Just a few days after new GM John Coppolella traded Andrelton Simmons to the Angels for Erick Aybar and two highly-regarded prospects, a recent report says the Braves are "shopping everyone owed money", including star first baseman Freddie Freeman and young pitcher Julio Teheran.
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Officials from three different clubs told me that the Braves have indeed shopped first baseman Freddie Freeman, with one saying such a possibility was "the talk of the (Arizona) Fall League" among scouts about 10 days ago.
The Braves, another official says, are "shopping everyone owed money" - a group that would include right-hander Julio Teheran, right fielder Nick Markakis and center fielder Cameron Maybin, among others.
We had heard whispers over the last year that the Braves were open to moving Simmons in the right deal. We knew the Jason Heyward and Justin Upton deals were coming given their contract situation.
But trading Freddie Freeman? The front office would legitimately risk alienating a fan base that is already frustrated with recent decisions.
Trading someone like Cameron Maybin makes sense. Trading someone like Nick Markakis makes sense, especially with the club's recent moves. I see absolutely no reason to move Freeman. It would be stupid. Atlanta would be a dumpster fire. The team, as currently assembled, might lose 110 games next year.
What's the ultimate end game here? How bad to things have to get?
Coppolella has already rebuilt the farm. Rio Ruiz, a fringe top-100 guy this time last year, is currently the club's #21 prospect. That's really good. Trading a proven star who is owed a reasonable amount of money the next few years is really risky. If Freeman gets traded, then trade everyone. I can't possibly imagine that happens, but nothing should really come as a surprise anymore.
Coppolella denies that the Braves have had trade discussions involving Freddie Freeman
#Braves Coppolella when asked just now specifically about new Freeman rumor: "We have not had any trade discussions on Freddie Freeman."— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) November 15, 2015