Last week Buster Olney of ESPN Insider wondered if the Braves would trade Jair Jurrjens, who just might be the National League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game. This week Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe asks if the Braves are interested in trading another good young starter. No, not Tommy Hanson. Brandon Beachy.
[Beachy's] success — 20 strikeouts, two earned runs in his last 12 innings – since returning from the disabled list may accelerate a possible deal to improve the Braves’ offense. Whether Beachy would be trade bait is anyone’s guess, but his emergence could make a veteran such as Derek Lowe available. The White Sox recently sent Dave Yokum , their fine assistant general manager/pro scout, to watch Beachy and Braves’ pitching, so we’ll see if there’s any match, and whether the White Sox would ever consider dealing Carlos Quentin.
About Carlos Quentin: He’s 28; he plays right field and bats right-handed. He hit 36 home runs and drove in 100 runs for the ChiSox in 2008, but since he has been a hit-for-power-but-not-average guy. (Which kind of describes Dan Uggla as a Brave, come to think of it.) Quentin has 17 homers and 50 RBIs — both of which numbers would top the Braves — but is hitting .256. He’s under contract through the 2012 season, at which point he’ll be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
Would he help? Maybe. Probably. But not every transplanted bat — and the Braves have tried a few these past couple of years — has the desired impact. (Derrek Lee didn’t. Uggla hasn’t.)
Braves fans desirous of any sort of hitting upgrade would argue that in such a trade the Braves would lose only Beachy, who’s their fifth-best starter. The part that would make me leery is that Beachy’s stuff has been, to use the buzzword, electric. He still throws too many pitches, meaning his command isn’t all it should be, but he’s striking out guys, as Cafardo noted, by the boatload.
Me, I’d hate to give up a 24-year-old with that sort of arm for a one-year rental who’s not Albert Pujols. But maybe that’s just me, and I always think starting pitching should be hoarded. So I’m asking you, dear readers: Were you the Braves, would you do a Beachy-for-Quentin trade? I’ll hang up and listen to your answers.
By Mark Bradley