According to MLB Trade Rumors and first reported by John Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Atlanta Braves inquired about Will Venable. They are looking for some outfield depth and need a player who can play centerfield. The Braves were met with a simple no from the Padres according to reports. The team indicated Venable is not available.
Venable is hitting .352/.419/.463 in 54 at-bats this spring. He has shown off his speed and ability to play multiple outfield positions. In games in which Cameron Maybin was rested, Venable has filled in as a very capable centerfielder. Apparently, his talents have earned him an “untouchable” label.
The Braves have many enticing trade prospects, so it’s slightly surprising that San Diego did not even entertain the idea of trading Venable. Perhaps the fact that Atlanta seems reluctant to trade any of their young pitchers was a detractor for the Padres. The flip side to this is the stockpile of arms the Padres have amassed in their system. They may be better served with some middle infield depth. The Braves do not have highly-rated prospects at second base or shortstop. Their farm system value is almost exclusively derived from their pitchers. This is not surprising. After all, it’s the Atlanta Braves we’re talking about.
While many, including myself, have projected this as Venable’s last shot, the fact that the Padres have all but deemed him untouchable with this news indicates they may be willing to give him more time. No matter the case, it would serve Venable very well to breakout this year. Whether he’s in a Padres uniform or not in the coming seasons, 2012 is a make or break year for him.
Do you think Will Venable should be traded?