Discussion: Should The Braves Shop Their Starters?

Earlier today, the Cardinals confirmed that Adam Wainwright will undergo Tommy John surgery, shelving him for all of 2011.  Without last year's Cy Young runner-up, St. Louis will certainly be in the market for a pitching upgrade.  They're not the only team that could use a rotation boost, however.  The Yankees and Nationals would like to shore up their respective starting fives, as would the Indians, though they likely can't afford a hefty contract.

Despite the need for pitching around the league, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't expect the club to move any of its starters.  Earlier today, Buster Olney noted that the Yankees have not inquired on veteran Tim Hudson but is sure that the club would love to have him.  Fellow vet Derek Lowe could also hold some value, but the righty is owed $30MM across the next two seasons. 

The rotation is rounded out with Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens with Mike Minor, Rodrigo Lopez, Brandon Beachy as fifth-spot candidates, leaving the Braves with plenty of depth.  Obviously, if Atlanta were to part with a hurler, they would opt to trade away Kenshin Kawakami, though finding a taker for his $6.67MM salary might be easier said than done.  The club has dangled the 35-year-old for quite some time but might have to instead settle for selling him to a Japanese team, which would pick up half of his contract.

If you were in GM Frank Wren's position, would you sacrifice some of your pitching depth to upgrade elsewhere or would you prefer to hang on to your starters as insurance?

163 Responses to Discussion: Should The Braves Shop Their Starters? Leave a Reply

  1. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    depends. am i getting colby rasmus?

    • Don’t forget about Medlan coming back next year. He was solid before his injury last year.

      • Goldberg365 4 years ago

        I doubt they see him as a started anymore. There are too many people ahead of him. I’d love for someone to take Lowe or Kawakami off our hands. If the price was right for Jurrjens I’d be okay with it, his arbitration is about to get expensive.

        • If the Braves trade one or two of their starting pitching candidates, Medlen will definitely be considered as a starter. And I fully expect the Braves to trade one or two before the year is out, whether it’s in-season or the offseason.

    • HA, ya if Teharen and Hanson are coming back

      • psh!!! rasmus isnt in the same ballpark as teheran, you would have to give me 2 rasmus’s for me to even think about it

        • chaifetz10 4 years ago

          Right, because the top OPS CF in the NL isn’t even close to a pitching prospect. We’ll give you Shelby Miller for Jason Heyward….same deal just reversed.

          • E.Arturian 4 years ago

            Please. “Justin” Heyward is already better than Rasmus and he’s three years younger. Rasmus might be Mike Cameron, but Heyward could be Hank Aaron. As for Miller, get back to me after he plays above A ball.

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            I don’t see the difference between the two proposals…a stud 5 tool OF for a pitching prospect. Why one is a definite yes and the other a definite no only proves that the hypothetical trade of Colby for a pitching prospect makes sense for only one side…the Braves.

          • chaifetz10 is right.

            I think a more realistic proposal would be Hanson straight up or Hanson and a B prospect. And before my fellow Braves fans freak out, just hear me out. 5-tool CF’s are extremely rare, and even the #1 pitching prospect in baseball won’t land one, especially one who posted the highest OPS at his position in his first full year. I’m not entirely sold on Rasmus as he’s proven to be a bit streaky and his minor-league numbers aren’t exactly overwhelming. Plus his BAbip was .354, doesn’t seem sustainable.

            If I were Wren, I wouldn’t make that deal. But I think that would be what it would take. It’ll never happen though. The Cardinals don’t really have anyone to replace Rasmus, I see no reason to move him. There’s at least a 50/50 chance that Pujols walks too, in which case they’d need Rasmus. He’s not going anywhere.

          • erm016 4 years ago

            I’d rather play it out and let Jordan Schafer have another chance. Keep Tommy around, he’s going to be special.

            I’d trade Medlen/KK/Lowe but I’d really rather keep Lowe.

          • Jeff 4 years ago

            Rasmus is worth Vizcaino or Delgado, not Teheran.

            What I’d offer for Rasmus: two choices JJ+ McLouth or JJ+KK+Schaefer for Rasmus.

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            But again, why would the Cardinals trade Rasmus for a pitching prospect and weaken the teams offense?

            If the Cardinals really are going to lose Pujols, why trade possiblyu the next most valuable player for scraps?

          • it seems a little early to compare heyward to the true home run king, no? if ever, not even remotely similar in my book

          • avpisano 4 years ago

            Miller not compairable to Teheran. Hayarwd not comparable to Rasmus. Keep reaching

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            The only reaching is from people trying to say that the Cardinals should trade there 5-tool CF for a pitching prospect…or mid rotation starter like KK/Lowe. Why that makes sense for the Cardinals is reaching.

          • Actually Heyward has the better swing than Colby which can prove to be a big difference. Yes Colbs had an amazing OPS but that trend will flux as he plays through another couple full seasons. Plus I’m not sure if he can handle the added pressure of becoming a leader on a Cards team that needs someone to step up to a leadership position. This year will be the real true showing of which one is better, Rasmus or Heyward.

        • lol alright, you even seen the dude pitch yet?

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        dan teharen is nasty did he get traded again already

  2. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Short answer no, long answer yes.

    Ok, that probably needs explanation. They got a pretty decent rotation and they’re definitely going to be able to compete this year for at least the wild card so why break up the band so early. On the other hand any player can be had for the right price, that price is often more than what the player’s worth. Not sure exactly what the holes are for the Braves but if they can get the yanks, the Cards, or whoever to cough up a lot for Lowe or Hudson then why not.

    • NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

      For any of the proven starters, the price would likely be started with gardner, rasmus, granderson. Pending on the chosen pitcher a prospect could be thrown in on the team giving up a CFer. Braves could trade a lower pitcher and a pitching prospect like Delgado or Vizcaino (very decent pitching prospects) for one of those guys. Either way, no team will want to trade with the Braves, because they are content with their choices and although they have a need at CF and lead-off, they would rather see one of their own guys win it then trade from their strength.

