The Braves have what they need, and Colorado has Dexter Fowler, the lead-off hitting outfielder who would complete a formidable line-up.
The Rockies are desperate for pitching and could use a corner infielder. How many homers do you think Juan Francisco would hit playing half his games in Coors? More than Colorado’s projected corner infielders — Todd Helton and Jordan Pacheco — combined, I’d bet.
Pacheco, a converted catcher who hit .309 last year with little power, would also be a nice fit in Atlanta as jack of all trades backing up at first, third and behind the plate. Here’s my proposed deal, which should be more than enough but is unlikely to satisfy Colorado, which tends to over-value their talent:
Fowler and Pacheco
Randall Delgado, Sean Gilmartin, hard-throwing reliever Juan Jaime and Juan Francisco.
Fowler, an Alpharetta native, finally fulfilled his potential last year, posting a .389 OBP — more than 40 points better than Michael Bourn — and .474 slugging percentage. Sure, his home/road splits are troubling, but an OF of Fowler, B.J. and Jay Hey — all 28 and under — excites the hell out of me.
If only the Rockies would cooperate.
Three under-the-radar suggestions for the LF/3B void. None are ideal, as Plan B’s are wont to be.
Jed Lowrie: It’s hard to get a read on the former Red Sox prospect, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career. But when healthy he’s shown flashes of becoming a solid major leaguer with developing power.
The switch-hitter clubbed a career-best 16 homers last season in 97 games (another career-high) with Houston, getting on base at a decent .331 clip. Lowrie will be 28 on Opening Day and is two years removed from free agency. He was awful against southpaws last year but has a .848 OPS vs. lefties for his career. At worst he could platoon with Francisco, making for a high-risk but potentially high-reward platoon.
Eric Young Jr.: He, too, has battled injuries but showed signs of becoming a top-of-the-order threat in 2012, batting .316 with a .377 OBP and 14 steals in 98 games. Forget about his Rockies teammate, Dexter Fowler; Colorado asked for Minor and Delgado in return.
David DeJesus: Unlike Lowrie and Young you know what you’re getting with DeJesus. Last year he hit .263 with a .350 OBP, 28 doubles, 8 triples and 9 HR, a shade below his career averages. DeJesus, 33, is the player we thought Melky Cabrera was when he came to Atlanta. The comparisons end there.
He’s due only $4.25 million next year with an affordable team option for 2014. He certainly qualifies as one of those “Caliparis” FW recently mentioned.