Braves Trade Rumors: Should Atlanta Focus on Cheap Options or Carlos Beltran?

According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Atlanta Braves are set on adding a hitter before the July 31 trade deadline. 

Carlos Beltran remains high on their list, but he isn't going to be cheap. The Braves have a number of top pitching prospects, and the New York Mets are going to want a lot in return for Beltran. 

So should the Braves throw all their eggs into the Beltran sweepstakes? Or should they focus on a cheaper option? 

Atlanta would love to add the power that Beltran provides, but he is not worth giving up the top tier pitching prospects. Why take that kind of a gamble on an aging injury prone veteran? Not to mention Beltran is a rental player for whoever trades for him. 

Beltran will play wherever he lands in the second half of the season, but once he is a free agent all bets are off because he'll be signing with whoever pays him the most money. That's just how baseball players are these days. 

The Braves need to focus on a cheaper option such as a Ryan Ludwick of the San Diego Padres or Josh Willingham of the Oakland Athletics. Neither has the power of Beltran, but they're both solid hitters, and that's all the Braves need. 

I've maintained the Braves don't need to make any trades at all this season, but with on and off games at the plate in the last few days it's becoming clearer the Braves are going to make a trade.

Ludwick is hitting .244 with 11 home runs and 61 RBI, whereas Willingham is only hitting .244 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI.

Willingham is the best cheap option the Braves could land, and Ludwick wouldn't cost anywhere close to Beltran.

Atlanta needs to hold onto their top pitching prospects because they will desperately need them in the future. 

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