Hot Stove Round-Up: Braves pursuing more outfielders

2013 MILB Winter MeetingsExecutives, field managers, players, agents and reporters will begin to gather at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville tomorrow to kick off the Winter Meetings. Here is a quick round-up of relevant rumors from around the league:

  • Even after signing B.J. Upton to a multi-year deal, the Braves are interested in outfielders Shane Victorino, Cody Ross, and Ryan Ludwick (AJC).
  • The Braves are also trying to acquire Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks, but Arizona wants SS Andrelton Simmons in return (FOX Sports).
  • The Reds have had informal discussions with the agents for Angel Pagan (Cincinnati Enquirer).
  • The Phillies have also expressed interest in Pagan, who they’ve been speaking to “for weeks,” (ESPN), and it’s believed they along with the Giants have offered Pagan a four-year deal (FOX Sports).
  • The Cubs have spoken to Scott Boras about Michael Bourn (ESPN).
  • Nick Swisher has drawn interest from the Red Sox, Orioles, Mariners and Rangers (USA Today) – he would reportedly play for any team.
  • The Rockies think Ramon Hernandez will have a bounce-back season in 2013, and so for now, he will not be made available (Denver Post).

Michael Baron, Contributor

Victorino earned $9.5 million last season, and it’s unclear whether he can command a long-term deal and at the same dollar value this winter. If that price does in fact come down, Victorino could develop into a viable option for the Mets’ outfield.  He is a switch hitter and has historically been better from the right side, but he has proven to be productive against both lefties and righties over the course of his career. He saw a drop off in production in 2012, but it’s reasonable to expect he will rebound and produce numbers somewhere between his output from 2011 and 2012. He is fast, steals bases, and provides a consistent and stable presence in the outfield year after year. The Mets need that, and while I never thought it possible (because he always drove me nuts while in Philly), Victorino fits the bill.