Baseball's annual GM meetings are kicking off this week, and it didn't take long at all for us to get an interesting rumor from the Braves camp. According to Braves beat writer Mark Bowman, the Braves are apparently open to moving one of their many outfielders -- namely, one of either Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, or Cameron Maybin.
Some of the talk about the #Braves during his week's GM meetings will focus on their surplus of outfielders (Bourn, Swisher, Maybin, etc.)— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 9, 2015
With their outfield surplus, the #Braves are open to moving and taking on some money for both Bourn or Swisher.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 9, 2015
Given that it won't be easy to move Bourn or Swisher, the Braves might end up trading Maybin to create financial flexibility for other needs— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 9, 2015
It'll definitely be difficult to get something of true value for either Bourn or Swisher considering how expensive their contracts are heading into 2016, so any deal with one or both of those two involved would probably be a pure salary dump. The move that brought them here was a solid one, but it'll take a stroke of genius to move them out if it comes to that.
Speaking of salary dumps, Cameron Maybin's start to the 2015 campaign had a lot of us thinking that the trade that sent Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton to the San Diego Padres was going to end up being more than a salary dump. However, Maybin's production tampered off considerably as the season wore on, and illusions of grandeur turned into visions of reality. As such, the Braves probably missed the boat on getting something of peak value for Maybin. They won't be able to sell as high as they'd like on Maybin at this point, but financial flexibility is always a plus and they'd receive a bit of it should they get an opportunity to move him.
Maybin would probably be the most likely one to get traded here, simply because he's the most attractive asset of the three names mentioned here. He'd cost the least when it comes to salary, and he's the best bet to be productive on the field. However, there's always the possibility that if the Braves keep these guys going into 2016, Bourn and Swisher could hit a hot streak and potentially raise their own value so that a contender could decide to take a flyer on one or both of them.
Either way, the Braves are in a slight conundrum here. They've got an outfield surplus, but it's not exactly the most attractive surplus out there. If a trade happens, it'd be wishful thinking to expect a grand return for the Braves in any potential deal.