Every time I read the Braves Inbox (used to be called "Mailbag" but I guess no one sends postal mail anymore), I always answer the questions in my head before reading Bowman's replies. This was a fun off-season project last year and I'll do my best to keep up this year.
Here's this week's inbox...
Who do you see as the Braves' best option to play center field? Will they sign a top center fielder or take a risk on someone else?
-- Ritchie C., Monroe, La.
Michael Bourn. Then Michael Bourn. Then Jose Constanza.
I really want Bourn to return. Bowman wants Josh Hamilton, but I don't see the Braves taking a risk on a player like that. Besides, Bourn likes it here.
With the talk of selling a pitcher or two, who are some possible trade partners and what would be some potential returns?
-- Drew T., Charleston, S.C.
WHO IS TALKING ABOUT SELLING PITCHERS. NO. OUR PITCHERS ARE NOT FOR SALE.
But... the Yankees made a qualifying offer to Nick Swisher, so he could re-sign with them if he wants. Do you think we could talk the Yankees into taking JJ and Hanson for Swish? That's totally an even trade. ;) (He makes me laugh; I'm not going to apologize for wanting a player with that much hustle and good spirit on the team, especially if we don't re-sign MattE.)
How did Joey Terdoslavich look this past season? If he is not yet ready, who are the top contenders to replace Chipper Jones at third base?
-- Joe B., Blacksburg, Va.
I only saw Joey T. play in one game, and I wasn't very impressed. The answer to the second question is Martin Prado. I don't anticipate another contender.
Which Braves player do you think is most likely to get a long-term extension this offseason: Heyward, Kris Medlen, Freddie Freeman or Prado?
-- Timmy R., Florence, Ala.
Prado, of course.
Look, the other guys are wonderful and very important to our team. But all three are still arbitration-eligible for a few more years. We need to lock Prado down NOW with one of those outrageous 10-year $220 million contracts.
(Okay, I know the Braves won't do that. But that's what we all want, right? Right.)