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Braves trade rumors: Michael Bourn or Nick Swisher could be moved

Atlanta is hoping to move one of its two outfielders before the end of the off-season.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta is open to moving either Michael Bourn or Nick Swisher and is willing to "eat a significant portion of the salary" in a deal, according to's Mark Bowman.

Why this rumor makes sense

Although either of the two could provide depth, there does not appear to be a good reason to keep both on the current roster. Ender Inciarte, Hector Olivera and Markakis are expected to be the Braves' starting outfielders in 2016, leaving Bourn and Swisher on the bench to serve as potential backups.

Bourn, 33, batted .238 over 141 contests last season but might not be needed because of the depth Atlanta already has. Inciarte will be the club's left-handed center fielder, and Emilio Bonifacio will likely be Inciarte's backup against left-handed pitchers.

Bourn is due $14 million in 2016, and his current deal includes a 2017 option that becomes guaranteed once he reaches 550 at-bats.

Since Swisher has the ability to play in both left and right field and has proven he can play first base, it might be more valuable for the Braves to keep him. But he batted just .196 over 76 contests last season and is due $15 million next year.

Atlanta's outfield is set and it appears the organization has depth beyond Swisher and Bourn. If the club is as willing to include a significant amount of cash in a deal involving one or both of the outfielders as Bowman notes, there should not be a reason one of the two is not moved.

Even though the Braves might not receive much in return for Swisher or Bourn, teams seeking veteran outfield help could consider one of the two.

Why this rumor does not make sense

Unless the Braves plan to move one of their three starting outfielders, which at this point is unlikely, there would not be a reason to keep both Bourn and Swisher on the roster. However, both can provide depth and could be bounce back candidates in 2016.

The Braves' starting outfield will likely be productive next season, but if one of their starters gets injured, either Bourn or Swisher can step in. While Bonifacio could be a valuable backup, he might not have as much success as Bourn or Swisher as a starting outfielder.

Once a starting outfielder gets hurt, if either Bourn or Swisher is moved, Atlanta will likely be missing a veteran and versatile outfield option.

Likeliness overall: 7/10

Keeping Swisher and Bourn on the roster would be expensive and excessive. As a result, one of the two will likely be moved in the coming weeks.