LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — While Braves fans anxiously await news from the Winter Meetings and many hope general manager Frank Wren will trade for a top-of-the-rotation starter or a slugger, he indicated Monday if a move were made, it would likely be something more modest. Perhaps a bench bat or pitching depth.
“We like our team,” Wren said. “We’re going to be young again, and we like the mix of our team. There’s a couple or three areas that we would like to fortify and improve and add depth, but if spring training were starting tomorrow, we would like our team and feel like we would do well. But there’s always room to improve.”
Asked if that meant the Braves didn’t have significant needs, Wren said, “Not a dire need. We’ve got all the positions filled, but you’re always looking to get better. You’re looking where you can improve your depth, you’re looking at even incrementally where you can improve your positions.
“But in the case of our club, I don’t see necessarily a frontline move. I see more support moves, where you’re adding a bat that can give you power off the bench, or adding to our bullpen, or adding to the depth of our rotation. I see more of those kind of moves than a big frontline move.”
PHILLIES LISTENING TO TRADE OFFERS: The Philadelphia Phillies are letting teams know that anybody on their roster is available in potential trades.
A source with direct knowledge of the situations told The Sports Xchange on Tuesday morning that the Phillies are willing to listen to offers for their top two starting pitchers — left-handers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee — along with closer Jonathan Papelbon and right fielder Domonic Brown, who was selected to the All-Star Game this year.
The Phillies went 73-89 this past season, finishing fourth in the National League East. They have missed the postseason each of the last two years after winning five consecutive division titles.
“I wouldn’t call it a teardown or a rebuilding,” the source said at baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. “It’s more of a retooling or reshaping. When you lose 89 games, you can’t stand pat.”
The source also said the Phillies are not willing to absorb any parts of the contract of either Hamels or Lee in trade but might be willing to pay part of Paplebon’s contract.
Hamels has six guaranteed years and $132.5 million remaining on his contract. Lee is owed at least $62.5 million over the next two years, which includes a $12.5-million buyout on a $27.5-million club option for 2016. Papelbon is under contract for at least two more years for a total of $26 million.
Brown will likely make close to the $500,000 minimum salary next season as he is not eligible for arbitration until 2015.