Okay, here is the situation… You don’t want to trade away anyone who’s going to be good down the line, like McCann or Jurrjens, obviously. And there’s no reason not to trade away anyone who’s going to be a free agent after the season. So the long term and the near term are easy.
The problem is the medium term. In particular, you’re talking about guys who would be on the team in 2009 like Gonzalez and Soriano, and to a lesser extent a player who might start to get expensive, Kelly Johnson. I am pretty optimistic most of the time, but without Hudson I can’t see the Braves as competitive in 2009. The idea of bringing in someone like Sabathia to “rebuild” is absurd; you don’t bring in expensive free agents as part of a rebuilding program, you bring them in to end one, to win once you’re ready to.
On the other hand, there are enough parts here that I’m really reluctant to tear down the structure. Moreover, there are real differences between being bad and being mediocre; a mediocre team will do much better at the gate. And it’s a lot better to build a champion from a 75 win base than a 60 win base; you might get better draft picks with the latter, but fifteen wins is a lot to make up.
I think that the best thing is to shop these guys, quietly, but you don’t have to deal them. I think you do have to deal Kotsay (for anything at all) and probably Ohman.