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Giants Showing Interest in Braun
Monday, June 13
Interest in Braun, 32, is nothing new. In late May, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote the following:
He’s the hot name out there,” said one National League scout. Braun is having an outstanding year, seemingly all the way back from PED disgrace and the subsequent reduction of his numbers. Which team could benefit from the righthanded, middle-of-the-order bat? The scout thought the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, and Chicago White Sox were good fits. Braun is in the first year of a five-year, $105 million extension.
That contract might be an issue for some teams. Braun isn't young, and there's always the fear he will fail to live up to his huge deal as he gets into his late 30s.
Those aren't the only concerns. As Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report wrote, "Prospective buyers not only have to square themselves with his contract, but with his recent thumb and back woes. Also, nobody's forgetting his performance-enhancing drug drama."
Still, Braun is having an excellent season—he's hitting .316 with 11 home runs, 36 RBI, 26 runs and five stolen bases in 52 games this season—and while he is no longer an MVP candidate, he's a reliable bat that can solidify the middle of the lineup.
For teams looking to bolster their offense without sacrificing much defense in the outfield, Braun would be an excellent addition so long as they're comfortable absorbing his substantial contract.
Braun, however, will likely have the final say in where he lands. As Rymer noted, he can block trades to all but five MLB teams if he so chooses, another potential hurdle for the Brewers if they decide to unload him this summer.
On the other hand, if Braun wants to compete for a World Series title this season, a trade is assuredly his best chance of doing so.
That increases the chances of his departure from Milwaukee, with more teams likely to inquire about his services before the August 1 trade deadline.
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