Clubs that have spoken with the Braves say they have three primary names on their buy-a-bat shopping list: Hunter Pence, Josh Willingham and Ryan Ludwick. The Braves looked into B.J. Upton, but don't seem prepared to pay a big price for him. We also haven't heard much that suggests the Braves are still bullpen shopping.
The continued interest in Pence is curious, since it seems like the price for him would be exorbitant, and there is still not a defined position for him (that isn't already occupied) on Atlanta's roster. I find it hard to believe that the Braves would downgrade their defense by sticking Pence in center field.
Hopefully the Braves still are bullpen shopping, though with so many other teams on the prowl for right-handed relievers the asking price for the top guys could be growing beyond what the Braves are willing to give up in terms of prospects.
Despite reports Wednesday that the Phillies are turning their attention to Carlos Quentin in the wake of their lack of progress on the Pence front, executives of three teams told the Daily Rumble they've seen no evidence the White Sox have serious interest in trading Quentin, now that they've pulled to within 3.5 games of first place.
There are still two teams in front of the South Siders in the AL Central. I wonder if they'd be looking for a Major League piece in return for Quentin, or just prospects. I have a hard time seeing how the Braves match up well with them unless they indeed do have someone who can immediately step in and replace Quentin.