Braves’ Vice-President Paul Richards is not hiding his disappointment with his club. As the Braves lost their third straight, scouts representing at least a half-dozen major league clubs were on hand. “Think they’ll see anything they like,” someone asked Richards. “I don’t know,” replied Richards, “but let ’em look. They way we have been playing, some of those guys they’re looking at are going to come pretty cheap.”
That’s the kind of mood the Braves had Richards in as they headed for their worst finish since 1952, the last year in Boston, when they were seventh. “You still say there are no untouchables on the Braves?” someone else asked. “I’ll trade anybody, and I mean anybody,” said Richards, “if it will help the club.” Hank Aaron? “Aaron, of course, would come pretty high,” admitted the Braves’ official. Thus, as the Braves’ second season in Atlanta drew to a dismal close, the talk was of trades and rebuilding.
Although Richards said that every Brave was available, some of those most likely to go are outfielders Rico Carty and Mack Jones, infielders Denis Menke and possibly Woody Woodward and any starting pitcher you can name except maybe Phil Niekro. Meanwhile, the Braves spent the last few days of the season looking at some youngsters.
Second baseman Felix Millan, who was the talk of the International League, shortstop Angel Hermoso and center fielder Mike Lum have played regularly in recent games. Also getting in on the action was outfielder Cit Gaston, but it was learned he is ticketed for a year in Triple-A Richmond (International). Millan was the fellow everyone was watching, for he was all the Braves heard about from scouts whose assignments carried them to International League games. Reds manager Dave Bristol, for example, said, “All our scouts rave about Millan. He must be something.” It should be an interesting and active off season for Atlanta.