Philadelphia – As trade talks around Major League Baseball begin to heat up with the trading deadline just a little more than three weeks away, the Braves need to know a little more information about their own team before they decide what they’ll do.
“We still have some unknowns based on the injury factors for our team that make it a little tough for us to do something immediately,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said Tuesday. “We’re still waiting to get a good sense of who’s going to be healthy and what our team is going to look like when they are healthy.”
Of primary interest is center fielder Nate McLouth, who was cleared by Braves doctors to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Friday as he makes his comeback from a concussion.
Wren did make it clear what the Braves won’t be looking for at the deadline.
“I don’t see us shopping in the pitching aisle,” Wren said. “But I’d like to see how Nate’s rehab turns out and when we can get him back. It’s hard to know exactly. Gregor Blanco has played well; we’ve been able to manage it pretty well. We’ve got Matt Diaz back. Get him rolling like we know he can. Some of the things may answer themselves.”
The Braves have had teams call to express interest in shortstop Yunel Escobar, but it’s unlikely the Braves would be willing to trade him without getting significant value in return, especially in the middle of a pennant race and without any clear alternative to play every day at shortstop. They prefer to keep newly-named All-Star Omar Infante as a key piece off the bench.