The Atlanta Braves have the second-best record in the National League, but you can expect to hear them come up in plenty of trade rumors in the next week or so. After all, MLB's July 31 trade deadline is upon us.
If there is one thing the Braves don't need, it's pitching. They have one of the best rotations in the NL, and their bullpen is arguably the best in baseball.
Atlanta's offense, on the other hand, is another issue. They are 16th in runs scored, and near the bottom of the majors in both batting average and on-base percentage. More than anything, they could use a right-handed bat. In a perfect world, they would get one before the deadline.
The good news is that's exactly what they're trying to do. A short while ago, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted that the Braves "could be close" to acquiring a righty hitter. Exactly which one, though, remains a mystery.
Or does it? Within the hour, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi tweeted that the Braves have an interest in Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes, who has 11 home runs on the season. He would definitely fit the bill.
Because the Reds are still very much alive in the NL Central, the idea of them trading Gomes might not make sense at first glance. That may be true, but the truth is that the Reds and Braves would be perfect trade partners. The Reds have offense to spare, and the Braves have an unfair amount of pitching, which the Reds desperately need.
That said, it's hard to see the Braves giving up one of their youngsters (Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Brandon Beachy, et al) for a hitter of Gomes' caliber. Gomes has plenty of power and a pretty good eye, but he will swing and miss on occasion.
Still, Gomes would be a cheaper acquisition than a Carlos Beltran or a Michael Cuddyer, so it's easy to see why the Braves are targeting him.
For now, consider him a possibility.
-Zachary D. Rymer