      Wren will ask for too much in return, so unless a team wants Beachy at an inflated price, Braves will stay away from trades.

      • Braves don’t really have a need for a leadoff hitter. The team is stacked with guys who get on base at a good clip and Prado thrived their last year. Hell, even McLouth can take a walk.

        • Jeff 4 years ago

          Uggla helps with the Braves biggest batting issue from last year- what was called “LOBsterball”. The braves had a lot of guys who got on base, but couldn’t get them home due to a lack of SLG. If Heyward’s fully healthy with the hand (his power was sapped from May onwards due to a hand injury), and Uggla produces, their offense should be much better.

          Rasmus would be a huge boost though, and I’d trade Schaefer+JJ easily for him (and Schaefer if healthy will be very good, not Rasmus good, but good)

          I think the Braves will move a pitcher, but it will be at the deadline, not now- and probably only if Gonzalez stinks or gets hurt or if Schaefer/McLouth don’t come around. Braves have a big question at CF- but they got answers, they just don’t know if they’re good enough answers. Also, Medlen will be coming back in August or September, and he could patch in as a fifth starter, though I’d rather see him in the pen when he comes back this year, and fight for the 5th spot in 2012. (I love Medlen also, he’s very underrated- I just worry about his durability)

  3. TDKnies 4 years ago

    Weeeellllllll, I think I would if I were Wren. Anyone and everyone knows you don’t trade for the sake of trading. But if I could flip one of Lowe (+ cash I guess), Jurrjens, or Beachy for a few years of a good-great CF or prospects to turn into a good-great CF then I’d do it. Didn’t mention KK or Lopez because they aren’t getting anything good back, and I wouldn’t trade Hudson, Hanson, or Minor.

    • Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

      Forget about Andrew McCutchen!!!

      Go bribe some other team with your Kenshin Kawikami junk

      • TDKnies 4 years ago

        Gotta assume you typed all that as a mistake and meant to say something actually related to what I said? Or simply replied to the wrong person?

  4. setser23 4 years ago

    I wouldnt give up hudson for anything. Now Lowe or Jair yes, but it better be for Rasmus.

    • chaifetz10 4 years ago

      Seriously, another Rasmus trade proposal? Come on now…you have to think of something a bit more original than Jair for Rasmus if you want to piss people off. No one really wants Jair all that bad…especially for the CF with the best OBP last year.

      • setser23 4 years ago

        Like i said i dont want to give up my pitchers that bad. We are not the desperate ones here.

        • chaifetz10 4 years ago

          Cardinals aren’t exactly DESPERATE…especially to the point where they would trade Rasmus.

          IF Pujols leaves, the offense will have to revolve around Holliday and Rasmus. Why move a top CF and create yet another hole?

          • setser23 4 years ago

            They should let ian snell or some other young arm fill in the five hole. And keep everyone else. They have been dealt a pretty deal here i think. If wainwright ends the year in the dl his 12 and 13 options dont vest. that money could be used to resign some other free agent(ap).

          • NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

            Wainwright’s options vesting was the least of the Cardinal’s worries. I think they would rather it vest, especially at that low price, than have Wainwirght on the DL at all.

          • rundmc1981 4 years ago

            We’ve already seen that Mozeliak is stubborn. Why do we think he’ll “eat all of his veggies” and trade for what he needs, giving up a key piece like Rasmus in his shoddy plan for winning. I’ll be surprised if Carpenter is still a Cardinal by July. And if he’s gone, Pujols is almost certainly gone. Then, why would Holliday re-sign with STL after 2012 unless he doesn’t care about winning? Eventually lack of farm depth hurts you, NYY is seeing this and STL is now seeing this.

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            Holliday is signed long term already.

    • setser23 4 years ago

      Plus you can’t tell there isn’t one guy in the cardinal organization that can step in and fill wainwright shoes for a bit. No one is going to be as good Adam but if i was them I would save my money and use it to resign Albert.

  5. Rothben 4 years ago

    Only if the tigers get jurrjens back

  6. Rothben 4 years ago

    Only if the tigers get jurrjens back

  7. Rothben 4 years ago

    Only if the tigers get jurrjens back

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      you can say that again

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        i like that everyone liked it the second time he said it, but not the first and third

        • NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

          peer pressure

        • first time i was like, “Whaaa?” Second time i was like, “Oh, that makes sense!” Third time i was like, “I’ve seen this before and it’s old news. NEXT!” Seriously though, give me Miguel plus a chauffeur and you can have JJ back

  8. VivaLosBravos 4 years ago

    The Yankees are fools for not snatching up Kawakami. His record in the AL East is sick, he beat Halladay, and with some decent run support…he would be a good fit. And 6 mil is pennies for the Yankees. Cover the bill and give us a prospect.

    Or move KK to the Cards. Send us Rasmus and we’ll send you McLouth. We’ll cover KK’s payday. His record isn’t really indicative of his stuff. He can hit, for a pitcher, too.

    • lol so in other words, we will give you our players off the scrap heap for the highest OPS CFer in the national league?

      • VivaLosBravos 4 years ago

        Rasmus, along with seemingly everyone else (ahem….lol) wants out of St Louis… what can you do? Money: the root of all evil, man.

        • chaifetz10 4 years ago

          And your basing this off of an article from last July, which was overstated.
          Plus it was clearly addressed by the team and Rasmus and LaRussa themselves stating it was all overblown and they have patched up the issues.
          Rasmus does not still want to be traded. He’s said so himself.

          • VivaLosBravos 4 years ago

            Well all that’s fine, but St Louis just went from ‘Level Yellow’ to ‘Level Red’, meaning, not only is Pujols going to the Cubs after this year, but your Ace is out.


            Something might have to give, on what was originally looking like one last run for the gold.

