Gonzalez Doesn’t Expect Braves To Trade A Starter

It was just a few years ago that the Braves seemed desperate for starting pitching help, but now they boast enough that new manager Fredi Gonzalez is being asked about potential trades. Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution picked up this quote from skipper, who was asked about moving one of his arms…

"[Are we] looking at trading somebody? Oh, no, no, no," said Gonzalez. "No. No. I think this is where you build your team from. Your strength is your starting pitching. No, I don’t anticipate us moving any of those guys."

The Braves currently have Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, and Jair Jurrjens penciled into the rotation, with Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, and Rodrigo Lopez around to serve as the fifth starter and depth. Kenshin Kawakami has been on the trade block all winter, but so far no one has bit because of his $6.667MM salary. 

Earlier today we heard that the Twins weren't necessarily eager to deal one of their excess starting pitchers either, but if they or the Braves decided to act, they'll surely find a robust market. The Yankees are known to be seeking rotation help, as are the Indians and Nationals. The Cardinals are also facing the possibility of losing Adam Wainwright for the season.


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48 Comments on "Gonzalez Doesn’t Expect Braves To Trade A Starter"


dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Good idea. I like the upside Minor has.

James DeMott
4 years 6 months ago

I think they’d probably give up Lowe (or at least try), but I think he’s going to pitch much better this season for some reason. I like the idea of Mike Minor, Beachy, and Lopez splitting the 5th spot and kind of leads to them maybe fighting for the spot. I figure IF we give up Lowe to the Cards we’d need at least some pitcher with MLB exp, and some prospects.

4 years 6 months ago

I don’t see them trading Lowe this year. They have a playoff caliber team right now and trading Lowe would almost definitely force two rookies into the rotation, and I doubt they want to do that unless they fall out of it before the deadline. However, if Teheran is ready at the break and comes up strong, they may try and move him. But I say they’ll wait until the offseason.

Lowe looked tremendous in the last month and a half of the 2010 season. The Braves will stick with him and he’ll probably be pitching on opening day again. If the Yankees offer Gardner, Swisher, or Granderson though……yeah, Lowe will be moved. But that’s not happening.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 6 months ago

I agree. Lowe is going nowhere this season, but a lights-out year by Teheran, along with a nice recovery from Medlen, could make Lowe a trade candidate over the winter.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

That would make everyone but Minor, Hudson and Hanson trade candidates. Next year Braves will have: Beachy, Delgado, Minor, Teheran, Lowe, Medlen, Hanson, Jair, & Hudson all as Major League pitchers. Delgado will most likely start at AAA, but he should be almost ready by the time the arby clock period comes. Medlen may go back to the LR or RHR station.

Jeff
4 years 6 months ago

You could always trade Lowe and then sign Millwood for 1 yr.

4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, because a broken down Millwood is a better option than whoever loses out in the 5th starter spot (Minor/Beachy)? Remember, Kris Medlen should return around September 2011, without any complications. Note: September is before October, and thus, just in time.

4 years 6 months ago

Lowe has almost $30M remaining on his deal and has underperformed almost the entire contract. If Lowe puts up nice numbers, Minor/Beachy progresses, the bullpen looks strong, and a contending team looks to take on almost all of Lowe’s salary, you think ATL won’t deal him? Remember Wren has tried to trade his largest free agent signing 2 different times (including subsequent damage control efforts (read: taking Lowe out for a steak dinner and a Farrelly bros.-movie)).

As a Braves fan, Gonzalez is doing his job: making the shallow pitching field look shallower, thus raising the prices. He knows Wainwright’s injury. He knows the spot STL is in and he knows WSH is lining their bird cages with money that could pay Lowe’s massive contract (by ATL’s standards). If Lowe starts 2011 like he ended 2010, the trade deadline should look very interesting.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

no reason to trade Lowe to shave 15 mil you can’t spend this year, especially when Lowe gives us a better chance to win than the loser of Minor/Beachy + whatever we could sign. If Braves wish to compete this year, they wont trade Lowe until they fault out of contention.

chaifetz10
4 years 6 months ago

Just getting this out of the way before someone tries to suggest it…..No, Colby Rasmus is not available to trade for a starter.

4 years 6 months ago

I dunno…..

