Yesterday, Jim Bowden spoke at length about the Braves desire to have a true, middle of the lineup bat and that that is what it would take for the front office to part with one or some of its key remaining pieces including Julio Teheran, Ender Inciarte, or Nick Markakis, This is far from a surprise, as the Braves offense was woeful last year and unless someone picks up the slack, it is unlikely Freddie Freeman will see many pitches to hit at all next season.
As it turns out, the Braves haven't completely looked past the free agent market, in particular with regards to Yoenis Cespedes.
braves are an interesting team that has some interest in cespedes. many calling, but some looking for a price.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2016
This is an interesting development to say the least given, for starters, the Braves current roster. The Braves would almost certainly have to trade Nick Markakis, Hector Olivera, or Ender Inciarte to make a Cespedes signing make sense. Markakis would be ideal given the money he is owed would help allow the Braves to pay what would be a sizable chunk of money to Cespedes.
Which leads to the second problem, money. Cespedes has been asking for a big deal this offseason, but with cheaper options available not to mention other high end options including Jason Heyward and Justin Upton (the latter of which is still available), there may not be such a deal to be had. If the Braves could sign Cespedes to a backloaded deal where, presumably, they will have more revenue coming in from the new stadium and will be able to spend more freely, a deal is possible. The Braves have said that with the higher draft slot and the international signing period that they wouldn't be spending as much, but it seems as though they are at least thinking about the future and may be willing to leverage their future revenues a little early.