as teams become more desperate for a starting second baseman and right-handed power.
Wren will need to sell teams on Uggla's ability to draw walks (171 the past two seasons), his reputation as a great clubhouse guy and a need for a change of scenery.
The thing that will stand as the biggest problem will be coming to an agreement regarding the payment of the final $26 million on his last two years of his contract.
Finding a trade partner for Uggla would allow the Braves to focus their attention on adding a starting pitcher as well as their next starting second baseman.
2. Trade for Kyle Lohse
With the loss of Hudson, it is no secret the Braves would like to add a veteran starting pitcher to an inexperienced rotation.
Kyle Lohse appears to be a good fit for the Braves if the Brewers are willing to part ways with the right-hander.
The 35-year-old has proven to be a reliable pitcher over the past three seasons, as he's compiled 41 wins while posting an ERA below 3.50 and pitching more than 180 innings in all three seasons.
Lohse has two years and $22 million left on his contract and could slide in as an experienced pitcher for a couple seasons while the Braves' young starters gain experience at the MLB level.
Lohse would not be a pitcher the Braves would have to sell their entire future to acquire, and he could pay off big dividends.
The Brewers could have interest in a versatile player such as Joey Terdoslavich as well as a minor league arm.
3. Trade for Jeff Samardzija
While Jeff Samardzija doesn't have much starting experience, he does offer more ace potential than Lohse.
Rumors have circulated that the Chicago Cubs are looking to move the right-hander by opening day. In fact, an anonymous major league source told CSN Chicago's Dave Kaplan last week that there was a "99 percent chance" Samardzija would be moved this offseason.
The Braves would be wise to inquire about landing the 28-year-old.
Samardzija is under control for the next two seasons and would be a cheaper option than Lohse (arbitration eligible in 2014 and 2015).
While Samardzija posted an average 4.34 ERA in 2013, he struck out 214 batters—a season after striking out 180—and has great stuff.
Samardzija could benefit from playing in a pitcher-friendly park such as Turner Field and offers huge upside on the mound.