Acquiring the young, controllable bats so desperately needed won’t be easy. To quote Coppy, if the chance to get a potential impact player arises, the Braves must “take that plunge.”
If that means trading Shelby Miller, so be it. There’s plenty of interest, and one of the reported suitors would be an excellent match: the Cubs.
Here’s my offer:
Miller and Bethancourt for Jorge Soler and catching prospect Willson Contreras.
Soler didn’t have the breakout season expected after he slugged .903 in 24 games. as a rookie in 2014. He slugged only .399 in 2015, striking out 121 times in 101 games — the first time he played more than 100 in a season.
So he’s no sure thing. But the potential is immense, as he demonstrated in the playoffs, batting .474 with 3 HR.
Contreras had never shown much with the bat until last year, adopting a more selective approach that paid huge dividends: .333-8-75, with a .413 OBP.
Next year’s free agent class is thin, so the Braves can’t afford to pass up any opportunity to add offense.