The Atlanta Braves are looking to trade their older, more expensive outfielders, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports:
It looks like the #Braves will eventually trade one of their veteran outfielders https://t.co/H5pyf58zNk— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 10, 2015
The two primary names the Braves are looking to move are Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, both of whom came to Atlanta from Cleveland in a trade for Chris Johnson in August. Cleveland will provide $10 million in salary relief for the pair in 2016, but the Braves will still owe them a total of $19 million next year.
Bourn in in his second stint with the Braves, having previously played in Atlanta in 2011 and 2012 before signing a four-year, $48 million deal with the Indians prior to the 2013 season. That 2012 season with the Braves saw Bourn earn his second All-Star appearance as he hit .274/.348/.391 with 45 extra-base hits and 42 stolen bases in 155 games.
He was a far cry from that player with the Braves in 2015, however, hitting just .221/.303/.257 in 46 games with only four extra-base hits as a 32-year-old. Atlanta does not want to pay for the production of the former player while receiving the play of the latter.
Coming to the Braves with Bourn was 34-year-old Nick Swisher, who made his first foray into the National League with Atlanta, hitting .195/.349/.339 with four home runs in 118 at bats. His production fell off a cliff after 2013, as he posted an OPS of .608 in 2014 and .631 in 2015 after having an OPS above .740 in each of his first 10 major league seasons. He did post a .688 OPS for the Braves in his 46 games with them and can play first base, but it is unlikely either of those factors will entice Atlanta to pay him $10 million next season.
It remains to be seen what kind of return the Braves can get for either of the two players, but this is the regime that managed to move both Johnson and Melvin Upton Jr. in their first year on the job.