Of all the Braves’ needs, a new center fielder is going to be the toughest to find. Even if they can’t trade B.J. an option is needed in center, where the elder Upton struggled defensively.
The free agent market offers nothing, unless you consider Colby Rasmus an option (and you shouldn’t). Rasmus had Chris Johnson-like numbers last year, striking out 124 times compared to just 29 walks in 104 games. He has a .234 BA and .295 OBP in his 4 years with the Blue Jays.
Trading Evan Gattis would leave the Braves short on right-handed power, but a corner OF who can hit homers and do nothing else is a lot easier to find than a CF. Jarrod Dyson isn’t ideal, but he’s an excellent flychaser with speed to burn. He needs to do a better job getting on base (career .323 OBP) but regular playing time may help him develop a better eye. Think Otis Nixon, a 32-year-old part-timer before he came to Atlanta in 1991.
I’d ask for Royals 2B prospect Christian Colon along with Dyson. Baseball America ranks him as KC’s 10th best prospect; he batted .311 with a .366 OBP and .433 slugging percentage last year at Triple-A Omaha. He could platoon with Phil Gosselin at second or, more likely, win the job outright.