It’s still unlikely, but with Pujols likely departing via FA after the 2010 season……..the Cardinals could try and go all out to win this year and get desperate enough to move him. Still unlikely, as only Hanson could land a guy like Rasmus. Or a package including Teheran, but that doesn’t do the Cardinals much good for 2011.

Yeah, it’s not happening.

4 years 6 months ago

Ken Rosenthal has an interesting thing to say about how Wainwright’s injury (missing 2011, if he does) could make Pujols rethink his decision to not waive his no-trade clause – which he has previously stated he would not do. However, things have changed, he was probably assuming that STL had a shot in 2011, which they did before Wainwright’s arm injury. If they’re out of contention by July, it’ll be interesting to see if he wants to do the best thing for STL and be traded to a contender (who also agrees to an extension), thus giving STL the best package for him, or letting him finish out the year and if he signs with anyone but STL, STL will get 2 first-rd draft picks. Of course, the other scenario is him re-signing with them, but with Carpenter possibly leaving via free agency and the idea that they might not be able to compete in 2012 without Carpenter or Wainwright (some of the year), Pujols could decide on some other team. It will be interesting.

garlick
4 years 6 months ago

There’s no point for any team to trade a player without having played a game in Spring Training yet.

The Braves especially have no idea if they have holes to fill. CF & 3B are the only places that are questionable, and even then, you have CF options that you need to check out, and your 3B looks like he’s on track to be healthy.

So what would they be asking for in return??

Yankee’s farm system isn’t great, and generally overrated anyway. Every other position is filled with either a young player, or a solid veteran. The pitching staff is loaded in the majors and the minors.

Unless the Yankees are going to just give them $85 Million to cover the entire salary of the team, I just don’t see what they could offer in return.

Now, as opening day gets closer, and someone gets desperate enough to take Lowe’s salary, Beachy or Minor are pitching like true Major League starters & someone wants to take KK’s salary on top of that. Then maybe there’s a discussion point. But that’s asking a lot.

4 years 6 months ago

The Braves really do need a CF. McLouth and Mather isn’t going to cut it, and they don’t seem confident at all in Matt Young. So…….Curtis Granderson? Brett Gardner? Those are the only two the Braves could realistically use. But Lowe isn’t enough for either….

scottandwtb
4 years 6 months ago

Jordan Schafer’s still around…

4 years 6 months ago

From what I’ve been reading, Schafer is the odds on favorite in terms of performance. But, McLouth has the advantage because of his contract. He performed admirably after his injury in 2010, but from all accounts, Schafer could take the CF position from McLouth sometime in 2011 if underperforming.

Matt Young is a long-shot at best and Joe Mather has been considered the odds-on favorite as the 4th OF. He’d have to play outside of his abilities thus far to even be in the talk of being a starting CF – which this is the first I’m hearing of it.

generalbocephus
4 years 6 months ago

FW and Gonzo have both been quoted as saying that McLouth will be given every opportunity to be the opening day CF in 2011. So, unless he gets injured or has another Spring as bad as last year ink him as the opening day CF.

RiverKKiller999
4 years 6 months ago

If he knew how to make contact more often and tell some one when he’s injured and not play balls hit off the wall so horribly then he could be a possibility. Stop worrying right now and give McLouth a chance.

His defense isn’t that good and his arm isn’t gonna get any stronger either, but I could see his bat bouncing back. If he stinks it up in spring training just like he did last year, then we are gonna have a problem regarding CF.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

It’s been reported that McLouth has a good head on his shoulders this year and looks better so far.

4 years 6 months ago

At $7M+, let’s hope so…he’ll have to have a “great head” for ATL to pick up his $10.5M option for 2012. There’s about as much of a chance of that happening as Kawakami breaking spring training in the rotation.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

We’ll see. He’s a talented player just struggling to make the right adjustments.

4 years 6 months ago

Agreed. Considering he could have had post-concussion symptoms from running into “The Human Wall”, Jason Heyward. I’m looking at a rebound season for McLouth. We’re definitely deeper at the position than most are giving us credit for – knowing how good Schafer is looking.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I like that, “the human wall”

garlick
4 years 6 months ago

Look at the previous posts by Scottandwtb & Derek C, they prove my point. The braves really don’t know what they have in CF, because McLouth could fix his issues, and Schafer could be a cheaper, more controllable option than Gardner or Granderson.

