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?


Leave a Reply

163 Comments on "Discussion: Should The Braves Shop Their Starters?"


FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

depends. am i getting colby rasmus?

4 years 6 months ago

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

Goldberg365
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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.

4 years 6 months ago

HA, ya if Teharen and Hanson are coming back

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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?

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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

chaifetz10
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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.

4 years 6 months ago

lol alright, you even seen the dude pitch yet?

notsureifsrs
4 years 6 months ago

dan teharen is nasty did he get traded again already

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
4 years 6 months 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 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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)

TDKnies
4 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

Forget about Andrew McCutchen!!!

Go bribe some other team with your Kenshin Kawikami junk

TDKnies
4 years 6 months 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?

setser23
4 years 6 months ago

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

chaifetz10
4 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

chaifetz10
4 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months ago

Holliday is signed long term already.

setser23
4 years 6 months 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.

superLoser
4 years 6 months ago

(12-18 months) >> “for a bit”

Rothben
4 years 6 months ago

Only if the tigers get jurrjens back

Rothben
4 years 6 months ago

Only if the tigers get jurrjens back

Rothben
4 years 6 months ago

Only if the tigers get jurrjens back

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 6 months ago

you can say that again

notsureifsrs
4 years 6 months ago

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

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

peer pressure

4 years 6 months ago

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

VivaLosBravos
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.

i.e.

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

4 years 6 months ago

… sensing a grudge of some sort

VivaLosBravos
4 years 6 months 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 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

OPS is not a made up stat.

chaifetz10
4 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

those trades were hypothetical, lol, jeez louise.

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

chaifetz10
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

4 years 6 months ago

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.

Bo
4 years 6 months 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 6 months ago

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

skidlee23
4 years 6 months 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.

Hanson
Hudson
JJ
Jaba
Minor/Beachy/Teheran

setser23
4 years 6 months ago

What are you smoking jaba.

4 years 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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

Green_Monster
4 years 6 months ago

Almost every word in that post is wrong.

skidlee23
4 years 6 months 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.

4 years 6 months ago

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.

4 years 6 months ago

Just Kamikazi!

bosoque
4 years 6 months 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.

Green_Monster
4 years 6 months ago

Easily have on of the top 5 rotations in baseball? The Yankees, Reds, Expos, Orioles, and Nationals disagree.

4 years 6 months ago

What are you smoking?? I want some of it to be thinking that like.

4 years 6 months ago

um

4 years 6 months ago

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

notsureifsrs
4 years 6 months 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

DJGreen47
4 years 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.

MLB_in_the_Know
4 years 6 months 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.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 6 months 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.

cpr1981
4 years 6 months ago

1

Green_Monster
4 years 6 months ago

2

MLB_in_the_Know
4 years 6 months ago

3 4 5
everybody in the car, so come on let’s ride

4 years 6 months ago

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..