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Atlanta Braves news and links: Maitan, Swanson, and more trade rumors

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There may be tough times for the Braves right now, but both the immediate and distant future received some shine thanks to Dansby Swanson and Kevin Maitan, respectively.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports


Mistakes cost Braves dearly in loss to Cleveland

The Braves actually had a decent shot at beating Corey Kluber and Cleveland last night, but mistakes ended up sinking Atlanta’s ship last night. Erick Aybar couldn’t hold on to a throw from A.J. Pierzynski at second base, and that allowed Francisco Lindor to "steal home" to make it 2-0 in the first inning. Then with the game tied at two in the ninth, Arodys Vizcaino walked the first two batters he saw and Cleveland eventually cashed those two runners in with help from an error from Aybar. Jace Peterson hit a homer in the ninth, but that was just window-dressing as the Braves ended up losing 5-3 and Cleveland has now won 11 straight games.

Baseball America describes Maitan as "next great Venezuelan star"

If the present is too bleak for you, then maybe you’ll be excited by the future. The international signing period is imminent, and although nothing is official yet, Kevin Maitan is widely expected to ink a deal with the Braves. As such, the Braves will be getting a teenager who has the potential to be one of the best players to ever come out of Venezuela. That's a huge label to put on a 16-year-old, but if anybody is primed to handle the expectations, it's Maitan.

Scouts have spent years following Maitan, who trains with Henderson Martinez. When Martinez had lefthander Ricardo Sanchez sign with the Angels for $580,000 on July 2, 2013, he was already showcasing Maitan as a 13-year-old. Martinez had center fielder Brayan Hernandez ($1.85 million with the Mariners) sign the next year, and while scouts came in to see Hernandez, they kept getting more looks at Maitan, who has lived up to lofty early expectations.

"Maitan was the No. 1 guy early on and he stayed there," said a third scout. "He’s got power from both sides of the plate and he knows how to play. He’s a good talent who has a chance to impact a lineup with power, with more damage from the right side than the left side. I’ve seen him hit doubles and I’ve seen him hit a couple balls out in games."

Dansby Swanson will represent Braves at Futures Game

Although it’ll be a very long time before we see Kevin Maitan officially don an Atlanta Braves uniform, we’ll probably be seeing Dansby Swanson in the major league outfit relatively soon. He’s been having a good year on the farm so far, and he’s been recognized for his efforts by being extended an invitation to represent the Braves at this year’s Futures Game.

Bud Norris trade rumors continue to persist

Last week, we heard news that Arodys Vizcaino was the most popular name among Braves when it came to trade talks. While that still might be true, Bud Norris’ performances are making him a popular man as well, and now things are starting to get "heated" when it comes to his name on the trade market.


Clayton Kershaw is ailing with sore back

The Dodgers are currently in Milwaukee, but Clayton Kershaw isn’t with them right now, and that’s because he’s currently having his sore back examined. He’s probably going to miss his start on Friday, and if the Dodgers get a bad prognosis from the back specialist, then this could result in what would only be Kershaw’s second career trip to the Disabled List.

Noah Syndergaard will work through bone spur in elbow

Meanwhile, the Mets are having health issues of their own with a couple of their most promising pitchers. Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are both currently dealing with bone spurs in their elbows, and while both pitchers are making it clear that there’s no structural damage in their arms, it’s clear that this is going to affect their performance going forward.