The Atlanta Braves have an excess of young arms and they need an outfielder. Hitting the rumor mill this week was the chance that the Colorado Rockies asked the Braves for either Randall Delgado or Mike Minor for their outfielder Dexter Fowler.
Now, though the Braves' need left handed pitching, Mike Minor, 24, has been inconsistent in his first couple of starts in the majors. He was persistent about being a part of the starting rotation before the beginning of the 2012 season. It was either start him or trade him.
However, I understand why the Braves would hesitate before trading Minor who finished the month of September with a 4-0 record in five starts. You can mess up all you want in the first five months of the year, but if you close the season out in strong fashion, teams will find you valuable.
Delgado didn't really have a strong 2012 campaign in his first season in the majors. He was a part of the starting rotation until July and closed out with a 4-9 record.
He is only 22-years-old and has a ton of time to develop. However, the Braves have so many young arms in their farm system and at the major league level that they can use some of these guys as trade bait.
The Braves closed out last season with a six-man pitching rotation; Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm, Mike Minor, Tommy Hanson, Ben Sheets and Kris Medlen. They no longer have Hanson (trade) and Sheets (retired), but the Braves are expected to add Brandon Beachy in mid-June or July, completing their five man rotation.
You definitely need Minor in there and can bring up Julio Teheran from the minors to get in a few starts while Beachy comes back.
Delgado is the weakest link. The Braves can't keep all that talent bottled up in the minors. Medlen is a part of the Braves until 2016 and Beachy until 2017. These guys are legitimate future aces.
If the Braves want Fowler, who can get on base (.389 OBP), hit for average (.300 BA) and remain in the organization until 2016 when he is a free agent, then they have to give up some potential talent.
Fowler has five seasons in the majors. He is proven. Jason Heyward doesn't become a free agent until 2016 and B.J. Upton is signed through 2017. The Braves will not have to worry about outfielders until 2016.
I understand the Braves are hesitant about trading young prospects after the 2008 trade for Mark Teixeira, but if it's one-for-one and you possess so much talent already, I can only see the positives in this move.
The Cincinnati Reds are also in on Dexter Fowler, the Braves will have to step up if this is the guy they want.