Braves Interested In Brewers Outfielder Lorenzo Cain

Mark Bowman gives us our first real Braves rumor of this year's winter meetings:

The Braves are among the teams showing interest in trading for Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain.  They are also very capable of providing the Brewers with the talented young pitching prospects they're seeking in exchange for Cain. 

Cain is an improving young outfielder. Probably not as toolsy as other young center fielders some Braves fans would be familiar with, Gorkys Hernandez or Jordan Schafer, but Cain is more Major League ready than either at this point. I like the idea of getting a young speedster like this and not thrusting him into a starting role immediately. Give him the time to learn at the Majors and work him into the lineup more and more when he proves he's ready.

This is also a window into the Braves thinking about how they will look beyond the 2011 season. There is a possibility that the Braves could lose half of their starting lineup after 2011. If Chipper Jones retires or is unable to play after this year (or this year), if Dan Uggla leaves via free agency, and if the Braves don't retain Alex Gonzalez and Nate McLouth, then Atlanta would have four big holes to fill.

Certainly re-signing Uggla would solve one problem (though I still believe that will be put on hold until the team sees if Chipper can play everyday), and Martin Prado can be moved around the diamond as needed, but preparing a replacement for McLouth seems like an important task in 2011, especially one who could add value as a pinch runner and backup outfielder with speed during the 2011 season.

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