The Case Against Acquiring a Bat: Thinking Pencelessly

There are two sides to every trade scenario; the "we absolutely need to do this because it will tremendously benefit our team" side and the side who will never agree to it. Both sides present valid arguments, in most cases, as to why they are right and the other side needs to change the way they're thinking. Having heard the argument for acquiring the rare praying mantis, Hunter Pence, let's look at it from a different perspective. 

Let me first say that I would love to have Pence on our team. He's an extremely consistent player, a well liked guy, and just flat out fun to watch. He would do wonders for our lineup. We're looking at a potential line-up of

1. Schafer

2. Prado

3. Chipper

4. McCann

5. Pence

6. Heyward

7. Uggla

8. Freeman

9. Gonal---------wait....

The really big problem with adding Pence to the team is this: we just don't have the room for him. Now, most people will say "We can just send Schafer down. He could use the seasoning, and think how good he'll be next year." Solid statement, however, Schafer has played really good baseball. He is by no means tearing it up, but he has been extremely solid, working really good at bats, and playing superb centerfield. That's not even taking his speed into consideration, which has not only saved us from being the biggest stolen base laughing stock in history, but it's also been able to help manufacture runs and affect the way pitchers pitch when he is on base. 

Another person who deserves to be starting on this team, and I can't believe I'm even having to make this argument, is Martin Prado. Martin Prado is not a super utility guy. Martin Prado is not a super utility guy. I'll say it again, Martin Prado is not a super utility guy. He is a starting 2B LF. He is our starting LF. He is, right now, the best pure, all around hitter on our team, and he needs to consistently be in the lineup everyday, and not going from position to position like an excited couple on their honeymoon.

"Well what about McLouth and Uggla? They're bums, we can just DFA them or demote them to AAA and then we'll have all the room in the world!" Uggla is what makes this scenario really interesting. He could single handedly keep Pence off this team, and us out of trade talks, if he would just hit the baseball. He's hitting .220 in his last 10 games, which is an improvement, albeit an embarrassing one, but not quite where we need him to be. McLouth has played much better this season than last season, and had a solid 2-3 weeks earlier this year when he was batting 8th when he played really good baseball. He's back from injury now, and with Uggla (mildly) heating up, we may not even need to add a bat, once Chipper and Prado return.

But lets say they don't. Let's say Uggla continues to depress, and McLouth just isn't helping things, what do we do then, then can we go get Pence? Possibly, but there will have to be some tough decisions made. If we are to get Hunter Pence, and keep Schafer in the majors, Uggla will have to be benched, and McLouth will have to be benched, traded, demoted, or cut. In this scenario, Prado returns to the infield, and Pence, Schafer, and Heyward man the outfield for us. Our bench then looks like Uggla, Ross, Hinske, Conrad, and Hernandez/McLouth, but most likely Hernandez because without him we don't have a backup SS. "So we are willing to do all this, we can go get Pence?" Maybe.

From here, the big problem becomes what do we have to give up for him. I think most of us could live with Minor, Vizcaino and a C prospect for him, even if its a little too much. But Minor is currently our 5th starter until Hanson comes back, and if we just look to our good buddies in Florida, we don't know for certain that he's coming back in 15 days. Then what do we do? Go ahead and rush up Teheran? Give them Delgado too? Bring in another really good prospect and really over pay? Until we know for a fact Hanson will be back on schedule and healthy, this just can not happen.

Now, assuming Hanson comes back right on time, and Uggla gets benched, and McLouth gets demoted, and Prado comes back healthy, and Chipper comes back healthy, and Minor/Vizcaino/C prospect is enough to get Pence, and all the stars fall into alignment, then yes, it would greatly improve our team, and push us father into the top teir of NL and MLB teams. But unless all these things happen, we are simply stuck. What we need doesn't match what we can use and can and will give up to get it, and that means Hunter Pence will not be a Brave.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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