Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What now? 2008 Edition

As the first trading deadline approaches, it's clear to everyone (even the Braves front office) that the Braves are sellers, not buyers. But the question should now be: How much to sell?

Obviously, Mark Teixeira and Will Ohman should be traded. They're both free agents at the end of the year. Teixeira, with Boras as his agent, will almost certainly not sign any new contract until he hits free agency, so if the Braves really want him in 2009, they can bid on his services after the season.

But what about the rest of the team? Who should be untouchable?

There are only a few players that I would put in that category. Not that all the rest should be traded, but if a good offer is made for any of them, it should be considered. So who's untouchable? And why?

First, Chipper Jones. In all honesty, he might be a good one to trade. He's aging, has injury problems that could probably be helped by DHing a lot, and makes a lot of money. But he's a 10 and 5 man, so he'd have to agree to any trade, and seems very unlikely to do so. Unless he asks to be traded, he's here until his contract ends.

Next, Brian McCann. If he's not the best catcher in MLB, he's certainly in the discussion. And, let's be honest, there's certainly no one in the system to replace him, even a bit. Corky Miller? Clint Sammons? Pass.

Jair Jurrjens. He's already proven he can pitch in the majors, which puts him ahead of all the other young starters the Braves have around. Not only that, he looks like a potential ace. He shouldn't go anywhere.

And that's about it. I'd probably keep Escobar before Kelly Johnson, just because it's easier to find someone to play 2B. None of the outfielders are untouchable - in fact, I probably should have put Kotsay in the group with Tex and Ohman.

The fact is, the Braves have very few star quality players right now. On the other hand, they do have a lot of good young players. So, they should make moves based on 2009 just as much as 2010 or 2011.

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