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Braves “could be close to making deal for right-handed bat”

Jul 20, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT


David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets that the Braves “could be close to making a deal for a right-handed bat.”

He doesn’t offer any further details, but guys like Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick, and even Hunter Pence could be potential fits. Carlos Beltran is a switch-hitter, so presumably the “right-handed” part rules him out.

Jeff Francoeur would obviously be the most amusing option, if only because of Calcaterra’s reaction to his return, but even if the Braves wanted him back it’s tough to imagine Dayton Moore living without him in Kansas City. Once you find a love like that, you don’t let it go.

Atlanta ranks dead last among NL teams with a measly .622 OPS versus left-handed pitchers this season and no other team in the league is below .650, so without knowing any details the pursuit of a right-handed bat certainly makes sense in theory.

UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of adds Jonny Gomes to the list of potential Braves targets.

  1. JB (the original) - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    No matter what the Twins say in public, I’ll bet Cuddyer is on the Braves’ list, and the Twins will listen because the Braves always tend to be pitching rich, and that’s what they’re (the Twins) are shopping for…..

    • kopy - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      I hear ya, but it might just take a person who has been closely following the Twins all year to understand just how much they love having Cuddyer on the club. The only way I can imagine him being traded is if he goes into the FO and says “I want you to trade me if you think it would be best for the club” and/or he’s agreed to look at signing with the Twins in the off-season if traded.

      It’s possible, but I really, really doubt it. Plus, he’s still currently the best hitter on a team that is still competing. If the Twins really did trade him, they’d wait until they fell further back than 5.5 games on 7/20 with a 4-game series against the leaders starting tomorrow.

      • JB (the original) - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:48 PM

        As a partial season ticket holder to the Twins living in the suburbs of Minneapolis, I think I qualify. I can dig for the links, but a few weeks ago when all the ‘who’s buying/who’s selling’ talk started and Cuddy’s name came up as the best ‘tradeable asset’, he essentially said what you did above: he’s all about the team and will do whatever is necessary to help out, even if it means being traded away. There haven’t been any talk (at least in the local media) that they’ve talked about a new contract/extension, but I think both sides realize he’s not going to be getting 10.5M/yr going forward. While not a superstar in talent, Michael Cuddyer is a steady, consistent, do whatever it takes kind of guy, and even moreso in “real life”, and I’d hate to see him leave, and he’d be a great asset (for the right price) to any team. Like you said, I think this next 4 game series looms large….

      • JB (the original) - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        forgot to add, while Aaron now works “nationally”, he started out (and still lives) in the suburbs of Mpls as well, so I’m sure he’s got a fairly close ear to things locally.

  2. kast2l - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    PLEASE be pence… that is all

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    My guess is Willingham. He always hurts the Phillies.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

      More than likely Willingham is the one who I can see them getting. He can play left which gives Prado more time at 3rd which gives Chipper more rest. Then we platoon Schafer and McClouth in center and hope the zombie Heyward wakes up in right. As much as I would love it to be Pence I don’t see him coming to Atlanta. In fact, I see him ending his season still with the ‘Stros.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:47 PM

        I agree. I don’t see the Astros dealing Pence this season. He is their one marketable player. Speaking of Heyward, what is up with him this season? I don’t watch the Braves, but I was shocked when I saw his numbers during the last series with the Phillies.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:11 PM

        Ok, apparently I was completely wrong. The Astros are indeed open to moving Pence according to Buster Olney.

      • foreverchipper10 - Jul 21, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        Heyward started the season off hot but tapered off rather quickly and then disclosed some sort of injury which put him on the DL. Like last year he either doesn’t want to let someone know he is hurt or the doctors aren’t diagnosing him properly. It can clearly be pinpointed when something has gone wrong each year. I hope he picks it up. He is a marvelous talent and only 21 years old so I will live with the growing pains. I took in my first game in Atlanta last year (I live in Pennsylvania) and Heyward hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th to win it. I went ballastic. I have huge aspirations for the kid and hope he can live up to them.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    And what is with the term “could”. I “could” be close to signing a 3 year deal with the Marlins, but I’m not. Using the term “could” is just a journo way of throwing crap out there and being able to back track if it doesn’t come to fruition.

    • spudchukar - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      Bummer and what a wonderful addition to the Phish, you could have been.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM

        I would never sign with the Marlins…Phillies or nobody. You haven’t seen the Dr.MonkeyArmy slide piece. If only I could throw it about 15 miles per hour harder….

      • spudchukar - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:42 PM

        That’s okay, keep your “slide piece” where it belongs.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:46 PM

        Haha…..funny guy you are spudchukar.

  5. spudchukar - Jul 20, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    The rumors are flying that it is Gomes.

  6. metalhead65 - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    please oh please let it be gomes! do it now walt before the braves realize he is batting .120 . even at that dusty is playing him over the younger and better player in Chris Heisey. it would be awesome to force dusty to play him more than twice a week.if they get a bag of used balls in return it is still better than watching him swing at bouncing balls in the dirt,

  7. FC - Jul 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Actually Gomes makes sense if you platoon him against lefties. He has a .340 BA against them (of course he has an awful .171 against righties). .993 OPS against lefties… Well 53 ABs is not a great sample size. The braves could do worse if they’re just seeking RH help against lefties.

  8. hcf95688 - Jul 21, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    I dont see Willingham to the Braves because the A’s need bats and the Braves surplus is pitching, not hitting.

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