We just did this last week with the Hamels-to-Atlanta speculation, but, as it turns out, Atlanta’s only other need might be at the hot corner. The Jose Bautista experiment failed miserably (surprising no one), and the Braves have been juggling Ryan Flaherty and Johan Camargo (and even Charlie Culberson) at third base, with mixed results.
Atlanta loves Camargo’s game, but his bat has been slow to come around this season. Conversely, Flaherty has put up respectable numbers, but seems to lack staying power, and might be better suited for a bench role. Enter: Beltre.
Can you imagine Beltre with guys like Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna? Can you imagine a clubhouse with Beltre and Freddie Freeman leading the way? Would Brian Snitker even have to do anything, ever, in any game, ever? Ever?
Make no bones about it: he’s still very much an every day player, and could, very much, be the difference in pennants, or no pennants.
This is almost too good to be true. Atlanta is the sweetheart of baseball right now, and a player like Beltre would make them that much more enjoyable.
I’m not sure that Atlanta would entertain a single trade for both Beltre and Hamels (though that would be awesome), but if they stuck solely to the third baseman, Texas might look to pry a young arm or two away from the Braves.
While Hamels has an option for 2020, Beltre is purely a rental, which might affect his trade value. Make no bones about it: he’s still very much an every day player, and could, very much, be the difference in pennants, or no pennants.
Lefty Luiz Gohara could be a name tossed around, as could outfielder Cristian Pache (because, where’s he going to play?) and Joey Wentz (the central piece in my Hamels trade last week). If Wentz is a bit too rich for the Braves liking, Texas could certainly aim for Touki Toussaint (yes please) or perhaps another lefty, Kyle Muller, whose career thus far has been rocky at best with the Braves.
Atlanta has a wealth of prospects, and it’s not out of the question that both Beltre and Hamels could be enticing to the Braves as they continue pushing for a World Series berth a year earlier than expected.