Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rosenthal: Slow up on the "Pence-to-Braves" talk

What is Smilin' Ken doing, trying to take one team out of the Race for Hunter Pence?

The Astros’ Hunter Pence, a corner outfielder, would be less of a fit for the Braves, assuming third baseman Martin Prado moves back to left after Chipper Jones returns and Jason Heyward stays in right...

...The Braves are deep enough in minor-league talent — and especially pitching talent — to land almost any hitter they want. But they’re also protective of that talent, reluctant to overpay for a rental such as Beltran and resistant to the price that the Astros will demand for Pence. Four years ago, the Braves parted with a monster package for first baseman Mark Teixeira. They would keep Pence for two-plus seasons, while they had Teixeria under control for only one-plus. But the Braves view Pence as a lesser player than Teixeira — good, but not great. And the Astros only will trade him if they get a killer offer.

Update: Rosenthal says the Braves are out on Pence, as of right now.