Now is when things usually begin to heat up in the rumors department. The Braves have holes and need a lefty in the bullpen. With that being said here is my big trade proposal to push the Braves past the Nationals and into the World Series.
Braves give up quite a bit of depth and take on some salary but it's worth it. Beltre is hitting .337/.383/.534 with 13 HR's in 81 games. He also plays above average defense. Beltre is owed roughly $8M for the rest of the season but is signed for $18M next year with a $16M vesting option for 2016. Cotts is a solid lefty who would be a better option than Avilan. Cotts has a 3.60 ERA over 40 innings, while striking out 46 and walking 16. His FIP though is only 2.76. Cotts is signed through the end of the season with a little under $1M remaining on his contract.
The Rangers are in dire need of rebuilding. They don't have a ton of minor league depth. Some of the players they've brought to the majors haven't really panned out and the next wave is a couple years away. Johnson gives them a cheaper 3B who would see his offensive production go up playing in Texas.
Cabrera is 21 and pitching at A+ and dominating. He's a great arm who's probably 2 years away.
Hursh is 22 and doing okay at AA. He's a back end type starter who should be ready next year.
Caratini is 20 and hitting well at A. Hitting won't be a problem with him its going to be where to play him. He's caught and played 3B this year but he's not a great defender. A move to the AL where he could DH might be a big plus for him. He's still 2 or 3 years away.
Cody Martin would be able to step into the Rangers rotation right now and is probably a middle of the rotation type guy. He's also the one player in this deal I hate giving up.
The big hurdle in this trade is Atlanta would be taking on around $6M in salary this year. Next year with Santana off the books it evens back out again.
Personally I think this trade makes the Braves a strong contender. It gives them the best infield defense in baseball in my opinion and Beltre's offense and experience would all be big additions.