Common speculation is that the Braves could shop Javier Vazquez or Kenshin Kawakami if they re-sign Tim Hudson. Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked to Vazquez about the trade possibility, and the pitcher expressed his desire to stay with the Braves.
Vazquez has been a bona fide ace in his return to the NL, with a 3.01 ERA, 216 strikeouts, and 40 walks in 197.3 innings. He's signed affordably for next year at $11.5MM. I've said it before: signing Hudson and having six starters under control on paper does not equal a surplus. Derek Lowe is 36 and his numbers took an alarming dip this year. And whether Hudson, Kawakami, and Tommy Hanson can each throw 200 innings next year is an open question. The Braves need a first baseman, an outfield bat, and a closer, but trading Vazquez for a hitter might just create a new hole. We'll analyze the team's payroll commitments in the coming weeks and see if free agency offers any solutions.