I am certainly glad that I was not drinking anything as I have seen Twitter blow up with all of the rumors surrounding the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets today. Otherwise, I would have spit all over my computer.
The rumors surrounding the Braves as being the front-runner for Carlos Beltran is interesting. I think it is a perfect storm. When the Mets made it clear that they would eat all of the salary that Beltran is owed for the rest of the season, that opened up the race for every team in the majors that is still hoping to make the playoffs. For one thing, it is surprising to see the Pittsburgh Pirates listed as “buyers”. I think that is awesome. They deserve it. Maybe they will forgive the Braves for sending them into the downward spiral if they can make the playoffs.
The latest in the rumor mill is that the Braves are the front-runners because the Mets like the Braves’ lefty Mike Minor. I will admit one thing to you: the Braves will not trade Mike Minor to the Mets for Carlos Beltran! Not gonna happen. Here’s why:
The Braves have learned the hard way about sending players in a deal for a rental player. Mark Teixeira still sends chills down my spine, and everyone’s spine in the Braves’ organization. That trade is one of the main reasons why Texas is as good as they are this year and last year. Without that haul of prospects, Texas would not have made the playoffs nor would they be on such a roll right now.
At this point in time, the Braves are in a position of power. They have arguably the best pitching staff in the Majors. They have a solid back-end of their bullpen. And they have an offense that has struggled this year, but has shown signs of life. Add this with the best pinch-hitting bench in the Majors and the Braves have the luxury of sitting still at the deadline. Will they? Probably not. But, they could and they still would be ok.
They also have the best collection of young pitching in the game. They have Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson leading the charge. Brandon Beachy has been outstanding. Mike Minor and Julio Teheran need an opportunity to play. Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino are moving quickly. This doesn’t even include other top arms that don’t get as much press time. Needless to say, the Braves have some great arms that makes their future bright.
I believe that the Braves will need to trade someone mentioned above to improve their team at some point. I don’t think it is right now. Carlos Beltran is not the answer. He would be a nice addition. He would be a guy that could help the offense and could help us dethrone Philadelphia.
However, he is not the solution to the Braves’ problems. We need someone to fix our centerfield problem for more than just August and September. The Braves cannot and will not be blinded by temporary success at the expense of future failure. Dealing Minor would hurt the Brave because two months of Beltran would not be strong enough of a return for years without Minor.
My thought is that if the Braves wanted to fix center field, they should bite the bullet and acquire Colby Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals. He is apparently available. He is not the right-handed bat that we need, but he is the player that we need in center field. If Minor is the guy to get Rasmus, do it. If he’s not and this is what the Mets are asking for, please say no.