After signing two relievers earlier this week, the Braves are still keeping tabs on the market in hopes of landing an outfielder or first baseman. The Braves are still talking with Adam LaRoche, but reports that they are also talking to Nick Johnson indicate that the LaRoche negotiations might not be going as planned.
Johnson hit .291 with 8 home runs in 133 games with the Nationals and Marlins last season, and is also drawing interest from the Mets, Orioles, and Giants. Sources say the Giants are the favorites to land him.
In the outfield, the Braves are considering Marlon Byrd and Mark DeRosa. DeRosa, a former Brave, would give the Braves a reliable veteran who can play the corner outfield spots, first, second, and third base. He is coming off back-to-back 20 home run seasons, but offseason wrist surgery might bring his power back down to the 10-12 homer range.
Byrd is also coming off a solid season, and would give the Braves a solid center fielder, meaning Nate McLouth can be moved to one of the corners. Byrd hit well for the Rangers, but was not as patient at the plate as he was in 2008.
|2009 - Marlon Byrd
One AL source contemplated the idea of the Braves and Tigers discussing a deal around Curtis Granderson. The Braves have an influx of pitching, and could send Javier Vazquez or Derek Lowe (with cash) in a package for the outfielder. As of right now, that has not been confirmed.
Next week the Braves will talk with the representatives of Adam LaRoche, who has drawn interest from the Mets, and likely will try to deal a starting pitcher to free up some additional cash.