CHICAGO, IL - JULY 04: Carlos Quentin # 20 and the Chicago White Sox honor the military before a game against the Kansas City Royals on July 4, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
It's no secret that the Braves are blessed with an abundance of starting pitchers at the major league level as well as in the high minors. On Sunday, Nick Cafardo from the Boston Globe reported the following rumor involving the Braves:
The White Sox recently sent Dave Yokum, their fine assistant general manager/pro scout, to watch (Brandon) Beachy and Braves’ pitching, so we’ll see if there’s any match, and whether the White Sox would ever consider dealing Carlos Quentin.
The Braves staff as it stands now is headed by staff ace Tommy Hanson, along with Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Brandon Beachy and Tim Hudson. In AAA Gwinnett, the Braves have Baseball America's 5th rated prospect Julio Teheran, and Mike Minor.
Cafardo goes on to speculate that the Braves would prefer to deal Lowe instead of Beachy, but that would be a mistake in my opinion. Lowe has proven he can win the big game, whether in the regular season or in the playoffs. In his career, he is 5-7 in the postseason with a 3.21 ERA and 1.154 WHIP. I can see the Braves dealing Beachy or Mike Minor before Lowe.
More on the Braves trade target after the jump:
In return for one of the Braves starters, Cafardo wondered if the White Sox would be willing to trade away outfielder Carlos Quentin. Quentin has proven to be injury prone in his career, but is healthy this season. He has played in 80 games this season, and is hitting .253-.351-.512 with 17 HRs, 49 RBIs and a 48-28 K/BB rate in 285 at bats.
Prior to 2011, Quentin's career high in at bats was 480 back in 2008, and his games played totals going back to 2006 look like this: 56 - 81 - 130 - 99 - 131 and 80 games this season.
The Braves are probably looking for another bat to play left field with Martin Prado out, but close to returning. If the Braves should make a deal for Quentin, he would probably play left field, with Prado moving to second base or third base. Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has been a huge disappointment this season, and they may be tiring of his .174 batting average. Acquiring an outfielder would allow the Braves to move Prado back to second base, and on occasion, third base with Chipper Jones knee acting up recently.
Quentin would give the Braves a middle of the order bat that they thought they had in Dan Uggla when they acquired him in the offseason.
The White Sox, currently 43-43 and 3.5 games behind AL Central division leading Indians, are looking to shore up their starting rotation that features Mark Buerhle, Edwin Jackson, Jake Peavy, Phillip Humber and Gavin Floyd. It's not a bad staff, but if they can upgrade their rotation in a tight division, it could make the difference between making the playoffs and watching come October.
I heard recently, I believe on the MLB channel, that the Braves may be letting other teams know that Jair Jurrjens is available in the right deal, with the thought that he has peaked as a pitcher, and may never duplicate the season he is having in 2011. Jurrjens is currently 11-3 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in his 15 starts this season.
A Quentin for Jurrjens deal would benefit both teams and improve both teams' chances of making the playoffs.
Here are links to a couple Fantasy All Stars series over at Fake Teams:
Do the White Sox need to upgrade their rotation to win the AL Central?
Yes (145 votes)
No (50 votes)
195 total votes