The Braves need an outfielder (if not more than one), and may target Pat Burrell to fill that void as MLB.com reports .
The problem is that Burrell may be too expensive for Atlanta, which is working with limited funds. With a desire to go after a right-handed hitter as the lineup is already deep in lefties, that limits the Braves' options -- but not completely.
Two names that Mark Bowman of MLB.com throws out there are Oakland's Rajai Davis and Washington's Josh Willingham.
Davis (pictured) looks to be squeezed out of Oakland thanks to the trade for David DeJesus, and it's possible that the A's could choose to simply nontender Davis, who stole 50 bases last season.
Davis could leadoff for the Braves with that kind of speed, but the problem is that Davis had a .320 OBP in 2010, down from 2009's .360. Given Davis received a full season of at-bats in 2010 and only 390 in 2009, 2010 looks to be the more certain trend moving forward.
Alas, as Bowman notes, Atlanta's limited options and funds may require they acquire an outfielder that has a wart or two. With that in mind, Davis could work out nicely for Atlanta as someone who brings speed and who has a chance to revert back to his 2009 numbers of .305/.360/.423.
Davis is eligible for arbitration and figures to make over $2 million after playing for $1.35 million in 2010. The Braves could choose to sweat out Oakland and hope he is non-tendered when the arbitration deadline rolls around, but Davis remains cheap enough and valuable enough that some team would likely jump at the chance to acquire him in a trade.
Willingham, meanwhile, loves it in Washington and wants to stay, but the Nats may choose to deal him in advance of his pending free agency after 2011. Willingham would cost significantly more than Davis in a deal and has a reputation as an injury-prone player. However, Atlanta has seen plenty of Willingham thanks to his playing for Washington and previously, the Marlins and may want to import the slugger to do the damage to other teams for a change.
In free agency, right-handed bats that could fit include Jermaine Dye (who has already heard from three teams on returning to the bigs), Bill Hall, Marcus Thames, or even Magglio Ordonez.
-- Evan Brunell
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