By Tyler Ruby on June 1, 2014
The Atlanta Braves currently have a three-game lead over the Miami Marlins in the NL East. Pitching has been the driving force behind the Braves' early success, but in order to contend for a championship, they need to improve their hitting. They need to start shedding their dead weight and find more effective ways to score runs.
These five Braves should be traded before the deadline.
The Braves haven't found a suitable replacement for Brian McCann after he signed with the Yankees last offseason. Right now, they have three "major league" catchers who compete for playing time. Along with Doumit, the Braves have Gerald Laird and Evan Gattis. Doumit doesn't have a ton of trade potential, but there should be a suitor somewhere looking for a veteran, backup catcher.
Jordan Schafer is the fourth outfielder on the Braves roster, and if he can't get time over B.J. Upton, he's not going to get any sort of playing time whatsoever. He is batting .133 on the year, and he isn't going to get in any sort of rhythm offensively. The Braves should do him a favor and send him on his way.
This would be strictly based on his salary. The Braves picked him up late in the offseason, and they signed him to a one-year, $ 14 million contract. He has been effective for Atlanta, earning five wins, but he has a 4.10 ERA. The Braves aren't going to be able to re-sign him, especially to a deal similar to $ 14 million per year. They could trade him for a big bat to help a struggling offense.
What has happened to Dan Uggla? He went from a promising, power-hitting second baseman to a large hole in the lineup. If the Braves could find a team to take him, they should part ways because a .175 batting average isn't going to help a team win a lot of games. The $ 13 million owed to him will make him hard to move, but maybe a change of scenery will do him and the Braves some good.
Having the Upton brothers in the same outfield may have been a cute idea, but a team needs to admit when it made a mistake, and signing B.J. Upton to a five-year, $ 75.25 million contract a couple years ago was a huge mistake. He hasn't hit at all. Last season he hit an abysmal .184, and he is hitting a .216 this year. If the Braves can find a team dumb enough to take him off their hands, they should do it in a heartbeat.
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