2013 MLB Winter Meetings: Atlanta Braves Should Target Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs are very good at playing the trade-wait game when there are multiple teams interested in a player they have available. Such appears to be the case right now with their ace-level starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Several teams would be interested in him such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves. Of those teams it’s possible that the Braves could be most on the fence and need Samardzija the most at the same time.

Everyone knows the Braves have good starting pitching but they are all young and inexperienced. If anyone thought that wouldn’t matter at playoff time just look back at the footage of last year’s NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Clearly Samardzija is no rusty veteran of postseason play but he would be a step in the ace direction for the Braves and they badly need that.

One thing that GM Frank Wren does not want to do is mortgage the future. Well, I like that stance but at the same time you can’t start them all. Within the next two years the Braves are either going to lose some promising young starters or go to a ten-man starting rotation. They have the talented pitchers to move and those to replace them; so where is the hold-up?

Samardzija is another level from the starters the Braves have now. That isn’t to say he is that much better but he can have that power pitcher impact that the Braves don’t have right now. What would it really matter if they traded someone as promising and proven as Julio Teheran when they have three prospects that will be ready within a year or two? It would still leave them with too many starters if you include David Hale and Alex Wood. That doesn’t even mention Lucas Sims, J.R. Graham and the others in the minors.

There have been rumors that the Braves like Samardzija a lot but others have said that the chances of the Braves bringing him in are slim. You know that is because the asking price is expected to be high. That is why GMs get the big bucks because you get to negotiate a better deal. It worked for the offense to bring in Justin Upton last year. Wren needs to give something up to get a promising young ace and he should do it soon. What better way to offset the Washington Nationals nabbing Doug Fister?

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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