You can add the Braves to the list of teams with interest in their old buddy, Mark DeRosa. Cleveland wants pitching back, and the Braves are one club with a pitching surplus. But teams that have spoken with Atlanta say the Braves' entire prospective rotation (including Tommy Hanson) is off-limits. And they would want a significant return for Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton or Kris Medlen.
The Braves would obviously talk about dealing young arms for an impact bat, a la Matt Holliday. But they've been telling clubs that if they give up young players for any hitter with a hefty paycheck, they would expect the team they're dealing with to pick up a major chunk of the salary.
I've been on the fence about the whole acquiring a "bat" thing. There's no doubt we definitely need better production from our outfield, that's for damn sure, but the "who" to acquire is the real question for me. I like Mark DeRosa, but I don't think he's the everyday impact player who will definitively turn around the Braves offense. Then again, I'm not sure a Matt Holliday would either (see his home/away splits from his time at Coors).
If the Braves want any sort of impact bat in return, they're going to have to part with something of value -- do Reyes and Morton count as value?
Don't get me wrong here, Mark DeRosa would be a substantial upgrade over either Garret Anderson or Jeff Francoeur, and in my mind is worth more than either Morton or Reyes (or Francoeur, but the Indians need pitching). Speaking of Frenchy, Stark says this:
As for those reports that the Braves are looking to move Jeff Francoeur, clubs we've talked to say they're mostly listening, in part because they need to add bats, not subtract them, and in part because no one is too sure of Francoeur's true value anymore, including the Braves themselves.
Isn't adding the bat of Francoeur kind of like subtraction by addition? I keep telling myself "we need to give Francoeur one more month to turn it around, one more month, one more month. I've gotta stop that. Francoeur is an utter drag on our offense, and I'm about ready to completely give up on him. Rowland's Office has obviously had enough of him already, as they have been referring to him as the Lilburn Flash in the Pan.
The question in trading Francoeur becomes, "who then plays right field?" Who will be this year's Jason Perry? The homerless Brandon Jones? Brian Barton, Gregor Blanco, ... Joe Borchard? Do we have anyother D-caliber outfielders with a name that starts with a B? Matt Diaz is a B-caliber outfielder with a name that starts with a D, and he has played some right recently, but we're sacrificing a significant amout of defense with Matty in right.
After all that rambling I'm still stuck. DeRosa would be a decent addition. I'm not as hyped about Holliday. And I'm ready to see Jeff Francoeur put on a uniform other than that of the Atlanta Braves. The bottom line in all of this talk is that we need more production out of our outfield... but, then again, we've known this since last season, and all the team did about it was sign Garret Anderson. The Braves need to wake up and do something while we're still only 4-games out.