          • … sensing a grudge of some sort

          • VivaLosBravos 4 years ago

            lol, against who? The Cardinals? I’m indifferent to the Cardinals.

            I’m just saying the Cardinals long-term plans may not be as rosy.

          • friscofan101 4 years ago

            so they should give up a player who could be their best after this year for Kenshin Kawakami. did u not read the whole article, the braves are going to give him away for half his salary. that means theres no one who is willing to take him for free and pay all his salary. there is no single pitcher in the braves organization that makes sence for the cardnals to trade straight up for with raamus. all your level red nonsense is crap. the cards are going to end up sign ap long term at the end of the year.

          • sensing a big time man-crush of yours on Rasmus… Oh, he’s the top OPSing CF in all of baseball!! Damn ESPN and their made up statistics about everything to prove something is important. I love thinking back to when Stras first came up and ESPN was tracking every single start he pitched and comparing his strike out totals after each of his first starts, as if any of that really means anything. Rasmus is a nice player, but he is nothing like everyone makes him out to be. Let’s see him put up some big vote totals in the MVP before we start oohing and aahing over this kid.

          • daalper 4 years ago

            OPS is not a made up stat.

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            So therefore you are going to assume that every other player on the team wants out? Forget about Carpenter, Molina, Holliday, Garcia, etc…because Pujols isn’t signed long term and Wainwright is out for the year the team must want to disband???
            Your assumptions that Rasmus MUST want out and that the Cardinals are freaking out are very off base.

          • VivaLosBravos 4 years ago

            those trades were hypothetical, lol, jeez louise.

            However, Pujols is 7/10 of the Cardinals. And without him….

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            They still have a really strong core.

            And hypothetical is fine…trying to state that it makes sense for both teams by using false information or assumptions is not exactly the same.

          • That “strong core” that you’re referring is due for pay raises after 2011, including Rasmus and Garcia. Considering Carpenter has a $15M option and his injured past, unless Wainwright takes a step back in rehab, STL won’t be picking up that option. Again, I bring up STL letting Brad Penny walk to DET. That’s big, if you ask me.

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            So you are going to play the hypothetical game with pay raises and the budget…yet forget the hypothetical pay decreases and player leaving. Franklin, Lohse, potentially Pujols, Berkman, Skip, Theriot, etc… could all be off the payroll either next year or the year after. Why would Rasmus and Garcia making a bit more through Arb hurt this team if tons of money could potentially be coming off the books by 2012?

    • Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

      I’m sure he can entertain the fans in yankee stadium with his above 6:00 era.

  9. No….Atlanta Is Locked in With Their Rotation of Hudson, Lowe, Hanson, Jurrjens and Minor. At this point of being so close to the season. Most people’s payrolls are locked in and nothing will happen. Unless its KK its no one. Teheran isn’t ready yet….and it would have to be someone that would really have to turn their heads.

  10. Bo 4 years ago

    I wouldn’t shop them right now. Pitching needs will only increase in ST and into the regular season as teams realize their current starters won’t get it done. More importantly, the Braves don’t know exactly where they need help. Between McLouth and a healthy Schafer, CF may be okay. Also depends on Chipper’s health whether they may need a LF or 3B.

    If in May teams are calling about Jurrjens in particular, Wren would certainly have to consider making a deal.

    • garlick 4 years ago

      I said this yesterday, but logic has no place in these boards.

  11. skidlee23 4 years ago

    Lowe is the only one you trade and he doesn’t have that much value. Your not getting Rasmus for Lowe thats for sure. JJ or Hanson would be the only 2 SP’s the cards would want and that would be too much for the braves to move.

    I would trade Lowe, Diory and 5-10 mill to the yanks for Jaba, Nunez, and Brandon Laird.

    That way Jaba take over for Lowe in the rotation and the braves still keep the depth.


    • setser23 4 years ago

      What are you smoking jaba.

    • If I ever were to acquire Joba for my team, the last place I’m putting him is in the starting rotation. Or are you basing your idea on the fact that he has been so wildly successful there in the past?

    • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

      Wow, I’m glad you’re not the GM for the Braves.

    • Green_Monster 4 years ago

      Almost every word in that post is wrong.

      • skidlee23 4 years ago

        So like most everyone here you must think Lowe has sooooo much value being at best a #4 who make 15 mill a year. Face it Lowe is drastically overpaid. A pitcher will have to be traded at somepoint and if you can trade Lowe now while saving 20+ million bucks you have to think about it.

  12. If your going to deal wait till around the deadline. Right now the Cards can sign Millwood, or use one of their many in house options. They’ll become more desperate as the season progress; meaning the return will be better.

  13. Just Kamikazi!

  14. bosoque 4 years ago

    The Braves easily have one of the top 5 rotations in baseball. Their pitching with the hope of good years from capable position players is what keeps them in the playoff race. Why get rid of that? We saw last year after Kris Medlen went down how valuable pitching is, even a surplus. Keep the pitchers but see if all this will create a demand for Kawakami. It won’t though.

  15. Braves dont need to trade any of their “big 6″ this season, Wren will hold on to them

  16. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    if you can get mozeliak or cashman over a barrel, yes. otherwise nope. starting pitching is only going to get more valuable going forward

  17. DJGreen47 4 years ago

    I don’t think the Cards would send Rasmus in a deal. The Cards have 3 solid staters in Carpenter, Garcia, and Westbrook. If Lohse regains his 2008 form, they’ll have another solid starter. They have Lance Lynn, Kyle McClellan, Miguel Batista, etc. who could step in for the 5th spot. They could fill a spot with a guy like Kevin Millwood if the price is right.
    If they were going to trade for someone, I’d rather it be Mark Buehrle. The price for him would probably be pretty high, too. Of all the Braves starters, the one I would go after, if I were the Cards, would be Jurrjens.

    Just my opinion.

