Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that major league scouts believe the Atlanta Braves could listen to trade offers for left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters.
Despite Venters posting a solid 3.22 ERA last season, it’s plausible that the Braves could look to move him. Venters posted sub-2.00 ERA’s in each of his first two seasons, and led the league in appearances in 2011 with 85. Relievers tend to have short shelf-lives in modern times, and with Eric O’Flaherty and Luis Avilan also available from the left side for Atlanta, Frank Wren and company could look to capitalize on Venters’ value if this is the start of a decline.
Though their bullpen seems pretty set after the acquisition of Rafael Soriano this winter, don’t rule the Nationals out if the Braves look to move their star reliever. Zach Duke is currently the only left-hander projected to start the season on the big-league squad, and Washington recently re-assigned it’s other top lefty options to minor league camp after poor early performance. There’s no top-notch options outside of Duke, and with the Nationals farm system looking very deep, perhaps there’s a trade to be made.
In his three-year career, Venters has combined for a 2.23 ERA in 229.2 innings across 230 appearances. The 27-year-old isn’t scheduled to be a free agent until after 2016, and will make $1.63-million this season.