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?



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