Joel Sherman, who reported two days ago that the Braves were aggressively shopping Evan Gattis, now says the Braves plan on moving him to LF.
And this time he has a quote backing it up.
“We want to get Evan’s bat in the lineup, and if he catches, he would play just 100 games and we would not have a bat perhaps good enough to hit cleanup for those other games,” Hart said. “So we are going to put Evan in left field and see what we have.”
Hart added that nothing was “etched in granite,” but it seems that Gattis is staying unless the Braves receive an overwhelming offer in return.
That would be a huge mistake. Gattis is an abysmal left fielder and appears susceptible to injury. And he’s an example of the all-or-nothing approach that sunk the offense last year; Gattis struck out 97 times in 108 games and has a career .304 OBP.
His value may never be higher, and with four years of team control remaining, and right-handed power hard to come by, Gattis might fetch what the Braves are said to be prioritizing.
San Diego, which desperately needs power and could play Gattis at first base, is reportedly listening to offers for pitchers including Tyson Ross, who struck out 195 in as many innings this year for the Padres, finishing with a 2.81 ERA.
Then there’s the confirmation that the Braves haven’t had extension talks with Jay Hey and Justin and, according to DOB, Hart expects both to enter free agency next year. The odds of the Braves keeping either at that point are slim.
B.J., meanwhile, seems increasingly unmovable. So the Braves are likely to have two-thirds of their outfield manned by below average to terrible defenders who could combine for 300 strikeouts.
And you thought 2014 was bad.