Following Jordan Schafer’s placement on the disalbled list, the Atlanta Braves’ rookie power-hitter, Joey Terdoslavich, was granted his freedom from the confines of AAA on July 4th. With injuries shortening the depth of the 25-man roster, the Braves found themselves in dire need of a utility man off the bench. Experience at both corner infield and outfield spots made the former 6th round pick a solid option.
Struggling after his mid-season promotion to Gwinnett last year, Terdoslavich turned it around in 2013. An outstanding .318/.359/.567 batting line more than displayed his readiness to make the jump to the big league club. Add to that line 18 homers and 24 doubles through just 85 games and you have the type of hitter that rebuilding teams crave.
The sample size at the major league level so far will have little bearing on how other clubs value the 24-year old switch hitter. The Braves are in the market for a quality left-handed reliever and productive bench bat, preferably one that performs from the left side as well. To offer a package of prospects featuring Terdoslavich, a fellow GM would surely have to give Frank Wren each of these. There are a couple of teams looking for young talent that have the resources for a deal of this nature. The Chicago Cubs fit that bill as do the Houston Astros.
The Braves made a deadline deal with the Cubs last season and it appears to be a very real possibilty that they do the same this year. Relief pitcher James Russell and infielder Luis Valbuena are probably not well known names around the Atlanta area. Rest assured that the front office at Turner Field is very aware of them. Both players are in the midst of career years and could be valuable role players beyond this season.
A less desirable return would likely be offered by the Astros, but could provide a fallback for Wren. Wesley Wright is a 28-year old currently pitching his 6th season in Houston. The southpaw has struggled with consistency over his career, but does average right at a strikeout per inning, while holding left-handed hitters to a .231 average. Along with power hitting journeyman Carlos Pena, this has a chance to be a decent option. Racking up 285 home runs during his career, Pena still strikes fear into opposing pitchers.
Look for Terdoslavich to receive as much playing time as possible over the next couple of weeks leading up to the trade deadline. Showcasing his talents, which have resulted in MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayor ranking him #14 in the Braves system, is vital to acquiring top value for the young, versatile slugger.