I’d prefer not to deal JJ, but with the Braves having little to spend and the free agent market offering little affordable help, a trade seems the only way to bolster the offense. And JJ is the team’s most attractive chip.
With the Brewers needing pitching and the ChiSox hankering for Prince Fielder, perhaps a three-team trade could be arranged: JJ to Milwaukee, Fielder to Chicago and Carlos Quentin to Atlanta.
Quentin comes with some risks, having never played more than 131 games in a season. That came in 2010, when the right-handed hitting corner OF clubbed 26 homers and drove in 87. He’s yet to match his first season with the Pale Hose, but Quentin is still a reasonably priced slugger with a decent career line: .347 OBP, .488 slugging. You may recall him leading the Sox to a sweep over the Braves this year, hitting three homers in three games.
Others possibly available? Center fielders B.J. Upton and Matt Kemp, either of whom would add much-needed speed. I’m sticking with right-handed hitters, since, with the addition of Freddie Freeman next season, the Braves line-up will skew heavily left. The Braves match up better with the Dodgers, who need starting pitching, but Kemp’s 170 K’s and .310 OBP last season scare me. Like Kemp, Upton has regressed.
- Atlanta Braves: Who’s Staying and Who’s Going This Offseason (bleacherreport.com)
- Braves Prefer To Keep Arms, Hope To Add Bat (mlbtraderumors.com)
- 2011 Atlanta Braves: Who Do They Go After In Free Agency? (bleacherreport.com)