Just a few weeks ago the Braves were teetering around .500 and their record was worse than their runs scored and runs allowed would seem to indicate. With a solid lineup and some pitchers (Rafael Soriano) set to come back from the DL, it looked like they may be buyers at the trade deadline.
All that ended on Monday amid a three game losing streak and 4-6 mark since the All-Star break. Chipper Jones landed on the DL with a hamstring injury. Brian McCann could be out awhile after suffering a concussion on Sunday. But even worse, Tim Hudson had an MRI that showed ligament damage in his elbow and he's now set to visit Dr. James Andrews. At this point, his status for 2009 may be up in the air.
Mark Teixiera is sure to be traded now as a result. The Scott Boras client and free agent to be was going to be tough to sign even if the Braves had a winning year.
The Braves should also trade Mark Kotsay, who is on a one-year deal. His value may never be higher as he's healthy and hitting .290. GM's may ignore his paltry .395 slugging and trouble against lefties.
It's time for the Braves to call up Brandon Jones and Josh Anderson (even if he only has a .355 SLG at Triple-A) and see what they can do. Jeff Francoeur should be sent to the minors for an extended period. If Tom Glavine comes back (and I have my doubts about a 42-year old coming back from a partially torn flexor tendon), he should be traded in August to a contender since he's on a one-year deal. Royce Ring, Will Ohman and any reliever that isn't a long-term keeper should be traded as well.
The odd thing is that the Braves have recently been mentioned as possibly trading for Jason Bay. Maybe that's a leftover rumor for when the Braves may have been buyers. Or maybe it's some kind of trade where GM Frank Wren is making deals already with an eye toward 2009. But after Monday's loss and bigger injury losses, Wren would be crazy to take on any player that's not going to help in 2009 or beyond.