    • T Morgan 4 years ago

      You’re right, Jurrjens makes the most sense for the Cardinals. He would be a solid #2 or #3 guy in the rotation for a couple of years or more if they choose to resign him post arbitration years. He would help for today and tomorrow. However, to get him, I think the Cards would have to give up some good prospects, maybe even a couple of top prospects, Cox or Miller come to mind.

      • chaifetz10 4 years ago

        I don’t see Miller being traded except in a package for a top of the rotation proven ace. Cardinals like the long term rotation of Wainwright (hopefully after TJ surgery), Garcia, Miller, and eventually Carlos Martinez and Tyrell Jenkins. Why trade Miller for two years of Jurrjens?

        • T Morgan 4 years ago

          Miller is still a prospect, that’s why. And Jurrjens is a proven commodity. Last year was an injury year, other than that 3.00 ERA in the bigs for 2 years. I really don’t see Miller being traded either in this scenario, but it will take a some good prospects and the Cardinals farm isn’t all that deep. Cox isn’t a proven player yet and Miller is the only one really of value. The other reason why they would like 2 years of JJ, if not more if they sign him back, is that Carpenter is probably gone after this year and they will need another good pitcher in that rotation to replace him.

          • chaifetz10 4 years ago

            I still believe the Cardinals see a future rotation revolving around Wanwright, Garcia, Miller, and Carlos Martinez. The Cardinals should keep their few top prospects, keep there core of Molina, Rasmus, and Holliday, (potentially Pujols if he resigns) and look at long term.

  18. MLB_in_the_Know 4 years ago

    Hold on to them for now. Midseason teams will be desperate, Teheran will be ready, Delgado will be ready and Medlen will be almost back from TJ surgery. At that point, we will know our team weaknesses, other teams will have injuries or problems with their rotations and will come calling for JJ or Lowe and we will sell to the highest bidder.

  19. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 4 years ago

    If I’m the Braves, all I do right now is listen. Anyone calls, find out what they want, find out what they’ll give you. If it’s something you’ve gotta have, make a trade. If it’s nice, but you can do without, hold on to your pitchers.

    Pitching depth goes up in smoke sometimes. I suggest the Braves make sure they have that depth intact, for their own use, unless an offer is made that you can’t refuse.

  20. The Braves are not going to trade any of their starting pitching, not named Kenshin Kawakami. They seem impressed by both McLouth and Schafer so far, so I don’t think they feel they need any more upgrades.

    And I knew the Yankees weren’t stupid enough to think they were going to get Tim Hudson..

  21. Medlen is and will hopefully continue to be a dominant starting pitcher – health willing. I think Wren’s going to have a tough time NOT starting him come September/October, unless someone else is hurt. Minor and Beachy both have a lot to offer too, so I see no issue with trading a Lowe, KK, or even JJ for a solid CFer or a SS upgrade.

  22. Trading Lowe for salary relief would make sense and give the Braves approximately 30 million in 2012 to fill 2 large holes (assuming Jordan Schafer and Tyler Pastornicky don’t win the SS and CF positions with productive 2011’s). However, it probably does nothing of value to the 2011 team until midseason where the Braves could use the surplus in a trade to fill a weakness (if there was a weakness).

    The 2 obvious trade partners would be the Cards and the Yankees.

    On the Yankees: Unless they’d be willing to part with Gardner or Granderson, I don’t see a fit there. Lowe for either of those guys isn’t exactly fair and I don’t think the Braves would be willing to part with any prospect of worth.

    On the Cardinals: I don’t see any match whatsover unless it’s strictly a salary dump (which, with Lowe, wouldn’t cut it for the Braves front office). Kawakami might be a fit, but the Braves would have to pay at least 4 million.

    • NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

      Braves have enough money coming off the books from McLouth and Kawakami to pay for raises and such. They could raise pay-roll back up slightly to pick up some missing pieces or stop-gaps. I think Braves are content with Lowe for 15 mil and one year. You can’t trade him for salary relief at this point of the season. The market next year doesn’t surprise me for the needs the Braves will have either. If Chipper retires too, then there will be over 30 mil next year off the books with only BP guys to sign and raises to give. Maybe 1 or 2 stop-gaps to fill, but Braves wont sign anyone big.

  23. Will 4 years ago

    If they are going to part with anyone, it should be Lowe. Get rid of that terrible contract, free up some money to re-sign Jurrjens if he proves he can stay healthy this year, and free up a spot for one of those farm system guys, or get a #5 as part of the trade. Could use a reliable option for CF.

    • LioneeR 4 years ago

      I would rather extend Hanson with Lowe’s money. Of course that could happen in 2 years anyway, but it would presumably be cheaper to do so now.

      • Will 4 years ago

        Yeah, I mean I figure they could get Jurrjens relatively cheap next year (maybe around $6M) and just keeping him around 1 year will allow another transition year for Vizcaino or Teheran.

  24. If I was him, I wouldn’t. But knowing how much he could get for Hudson if the yankees and cardinals get into a bidding war, it might not be out of the question.

  25. Cardinals get Derek Lowe and Diory Hernandez (+ $10 mil)
    Braves get David Freese and Adam Ottavino


    Yankees get Derek Lowe and Wilkin Ramirez
    Braves get Brett Gardner


    Washington gets Jair Jurrjens
    Braves get Roger Bernadina


    Indians get Jair Jurrjens, Jordan Schafer, and Jose Ortenago
    Braves get Grady Sizemore and Lonnie Chisenhall

    • ultimate913 4 years ago

      We aren’t giving up Gardner for Lowe and his contract. Go ahead. Try again.

      • Green_Monster 4 years ago

        That’s ok. Keep your awesome rotation the way it is.

