From Jerry Crasnick at ESPN, some tweets this morning revealing some interesting insider info:
Heard today that the Braves are getting calls from some teams looking to "bottom feed'' on underachieving SS Yunel Escobar.
Braves are hesitant to move Escobar because he's only 27, is super-talented and they think he might be in for a big second half.
Atlanta also don't have an alternative at SS. (Omar Infante is not an everyday guy). It's hard trading a SS in mid-pennant race.
GM Frank Wren will listen, but they're not going to move Escobar unless they can get value in return. He sure frustrates them, though.
Ever since the Jake Peavy trade talks the Braves seem to have a love-hate relationship with Yuney. On one hand they love his defense and his bat (when he's hitting), but on the other hand they don't seem to have much tolerance for his personality. That lack of tolerance extends to some of the other players, who don't necessarily appreciate the way Yunel plays the game.
Crasnick lists all the big problems with trading Yunel, including no immediate replacement and the fact that we'd be selling low, not to mention the notion that he should turn things around at some point (we hope). If he does turn things around it would almost be like adding another bat to the Braves lineup as if we had traded for one.
The fact that so many other teams want Escobar is probably a good reason that we should keep him and hope that he turns it around. Of course, if the Braves have any inclination that he may not pull out of his funk, then perhaps it is better to unload him now while his "perceived" value is relatively high, but we would of course have to get another quality shortstop back in return.
Still, I don't know that I'd do any trade of Escobar. The Braves could potentially have a lot of infield holes next year, and creating another one is not a good strategy. None of our prospects are close to the Majors, and Brandon Hicks doesn't seem to be someone the organization has any faith in as a starter.
I say hold on to Yunel.