ATLANTA, GA - JULY 14: Tommy Hanson #48 of the Atlanta Braves pitches to the New York Mets at Turner Field on July 14, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves filled two very important needs last night when they acquired starting pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Chicago Cubs. The question on everyone's mind today is, "will the Braves make any more trades?" Last night Frank Wren said there might be:
We have other discussions. We have other conversations going on so I think it’s going to be very busy right up until 4 o’clock tomorrow.
So what else could the Braves be working on? The most obvious answer is the bullpen. While Maholm's arrival will eventually push Kris Medlen back to the pen (possibly after a couple of starts, one filling in for Tommy Hanson), the uncertainty surrounding Jonny Venters returning to form could be a reason for the Braves to deal for another reliever.
The Braves may also view this time to make another rotation upgrade for the near term. Tommy Hanson has struggled this year, and has been very lucky while on the mound, but he should still have good trade value. Could the Braves choose now as the time to exchange him for a more reliable rotation arm? Something like this would hinge on how the Braves view Hanson's drop in velocity, and whether they want to begin paying him more next year as he begins his path into arbitration.
The Braves still have plenty of prospects from which to deal, and even if they don't part with one of their Major League pieces, they could still get a quality bullpen arm. Only four hours to go...