Winter Meetings 2012: Atlanta Braves Now Looking Internally to Fill Needs

By David Miller
Fredi Gonzalez Atlanta Braves
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

It has come out just recently that amid rumors that the Atlanta Braves were looking for a free agent left field / lead-off option, they now might look at their own farmhands to fill those needs.

With Shane Victorino apparently going for more than they expected, the Braves seem content to look for a trade option. Those dwindle quickly as well with all trade searching teams asking for a lot in return. The MLB Winter Meetings are where big deals are supposed to be made or so we hear. Braves GM Frank Wren might decide to buck that trend all together this year.

The appeal of filling needs from within the organization is fairly obvious. The Braves could find exactly what they need in a young home grown talent for much less than even the cheaper options on the free agent and trade markets. If they could luck out back home then the big bonus would become the extra money they would have going into the year which could be used before or at the trade deadline. They could leave Martin Prado in left and play Jaun Francisco at third base as Francisco is blowing it up in the winter league thus far. Also burning it in the winter league is Even Gattis who could prove an option for left field while moving Prado to third.

The problem with filling needs internally clearly could become the chance that none of the prospects produce what the team needs. By the time the Braves know that, the attractive players will be off the market and they might have to scramble to find anyone they can get before the trade deadline. Pitching could be fine without an outside addition as could the line-up. It is surely a little scary to think the Braves could go home from the Winter Meetings only filling small roles. It’s a gamble at best. If it paid off it would make Wren look like a genius. The other option is pretty clear if it didn’t pay off.

It seems like they could still find one decently big name even if it takes a three team trade. Wren is certainly capable of pulling that off in a manner that would still leave some money floating around for the trade deadline needs that might arise. Hopefully, for those looking for a more sure thing to fill the Brave’s needs, something can be worked out. It doesn’t have to be another Upton brother though that would be immensely cool. If there is no left fielder on the market then the third basemen option could be there. Through all of this the worry falls on the lead-off spot. If they fill the needs from the inside or outside and leave the lead-off spot improperly filled it could leave the batting order imbalanced all year long.


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