For the most part this season the Atlanta Braves have targeted marquee trades over marquee contracts. They have dealt some of their biggest names on the roster while staying clear of free agents on the market. However, that apparently might not be a trend this offseason as the Braves are reportedly still in the hunt to land Yoenis Cespedes.
According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves are still in the hunt for Cespedes if the outfielder lowers his demands on the length of his contract. The Braves reportedly want to sign Cespedes to a deal of around three or four years while the outfielder seeks a contract worth upwards of six years. O'Brien reports the chances the Braves get Cespedes to Atlanta are very thin. ESPN.com is reporting the outfielder is still being targeted by the New York Mets who might hold the upper hand considering their history with the outfielder.
The interest in Cespedes comes after a reported failed deal with Justin Upton. The outfielder was one of the first pieces to fall in the Braves' rebuilding after he got traded to San Diego. Now a free agent, the Braves eyed a reunion with their former player. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Braves did talk to Upton's agent about a contract, but were outbid by the Detroit Tigers who signed the outfielder to a six-year, $132 million deal. The Braves offered a six-year contract, but with a much lower value.
For now, the Braves will focus on the players they currently have on the roster while trade deals still remain an option. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Braves are shopping Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn if someone will take their high-priced contracts off the team's hands. Swisher and Bourn will be hard to trade considering their contracts and low production. The interest right now is in Ender Inciarte who was acquired in the deal of Shelby Miller.
The Braves do not need to trade Inciarte, but they could try to take advantage of the expensive outfielder market and deal him to a desperate team. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has reported the Houston Astros have shown serious interest in the outfielder, offering up Carlos Gomez in a trade. That does not really benefit the Braves other than they could flip Gomez at a later time. Atlanta is not done making moves this season. They have a goal of having a competitive team by the time the new stadium opens in 2017. That means another round of trades and signings will take place.