Are the Braves assembling trade pieces?

There is no better word in a GM's dictionary than "options." Are the Braves getting more with two positions in particular?

Jose Peraza is now in Mississippi. Some believe he could be in Atlanta before the end of the season.

Christian Bethancourt is now in Atlanta. Some believe he may never see the minor leagues again if he does well spelling the injured Evan Gattis.

While this is premature, it's something to keep in mind. We will get a chance to see more time for Bethancourt, who could still use some seasoning in Triple-A. But he'll get at least a handful of more starts from Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez.

What if Bethancourt - at the least - shows us all that he's either ready now or is close to being ready? Could that perhaps eventually make Evan Gattis trade bait? Gattis is a masher, but with his defensive issues the past few weeks, don't you wonder if he's going to be better fit in the American League?

And even with the solid work so far of second baseman Tommy La Stella, the emergence of Peraza as a top prospect makes La Stella's long-term future more in doubt than you would normally believe.

La Stella is hitting .282 with Atlanta so far this season, with 14 runs batted in. He's cemented Dan Uggla's spot on the Atlanta bench, but you have to wonder if La Stella's days as a Braves are numbered.

Peraza is a natural leadoff man, and the Braves are desperate for that type of player. La Stella, on the other hand, did not look comfortable in the role in his chance a few weeks ago.

For land's sake, what could the Braves get if they traded Gattis and La Stella? Would it be better to trade them now, instead of waiting around for this offseason?

I wonder if Tampa Bay would be interested in that package? Could that get the Braves in the David Price sweepstakes?

Give the Braves' scouts credit for providing general manager Frank Wren with more options. And Atlanta is full of them right now for the 2014 roster. It could present some interesting scenarios for Wren moving forward.

Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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