Atlanta Braves Rumors: Ender Inciarte Traded in Carlos Gomez, Houston Astros Deal? Julio Teheran, Nick Markakis Available with Nick Swisher

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Jan 13, 2016 12:45 PM EST
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Ender Inciarte
Former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Ender Inciarte prepares to swing at a pitch during a 2015 game."

The Atlanta Braves are not yet done making moves this offseason. The team has been active in trade talk since the start of things and will not be slowing down until presumably spring training. Still operating under the idea that everyone is available outside of Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte and Julio Teheran are receiving interest from other teams.

The Braves have no real need to trade Inciarte who was acquired in the trade of Shelby Miller. However, they are getting a lot of interest in the outfield and might give in to temptation if it is there. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting that the Houston Astros are looking into a deal for the center fielder and would presumably toss Carlos Gomez into the package. This might not be the most enticing trade deal for the Braves considering Gomez is 30 and struggled last season. He batted just .255, but he is a free agent next year which is always something Atlanta is interested in.

The Braves will need to decide whether or not they simply want a one-and-done veteran to help clear space for more moves in future offseasons or invest in Inciarte who has potential Golden Glove-level talent. Inciarte appears to be the better talent with a higher level of potential. He could become a .300 hitter while being the better outfielder defensively.

Teheran is another player that might not make it to the 2016 season with the Braves. So far, Atlanta has denied they are shopping the pitcher, but the rumors are still lingering. ESPN's Jim Bowden reports the Braves still want a power bat which means they are open to trading Teheran along with Nick Markakis in order to get one. Bowden reports that four general managers have interest in these players. The Braves reportedly have no plans on actively making the phone calls, but they are answering if a team calls.

A deal for Markakis could come quicker than one for Teheran. Right now the outfielder marker is expensive. Players like Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are commanding a lot of money and long-term deals like what Jason Heyward and Alex Gordon signed. They remain on the free agent market as a result with most teams unwilling to hand out the big deals. That is where the Braves can capitalize. The team would like to get rid of Markakis along with Nick Swisher and potentially Michael Bourn. Given their recent struggles, interest is slim.

Bowden also made it clear that while one general manager showed interest in a deal for Freeman, they were immediately shut down. For now, the Braves are standing true to the idea that the first baseman is not available.

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