If John Scheurholz does decide to throw in the towel, who would other teams want? I think he’d probably trade anyone but Giles or Estrada, but some are more available than others.
Three fully healthy Braves should be unfettered free agents after this season: Russ Ortiz, J.D. Drew, and Antonio Alfonseca. Any of the three would have value to at least some contenders. (Note: Actually, Julio Franco would fit the standards too, but it’s hard to see him holding much trade value.)
Ortiz: He’s miscast as a staff ace, as I’ve written many times. But as a third starter, he could help a team. He seems an ideal fit for the White Sox. The Chisox lead the majors in runs scored, their starting pitching is pretty mediocre, and they play in a big park that will cut down on homers. He’d also be of interest to the Yankees, the Indians (if they stay in the hunt), the Reds, the Giants… I mean, who can’t use another starting pitcher?
Drew: Because of his ability to play center or right, most teams could find a place to play him. And anyone could use his offense. The Dodgers always need offense, and Drew would probably be their best hitter. The Yankees are playing a corpse in center, and Drew would be a huge defensive upgrade there. (Not that the Yankees seem to care about defense these days.) He could also be of interest to the Astros (if they don’t get Beltran), the Mets (ugh), the Padres… Once again, lots of teams.
Base12: He’s been pitching very well of late. He also has the Closer(TM) tag still, which helps, but I think he’d be a setup man. Given their well-documented bullpen woes (not to mention their propensity to collect various sideshow freaks) the Athletics seem an obvious fit. But I’m sure relievers will be swapping fast and furious as usual in July, and he could wind up anywhere.
Next time: The two-year guys.