While John Schuerholz was somewhat pessimistic Tuesday about making a trade, the word around the lobby of the Winter Meetings hotel Wednesday was much more positive.
Sources say the deal with Pittsburgh involving Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche and Pirates' closer Mike Gonzalez could be completed tonight. The two teams are talking about additional players that could be included in the deal.
The Braves are content with the option of using Scott Thorman to replace LaRoche at first base if a trade occurs.
Also, the Braves and Devil Rays "have made progress" on talks involving Tampa Bay outfielder Rocco Baldelli. The Devil Rays want Braves' catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia and some pitching. The Braves do not appear willing to part with lefty Chuck James, but Kyle Davies may be a possibility.
Baldelli played in center for Tampa Bay but would play left in Atlanta. If Andruw Jones leaves as a free agent next winter or is traded beforehand, Baldelli would be his replacement in center. Baldelli hit .302 for the Devil Rays last year with 16 home runs and 57 runs batted in. He's an above average defensive player who is still young (only 25) and inexpensive (under contract for five more years at no more than $30 million).
Wednesday Winter Meetings Update
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