Buying or Selling Latest Atlanta Braves Rumors

Daniel Kock@@dannykockContributor IIIJanuary 3, 2014

Buying or Selling Latest Atlanta Braves Rumors

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    The Atlanta Braves continue to keep things close to the vest in regards to their offseason plans.

    The Braves have some holes to fill, but if the season started today, they could field a competitive 25-man roster.

    This makes the Braves relatively quiet players this offseason.

    With that said, general manager Frank Wren will not pass up an opportunity to improve the club.

    The starting rotation, bullpen, second base and bench are all positions that could see some player addition by the time spring training rolls around.

    Here's a look at what to buy and what to sell concerning some of the latest Atlanta Braves rumors.

1. Are Braves in Play for Masahiro Tanaka?

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    Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (subscription required) said on Dec. 29 that the Braves have the money to make a run at Masahiro Tanaka but likely won't.

    Tanaka could vault to the front of the rotation for the Braves after posting a 1.27 ERA with 183 strikeouts and 32 walks in Japan in 2013.

    Signing Tanaka will require a $20 million posting fee in addition to the contract he signs with the team.

    The 25-year-old could sign a similar deal to the six-year, $56 million deal that Yu Darvish signed.

    While the reward could be great, it seems unlikely the Braves will get involved with Tanaka, as Schultz pointed out.

    With the Braves having to commit a ton of money to arbitration-eligible players, it seems unlikely they will roll the dice on Tanaka.

    Buy (that the Braves likely won't make a run).

2. Could Atlanta Acquire Howard Kendrick?

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    Many have asked about Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howard Kendrick, as it was reported the Angels would shop him during the offseason.

    However, as the offseason has played out, it looks more and more likely that the Angels will retain Kendrick.

    The Angels traded Mark Trumbo and have acquired young pitchers in Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago, making a Kendrick trade unlikely.

    David O'Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution also squashed any rumors of the Braves dealing for Kendrick recently: 

    No, #Braves aren't pursuing Howie Kendrick

    — David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) December 31, 2013

    While the Braves will continue to look for a trade partner for Dan Uggla, don't expect it to be with Los Angeles.


3. Does Eric O'Flaherty Return?

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    O'Brien also reported that the Braves are still interested in bringing left-hander Eric O'Flaherty back to Atlanta: 

    #Braves strong bullpen could still get significantly better if O'Flaherty is re-signed. Talks not dead.

    — David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) December 30, 2013

    The Braves reached a deal with left-hander Jonny Venters, but they would like to add another solid arm in the bullpen.

    The most likely candidate is O'Flaherty, who would add some insurance from the left side to Luis Avilan.

    If both O'Flaherty and Venters return to form from arm injuries, the Braves would have three impressive southpaws in their bullpen.

    In the end, I look for the Braves and O'Flaherty to reach an agreement on a short-term deal.

    This would allow the Braves to add some depth in the bullpen and O'Flaherty to hit the free-agent market again in hopes of receiving a larger deal (similar to Gavin Floyd).

    Buy (O'Flaherty returning to Atlanta).