The Braves’ low points this season will be discussed in 2 separate articles; this one and one about Bullpen Guys I wanna go after. If this team IS interested in making 2016 competitive, these are guys I would pursue (And how I would pursue them). All of them are also good options for the future (under 24), except Alex Gordon.
Note: I’m not covering Alex Gordon in detail again, that’s just me beating a dead horse. ICYMI, My offer is 3 years, $17-20 Million. He and Wieters are the only free agent bats I’d go after.
OF Hunter Renfroe from San Diego via trade.
I’m gonna be brutally honest. I was nothing short of furious when he was not included in the Kimbrel or Justin Upton trade. I was almost certain he was all ours. San Diego is probably not willing to part with him unless we offered a big return or take on a big contract (not you again, BJ). Their big spending season didn’t pan out, so giving up their top prospect may not be on the agenda. As we’ve seen before though, every player has a price tag. In 13 AAA games, Renfroe has 5 HRs. In AAA and AA combined for 2015; he’s slashing .319/.449/.768 with 25 2Bs, 3 3Bs, and 18 HRs. RENFROE IS A LONG SHOT, but I want him. We should have had him already.
C Willson Contreras from Chicago via trade
The Cubs and Braves would be interesting trade partners. We have arms, they have bats. The Cubs are far better than we are now, but they’re gonna need backup for Arrieta and Lester. I’d send them a starter or 2 for this young catcher. Contreras is ranked #5 for catchers, and in 2015 at AA Tennessee, Willson showed why he’s ranked so high. He’s slashed .326/.409/.475 with 8 HRs and an astounding 72 RBIs. With Kyle Schwarber breaking onto the scene, maybe we could get him for a lower price due to the surplus. A 29% caught stealing rate isn’t bad either . I’d rather have Contreras than this next guy.
C Max Pentecost from Toronto via trade.
I really like this Winder, GA native. The 11th overall pick in 2014 (and Kennesaw State graduate) is currently on a team that is in “win now” mode. Pentecost would probably come at the price of a Starter or 2 and Christian Bethancourt. We need to start sending some of our arms over for bats, we can only start 5 guys at a time. He’s had 2 arm surgeries (one in HS, one in February 2015), which brings me to my next point; cheapness. He’s the 4th best overall catching prospect according to Baseball America, but like Banuelos, he’s seen his stock drop. He hasn’t played in 2015, but he slashed .324/.330/.419 with 4 doubles in 29 games. His 20% caught stealing rate is decent, but I see a high ceiling with him.