        • roomwithamoose 4 years ago

          yeah get rid of our starting LF that we don’t have a replacement for, and is the only person that could possibly persuade Girardi to get Jeter out of leading off, for an overpaid pitcher who wouldn’t be so much of an upgrade that would make it worth it… As long as Colon/garcia/phelps/brackman can be serviceable as a 5th,we’re better off than being minus a left fielder and plus a lowe

          • Green_Monster 4 years ago

            Wait hold on, the Yankees have a number 4? Lowe would be an upgrade over Colon-Nova-Garcia-Phelps-Brackman-All the other crap. And Andrew Jones could play LF. The rotation is no where near complete.

        • ultimate913 4 years ago

          Believe me. I’d MUCH rather have Cashman keep the rotation now other than overpay for a mediocre pitcher.

          And as moose said, we have no one else to play LF. Jones is our 4th OF to come in as a PH against LHP and on to play on days somebody in the OF gets a day off.

          And again, no.At the price in prospects and the contract Lowe would bring in, he would NOT be an upgrade over whatever we have at 4 and 5.

          • Green_Monster 4 years ago

            How would he not be an upgrade? The braves will not ask for prospects if you take on his contract, Gardener does not have to get traded. It could be Yankees get Lowe and his full contract, Braves get C+ or B- prospect. The Yankees need Lowe. They didn’t get Lee, Pettite retired, now they don’t have a 4 or 5 pitcher. But keep the rotation you have now, watch what happens.

          • roomwithamoose 4 years ago

            but the trade proposal you originally commented on had gardner in the deal, and I’d rather have Jones as a 4th OF than a starter at this point. But if the rotation’s nowhere complete I’d rather try starting our prospects than trade for someone who wouldn’t put us over the top anyway.

          • ultimate913 4 years ago

            Completely agree. I’d rather not take on a Burnett-esque contract for an aging, mediocre pitcher and let our prospects develop.

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            First why is Lowe mediocre? 9 straight seasons with at least 14 wins, following a successful closing stint. And that’s Boston, LAD, and ATL.

            Plus he ended the season like a player that deserved the money. Won 16 games. He might be better than AJ Burnett

    • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

      Why in the world would we need David Freese?

      That’s doubtful of happening. If we were gonna go after some one good, then Rasmus is the answer. But the Cards aren’t going to do that either.

      You gotta be kidding me? Jurrjens for Bernadina? That’s just pointless for the Braves. Horrible

      Only way I would want Sizemore on the team is if he can prove he’s healthy enough to put up some good numbers. It’d be better off waiting till the trade deadline to see what’s on the table.

    • tomymogo 4 years ago

      You’re crazy……Gardner for Lowe and Wilkin Ramirez…..Gardner is a 4th outfielder……..

      Bernadina for Jurrjens……………Every trade you proposed screwed the Braves.

  26. As someone said, pitching depth can evaporate in no time. And the Braves are not all that deep. They don’t know what Minor or Beachy can do in a full season. Lowe will have to pitch like he did in September or he’ll be rather average. Jurrjens has to bounce back from a series of injuries. Medlen is not a realistic option. Rodrigo Lopez has a chance of being the #5, but I would not say that’s a terribly good sign. Other than Hudson and Hanson, all the contending teams in need of starters can do about as well with free agents or internally. For instance, Freddie Garcia likely wins one of the open slots in NY, and Nova might not be so bad for the other. In short, the Braves may well need all the starters they can muster, and others won’t want their back of the rotation guys.

    • “And the Braves are not all that deep”


      Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Kenshin Kawakami, Rodrigo Lopez, Todd Redmond. Those are options that can contribute at the start of the season.

      Julio Teheran, Randell Delgado, Kris Medlen, Erik Cordier. Those are guys who can realistically be used at the big-league level if any of them are needed. Medlen will be back around late August. Teheran could force their hand if any of the Braves starters go down or suck. I love Vizcaino’s stuff, but he probably won’t be up until 2012.

      “Rodrigo Lopez has a chance of being the #5, but I would not say that’s a terribly good sign.”

      Why not? There’s no risk in signing him. He was cheap and the Braves probably wanted someone with big-league experience waiting in the wings. Or they’re hoping he can build his value back up and get something in return for him.

      “Other than Hudson and Hanson, all the contending teams in need of starters can do about as well with free agents or internally.”

      You can’t be serious. Name one remaining FA starting pitcher who’s better than Jair Jurrjens and Derek Lowe. I’m a Braves fan and I don’t even like him all that much, but he’s not a back of the rotation(he’ll probably settle into a #3 guy) and he’s much better than anyone left on the market.

      • I explained my point. Jurrjens, while outstanding in 09, has to bounce back from a few aches and pains to be a real asset. I give him a good chance of doing so, but it still is a question. Minor and Beachy have not had enough ML time to establish themselves. We’ve seen plenty of pitchers have a few good starts and then fade, Minor among them. Of course, we all hope he bounces back. Likewise, we hope Beachy can keep up the good work. But if one or both falters, there goes a big part of the depth.

        No one has mentioned Redmond or Cordier as a possibility. Kawakami is unlikely to be on the 25 man roster, ever again. Medlen is hurt and not expected to return until late summer at best. Teheran might make his ML debut this season. But rushing your prize pitching prospect is not how you create depth.

        In the end, the Braves have four locks and a three-way fight for the #5 spot. That’s not all that different from a lot of other teams.

        I am fine with the Lopez signing. But he’s a below-average ML starter, a typical #5, with good shot of being in the Braves rotation. That is not the sign of a vastly superior rotation, compared, say, to having Joe Blanton as your 5.

        • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

          Minor is a rookie for gods sake. You gotta let him learn some time or another. And putting him in the 5th spot isn’t a crime at all.

          I’d choose Minor or Beachy over Lopez any day of the weak to be my #5 starter. They can’t get any worse than Lopez’s 5.00 ERA, 200 IP, 5.21 FIP, and a 6.01 tERA.

          • I don’t disagree, although I think Lopez probably will emerge from ST as the #5. The question here is whether the Braves have so much pitching depth that they can readily deal one of the established starters out of their rotation. I’m not saying the Braves are in bad shape, but that a trade of one of the veterans could create problems. With a mediocre defense and some question marks in the lineup, the Braves don’t need to add to their problems.

          • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

            My god, I hope he doesn’t win the job. I just can’t see him winning it. Might as well give Minor the spot since he’s a lefty and that’s been a rare arm that we have used in the rotation for a few years or so now, I believe.

    • RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

      Where’s the dislike button at? Because you just proved, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    • tomymogo 4 years ago

      Medlen is injured until September best case scenario because of TJ surgery…………Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, and Aroldys Vizcaino could step in.

      • You don’t rush your top pitching prospects up to the majors. Besides, Vizcaino was also hurt. I don’t know where he is in his rehab.

        The Braves would probably find more guys like Rodrigo Lopez before they would bring up Teheran or Delgado ahead of schedule. And if they are in the market for more like him, they are in no better shape than anyone else, once you get past their good established starters.

  27. what i don’t understand is why kawakami doesn’t draw interest. Last year millwood went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA and he’s drawing interest. kawakami is far from a star, but he’s certainly capable of a 4.30 ERA or so; in 09 his ERA was 3.86 and he pitched half a season last year, surely not a big enough sample size to say that’s his potential. he’s expensive for those numbers, but i’m sure the braves would be willing to eat nearly half his salary.

    as far as the other starters go, i’m in agreement that wren should sit and listen, and wait until the demand for starters reaches a climax. that being said, i think hudson and hanson should be off limits. lowe is tradeable in the right situation given his cost, but i’m interested to see if he can replicate his late season success after he found his slider.

    i like jurjjens a lot, but the braves won basically without him last year. he’s going to get costly, and i think that some useful pieces could be acquired for him given his track record and current cheapness. pitching depth is important, however, and it would really have to be a top notch offer to sell me on dealing jurrjens; rasmus would probably fit that bill, even with the braves supplying accompanying prospects (but i don’t believe the rumors that his current situation is all that bad).

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Well you kinda answered your own question. Why trade away anything, even a B prospect, and take on $6M in salary when you could probably get Millwood for $3M or less.

      I saw Kawakami pitch in 2009. There wasn’t anything special there but at the same time nothing horrible. He could be a serviceable 5th man for several teams, but the Braves can’t expect to get anything back that would be worthwhile.

      • well, here’s my point. you and i may differ on our respective projections, but i think if you sign millwood for 3 million, you’re pretty likely to get a 5.00 ERA out of him. if you deal for kawakami, and the braves eat 2-3 million, you get a guy for 3-4 million who I think is likely to give you something around 4.30. i’m not saying kawakami is some kind of godsend, but this is a league were joe blanton is paid 8 million per year, and i don’t think his ERA is likely to be that much better than kawakami’s

    • NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

      From what I heard, Wren wanted something back from the teams. Kinda like with Lowe talks. Teams just think Wren wants salary relief, but that’s not the case. Wren is willing to pay salary for those prospects.

      I think every fan is getting the idea that Jair wont be worth the cost. If 4- mill was all he got this year, then he’s a great option for 8 mil next year. Though, Lowe or Jair would be getting 8-15 mil to be your 5th starter, so the Braves will trade one of them. The Brass isn’t that oblivious.

    • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

      Though, I do see your point, I’m going to disagree. We did win without JJ in April, May and June, but the way the team was hitting, we could have won with anyone. I’m sure you remember Heyward’s first 43 games or so along with Troy Glaus’ freak May and June. He came up big for us later down the road in the season and that is precisely why we should stay as deep as possible in the starting pitcher department.

      I see JJ becoming a star and if I’m not mistaken, we made a deal with him in the offseason so we have control for at least a couple of more years. Dealing Lowe would make sense, but the guy is an innings eater. The guy doesn’t know what an injury is. I say we keep what we got and see if someone like Grady Sizemore becomes available as Cleveland has been rumored to start shopping him as the season transgresses.

      • I like this. I am a fan of Sizemore and think he’s in a similar situation that McLouth is, though Sizemore showed a lot more ability, would be cheaper than McLouth’s ($10.5M option in 2012), and CLE won’t be picking up that option.

        I’ve already looked at who will be available next free agent class and providing Schafer won’t cut it long-term, it could be interesting to consider David DeJesus’ name in CF again. He’s only signed with OAK through 2011 and will be a free agent at the end of the season. He’s young, has a great OBP, career .992 fielding pct, and has some pop. One of the downsides is that he’s a lefty – though McLouth and Schafer both are.

        • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

          I think DeJesus will be costly after this season. Maybe too much. I’d love to get Sizemore here, though. He’d be a perfect fit. If he can be 80-90 percent of what he was before the injury, that’d be enough. Imagine Prado, Sizemore, Chipper, Uggla and McCann as your first five. I’m sorry…but that is as good as anyone’s in the NL.

          • LioneeR 4 years ago


          • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

            Obviously…I just stopped at five in order to avoid listing the entire lineup.

  28. O971 4 years ago

    I’d probably gauge interest right now in Jurrjens. I think unless we can get a younger shortstop or center fielder I wouldn’t move them now, unless a team is willing to overpay by a fair bit.
    I’d rather wait to see if the CF hole can be filled internally and see if Chipper can come back healthy (again). If either of those answers is no around the end of May, I’d look into making a deal to give us more depth in the infield or outfield.
    Names I’d at least kick the tires on: BJ Upton, Colby Rasmus, Brett Gardner, Angel Pagan, Micheal Bourn, Stephen Drew
    I think we might have to add a top 5 prospect to land some of these but I think a 2 or 3 year solution (at least) would be worth it.
    (Don’t kill me Cards fans)

  29. athensmatt 4 years ago

    The time for the Braves to trade a starter is not now but in about 9-10 months.

