Braves Rumor Mill: 12/4
With December 7th being the last date for clubs to offer salary arbitration to a player (which if accepted by the player - virtually means the player will be back with the team on a one year contract, salary to be determined by an arbitration panel), all sources seem to indicate that the Atlanta Braves may be very active with teams that want to move players because of salary issues. Stay tuned to BravesCenter throughout the week for the latest news.
Minnesota Twins OF Jacque Jones may be one of the Braves top targets. Several media sources have printed that the Braves will most likely pursue a cost-effective rightfield replacement - Jones fitting the bill perfectly. Minnesota GM Terry Ryan is looking to slash payroll, and will most likely trade Jones before the 7th. The Minnesota Star-Tribune speculates that the Braves may be interested in a package involving Jones, and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz.
Both ESPN's Jayson Stark and The Sporting News' Ken Rosenthal report that the Braves also have expressed interest in Juan Encarnacion and J.D Drew.
The Newark Star Ledger reports that the Braves covet Montreal Ace Javier Vazquez, and, with the New York Yankees, will attempt to acquire him. However, Expos GM Omar Minaya won't move Vazquez until he gets a definate feel for Montreal's payroll in 2004.
The Philadelphia Phillies' acquisition of Eric Milton today may bode very well for the Braves. With Milton added to their rotation at $9 million dollars per, the Phillies probably won't opt to acquire any more starting pitching - leaving the Braves and Mets the sole east coast competitors for Millwood's services.
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