Ken Rosenthal talked to an executive who sums up this year's trade market:
A few days ago, I spoke with an executive who did not expect the trade market to offer attractive solutions to teams in need.
"More of the same (bad) contracts people don’t want, the Bronson Arroyos of the world, that group," the exec said. "It will probably be pretty vanilla."
Speaking of bad contracts, it certainly looks like the Pirates off-loaded at least one bad contract on us last year. It was about a month from now last year when the Braves acquired Nate McLouth. He didn't help turn around the team's offensive woes, that took two more trades for hitters.
The biggest factor in the Braves making some kind of move this year will be whether they feel the pressure to go "all in" during Bobby's last season. John Schuerholz went "all in" during his last season by rebuilding the Texas Rangers in the Mark Teixeira trade, so the "all in" scenario is certainly in Atlanta's playbook.
There's actually something to be said for getting a Teixeira-esque bat at a pretty high cost in prospects. We do, after all, have a surplus of pitching prospects, and the Braves have always shown an ability to rebuild the farm system quickly. At this point I would argue for the acquisition of an Adrian Gonzalez type impact player, if not A-Gonz himself, even if it cost us prospects like Freddie Freeman and Arodys Vizcaino or Julio Teheran. As promising (key word: promising) as those kids are, there's no telling how good a major leaguer they would be.
As awesome as we hope Freeman will be, he could turn out to be a four-A bat like many of the guys he's playing with at Gwinnett. As awesome as any pitching prospect is, there's always the possibility that they could suffer an arm injury or rick ankiel their way out of effectiveness.
I say most of this as an exercise in how the Braves front office likely thinks about prospects -- as chips which they can "color-up" for one better player. The McLouth trade last year was unexpected in its earliness and because no one seemed to think McLouth was available. My only hope is that the Braves can find the right piece to plug into this anemic lineup before it's too late. This ship has got to be righted, and it may take a really big move to do so.