  30. sam_lammert 4 years ago

    Cards might look into getting a Braves pitching prospect….it worked out really well for us last time…

    • Bo 4 years ago

      That’s the whole reason y’all are in this mess now. Ironic.

  31. billreef 4 years ago

    I think Minor is the trade bait. His arm burned out late last season and he wasn’t particularly strong before that. The Braves have plenty of depth. When Kris Medlen comes back he will be aces like he was before he got hurt. He is a tough kid. Nobody wants Lowe or Kawakami, they have been on the trade block for over a year now. Both have ridiculous Frank Wren contracts. Huddy, Jurrjens and Hanson are untouchable(the only defense against the Frillies Fab Four). Minor is the bait, probably for a really high end SS prospect and maybe somebody for LF for when Chipper blows out his knee again(Prado to 3B, new LF)

    • Everyone please ignore this post and dont let it paint a picture of Braves fans for you.

      Medlen started like six games. He did very well in those six games, hardly enough to give him ace status. He will never be more than a solid number three for anyones rotation.

      Mike Minor is 23 years old and pitched his first full pro season last year, he simply got tired (as he stupidly complained to the media about). And he WAS particuarly strong before that, posting a 3.91 ERA after his first four starts. Also he is our only viable lefty who will be starting games for a while, he is not going to be traded.

      Derek Lowe won sixteen games last year. He ate up a ton of innings and is a total workhorse. If he hasnt pitched so well in September we wouldnt have even made the playoffs. His contract is expensive but you are paying for his consistency for than his stuff. You know what you’re going to get out of Lowe, about 15 wins and well over 200 innings of injury free baseball.

      We would never trade for a shortstop prospect. We already have four moderately promising shortstops (Salcedo, Simmons, Pastornicky, Lipka) any one of which could be ready in a couple years.

      • Actually Medlen made 14 starts, came out of the bullpen 17 times last year and pitched 107.2 innings before he had TJ. In 09 he made 4 starts, came out of the bullpen 34 times and threw 67.2 innings. So thats 3x the number of starts you gave him. Also I haven’t heard or read anywhere that anyone is calling him an ace hes a solid middle of the rotation(3-4) pitcher.

        I never saw one quote or interview where Minor said on thing about being tired. He was shut down because he had a dead arm thats what the Braves/ Braves medical staff said not Minor.

        Yes you know what your going to get from Lowe a lot of quality starts, a lot of innings and 15 wins. But if he pitches like he did in September he could win 18-20 games.

        The scouts from day one said they don’t see Salcedo staying at SS they see him moving to 3B and he still is atleast 3 years away unless he makes huge improvements. The other 3 are nothing amazing and all are projected to be atleast 2 years away so yes if we could get a very good SS we could make a trade.

        • I was thinking about Medlen’s W-L record (6-2) off the top of my head which is where I got six starts from. Also, he had an average run support of over six. Kenshin Kawakami would have had a winning record with support like that. I’m not taking anything away from Medlen but all I said in the first place was that the dude is not an ace which is what the person who I replied to seemed to say.

          After a two second google search, here’s your minor quote:

          “Minor allowed three runs on seven hits over just 2 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Phillies and acknowledged to manager Bobby Cox this week that he felt “tired.” Brandon Beachy could start in his place this weekend.”

          Yes Salcedo looks to move to 3rd, Simmons may very well become a pitcher with his arm, and there is talk about moving Lipka to centerfield. Pastornicky seems like the only one who will stick and he should be average at best even for shortstop numbers. That being said I dont think any trades will be made for a high profile, prolific shortstop. Maybe a stopgap once Gonzo is done but thats about it.

          • billreef 4 years ago

            Oh, snap. Please ignore What post? The one filled with good ideas or the one filled with erroneous stats and false projections. Most Braves fans know the difference between W/L and starts, and you didn’t even have the number right your way. The Minor quote comes from Bobby. So it was Braves management making the announcement. Yeah, and the amazing Lowe deal made by Q-tip kind of fits with your ridiculous train of thought. Maybe you could Google- “looking clueless”.

      • triguous 4 years ago

        Medlen started 14 games. The Braves were 13-1 in those starts. In my book, those numbers make him an ace.

      • Jeff 4 years ago

        Pastornicky isn’t all that special. Simmons may end up as a reliever- his bat is suspect, real good defensive wizard though. Salcedo and Lipka may outgrow the position. Only Pastornicky may be ready in 2012. There’s at least a short-term need.

        I think you’re underrating Medlen, and potentially overrating Minor (though I think Minor will be a decent at worst MLB starter)

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Well it didn’t help Minor that he was pitching over 150 innings for the first time in his professional career. I don’t know much about the guy but I kinda remember Braves fans suggesting he was a future potential #2 arm.

    • bbxxj 4 years ago

      I know he had a rep as a soft tossing safe pick lefty out the draft so I can see why you would assume he “wasn’t particularly strong” but how many soft tossing lefties with out strong performance do this against an MLB team in their third start of their career:


      He may not be a true number one because he doesn’t have elite speed on his fastball but it is fast enough (low to mid 90s) with movement paired with what could/is becoming an elite level change and above average breaking balls to be a consistant lefty frontline starter to soak up 200 IP behind guys like Teheran and Hanson for a long time. I don’t see very many scenarios in which Wren trades his first round prize from last year two years ago.

    • I want Lowe. Why? Lowe and Hudson are the only vets on the team. Yes, the $15M per contract is crazy, but it’s done. Might as well reap the benefits and Lowe pitched as well at the end of 2010 as he has in an ATL uniform. He was working with McDowell and I’m anxious to see if that could translate to a different 2011, which I’m confident it can. Jurrjens is NOT untouchable. If anything, he’s the most expendable considering 1) his love of the hospital, 2) he’s due for a contract (via Scott Boras) very soon, 3) he’s shown a lot of upside, while not reaching his ceiling just yet.

