Make of this news what you will, but the Mississippi Braves have some extra road warriors watching them tonight in Jackson, TN.
The AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves - the Mississippi Braves - are a long way from home right now and involved in a contest against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp CORRECTION: Jackson (TN) Generals.
However, there's another game in progress as well... one in stands where a number of high-level baseball scouts are making notes.
That's the word tonight from M-Braves broadcaster Chris Harris:
Chris would know: one of the duties of the broadcaster - particularly when on the road - is to help coordinate media visits and visitors of all kinds. He'd likely be one of the initial contacts on the Braves' side for many of these scouts.
Be assured: these scouts aren't there to check out the Marlins Diamondbacks prospects in the home dugout.
The obvious next questions:
- Which teams? No specifics are known... but let's just guess that most of the "sellers" are involved
- Who are they looking at? There are several possibilities:
As for tonight's lineup, that's probably the entire list... at least the kind of list that would draw that many different clubs.
The M-Braves certainly have a few more highly-desirable prospects, but aside from catcher William Contreras (not catching tonight), the rest of them can't all pitch at the same time.
- Who are the Braves looking at? The specifics are unknown, though we have a couple of hints... that may or may not be accurate since our source has been known to be a bit cagey:
- #1 - Alex Anthopoulos stated clearly on last night's broadcast to Chip Carey that his best prospects would not be on the table except for anything less than 'impact' talent.
- #2 - In recent days and weeks, we've chronicled the Braves' own scouting efforts of major league selling clubs, and it's clear that they are searching the market for upgrades.
- #3 - Also in that interview, Anthopoulos suggested that his focus was shifting more to the bullpen needs than rotation needs. This likely due to good reports about the progress of Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz, and the recent showing of Kevin Gausman.
Energy starting to build
More on this subject as news becomes available, but Anthopoulos did suggest that this weekend would likely see the start of some actual movement in the trade market.
He also noted that because of the complexity of some deals, it simply isn't practical for teams to wait until the last minute since trade agreements are required to be entirely complete at the deadline - 4pm Eastern time next Wednesday.
Getting medical reports done, approvals from both sides, monetary approvals from the Commissioner's office (when required), getting no-trade clauses dealt with... all of that must already be done before trades can be make official.
But with this news tonight, it appears that potential trade partners are now starting to exchange ideas... and the Atlanta Braves are apparently right in the thick of such discussions: with a lot of teams.