      Wren would favor our homegrown pitching talent over Jurrjens knowing that he’d fetch more in return than Minor (a first-rd prospect. And concerning Minor “burning out” his arm. That’s not uncommmon for a young player playing his first full season in pro ball. Considering how young he is and that he didn’t do any damage to his arm, his increased velocity and movement on his breaking balls only means he’s getting better, not getting worse. And if you’re striking out 13 batters in an outing – like Minor did vs CHC in ’10 – how much better can you get? It’s exciting to think about. AND HE’S A 5TH STARTER!!!

      • Really excited about Minor. Many are saying that the Phillies have the best #5 starter in baseball, but Minor has the tools to put together a 3.50 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 in around 150-170 innings. He does that and he’s likely the best 5th starter in baseball.

  32. NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

    Easy answer…NO. It’s one of our strengths and shouldn’t be messed with. Yes we have good pitching depth but that doesn’t mean we should deal it all out.

    • Agreed… why pick on the Braves anyway? Why not “Should the Phillies shop their Starters?” I think I could make a better argument for an article with that title, frankly.

  33. Gunner65 4 years ago

    The problem for the Cards when you start considering trades is their farm system doesn’t exactly have much wow factor outside of Miller. The rest of their upper system doesn’t have any players that project as much more then role players. Most of their potential high ceiling talent is at Low A level or below. Makes it tough if they are going to look at acquiring an above average pitcher. They’d be better served just looking for innings eaters at this point.

  34. BIGDADDYBRAVE 4 years ago

    Outside of Kenshin Kawakami the Braves have little or no interest in trading any of their starting pitching depth right now. However, there is this fella named Teheran who could force the issue should the Braves fail to compete before the July trading deadline.

  35. skattrd 4 years ago

    What I would like to see is a bundle with KK + someone else, be it Lowe or Minor/Beachy, for SS/CF depth … That should give the receiving team at least one guaranteed starter plus possibly a second and give the Braves a bit of payroll flexibility.
    I can’t see Wren making any moves for the sake of it, but he’s going to listen to see if any good offers come in. I have faith that FW will make the right move .. if there is one to be made.

  36. daalper 4 years ago

    The Braves dont really have a need to “upgrade elswhere”, unless they are trading for a guy like colby rasmus. i dont think they could upgrade in a way that would make trading one of their better starters make sense.

    now, if someone wants lopez or kawakami, thats fine. we can tradethem for prospects without affecting the big league team.

  37. craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

    we should absolutely not trade away any of our starters. the way i see it, trading one of them isn’t going to make us better than philly on paper. i see jj and hanson becoming ace type pitchers within a year or two. let the other young guys develop. the braves will be a force in a few years.

  38. I don’t know why this has to be stated to even the most casual of fans, but ATLANTA IS NOT TRADING TOMMY HANSON! There’s a better chance of WSH trading Strasburg (pre-injury) than ATL trading a young, inexpensive, proven, top-shelf, class-act pitcher who has ace written all over him. Death, taxes…and Tommy Hanson an Atlanta Brave. There’s few truths in this world.

  39. avpisano 4 years ago


  40. wait_HOWmanyrings 4 years ago

    hey, sorry, this isn’t on topic but i really need to know, should i do this trade in a keeper league:
    I give:mccann and jhoulys chacin
    I get: kershaw and mike minor

    Chacin’s numbers as a rookie were actually really good so i’m not sure if this is a good deal

    • TheFakeSting 4 years ago

      Heck yeah. U can find a catcher to fill ur spot. Getting an ace for a guy who’s offensive stats are mediocre compared to all hitters, not just catchers, is a pretty good deal.

  41. Right now, Braves are very happy with the chemistry of the club and of the pitching rotation. There are signs out of Disney that Jordan is looking very good. I believe the Bravos will stand pat for a while.

  42. tomymogo 4 years ago

    3 pitchers I might consider trading. Derek Lowe, Rodrigo Lopez and Kenshin Kawakami. Kawakami i’d gift wrap him if you want.

    Now trading Lowe…..For what? Colby Rasmus I’m listening. The Cardinals obviously would not do that. Shelby Miller? for a 38 year old pitcher….ehh no!!

    There is no acceptable scenario. If they like Kawakami, or Lopez lets talk.

    And replacing Adam Wainwright with Lopez or Kawakami is not acceptable. If i’m them I’d prefer Kevin Millwood or Joe Blanton.

  43. tomymogo 4 years ago

    Braves need a better SS, and a right handed OF that can play CF.

    Mets trade Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran for Nate Mclouth, Derek Lowe, and Alex Gonzalez???? Is it fair for both sides?

  44. TheFakeSting 4 years ago

    Why would anyone trade for a fifth starter to fill the aces spot? Maybe one will be released but I wouldn’t want to trade for one. If it isn’t Hudson or Hanson, then why bother. Maybe one of the kids will step up.

    On the flip side, braves need depth and quality starters to hang with Phillies.

  45. GreenCustom24 4 years ago

    Sure! The Yankees can have their pick of Hudson or Hanson if they START their offer with “Brackman and Montero”. Otherwise they can piss off.

  46. NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

    I think there is a rule in baseball, that if a team has two players fighting for the 5th spot in the rotation, that team isn’t allowed to trade it’s pitching. No one big will be traded this year, but next Winter… Wren will be busy.

  47. I know the front office is saying it’s wide open, but it’ll probably be Minor unless he comes to ST topping out at 88mph or something like that.

  48. JJ will not be a FA until after2013

  49. T Morgan 4 years ago

    Pretty sure JJ still has 2 arbitration years left.. Not a FA in 2011.

  50. xNobleEaglex 4 years ago

    If he can produce, I hope Minor wins the job. It would be nice to have a quality lefty in the rotation with all the big LH bats in the division.

  51. NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

    Pastornickky or a stop-gag at SS. Prado at LF & Chipper at 3B. If Chipper does retire, then you have a lot of money to spend on a LF and Prado at 3B. There ya go.

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