Even so, why trade for them now, if McLouth is still on the roster?? What do you do with him??

4 years 6 months ago

You asked what the Braves could use from the Yankees. I’m sure they can use one of their 3 starting outfielders, never said it was likely to happen. Honestly, if the Yankees say ‘We’ll take Lowe and McLouth and send Granderson your way’, you think Wren’s not gonna make the deal? That’s all I was getting at.

garlick
4 years 6 months ago

And that’s my point, I would say at this particular moment, he would say no.

I would. Beachy and Minor might get injured before opening day, McLouth or Schafer could end up being better options than Granderson because they’re already on the roster, and there’s no way to know if you even have needs there, enough to give up a position of power, before any ST pitch has been made.

If you do that trade, and 3 of your starters end up on the DL to begin the season you’re screwed.

You don’t trade at this point. You wait till the season gets closer. Doesn’t matter the deal, unless it’s flat out something you can’t turn down, and Granderson for anyone on the Braves is not one of those deals.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

I think the Braves are the only ones who could have 3 starters go on the DL and not be screwed currently. Kinda funny, noticed that in your post. They’d have an up-hill battle, but St. Louis loses one and look how everyone acts.

4 years 6 months ago

Interesting: Granderson for Lowe and McLouth. We’re not going to pick up McLouth’s option anyway, so more than likely we’re going to be on the market for another CF in 2012, unless Schafer comes up big. Considering Lowe’s big contract is up after 2012, it’d be interesting if the young arms come up big. And for the naysayers, remember 2010’s best rotation (ERA) was one of the youngest in OAK. Young doesn’t always equal bad. Although I might balk at that proposed deal, we wouldn’t be getting rid of any of our young starters, we’d be unloading some aging talent, and getting some money off the books; so if our arms were ready, that might be a very interesting deal. However, it most likely won’t happen unless Burnett still stinks and Ivan Nova doesn’t build on the promise that he has. Sabathia pitching lights-out would always help a case for the trade considering he’s almost a lock for opting out of his contract in 2012.

4 years 6 months ago

Aaron Rowand.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

haha, i wish.

generalbocephus
4 years 6 months ago

FW and Gonzo have both been quoted as saying that McLouth will be given every opportunity to be the opening day CF in 2011. So, unless he gets injured or has another Spring as bad as last year ink him as the opening day CF.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 6 months ago

By golly, the Braves are going to find a suitor of Kawakami after all. (I’m pretty sure he’s not really considered a “starter” by the ATL brass.)

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

He is considered a starter by them, just not for them. Whole situation has been odd, but they just wont let him play for them anymore.

BravesRed
4 years 6 months ago

One thing everyone will agree on, every starter (Lowe, Hudson, Hanson, and Jurrjens) will cost teams in players or money. By teams, I mean all 30 teams.

Guest
4 years 6 months ago

If the Braves want to go anywhere in the playoffs, they need Lowe, I think he proved that this fall…

4 years 6 months ago

I’ve been king of Lowe’s naysayers, but he proved me wrong at the end of 2010. Considering how much we’ve put into him already, we owe it to ourselves, even if not to him, to allow him to pitch one season without fear of being traded and allow him to continue to continue the “tweaks” that he and McDowell were working on that proved so effective last year. What would be the worst that could happen? He pitches above-average this season and with one year remaining on his deal (2012), ATL dangles him to the wolves (NYY). ATL wouldn’t do that, but the market could allow for that to happen considering CC and Yu Darvish are looking like the only great arms to be free agents at the end of the season.

RiverKKiller999
4 years 6 months ago

Agreed. I don’t think people realized how Lowe was getting people out at the plate. It wasn’t his sinker that he was using ALL the time for getting guys out. It was his curveball that he used to strike out a nice amount of guys. If he can use that pitch during the season, he could put up some numbers in the mid 3’s and I’d be fine with that out of him.

lug
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t think it is the 6.7 million clubs worry about taking on as much as it is that Kawakami stinks!

4 years 6 months ago

Agreed, but he actually looked good at times, but that’s a lot of money to pick up for someone with limited MLB experience and past his prime in years. I feel for Kawakami, but you know he’d rather make $21M pitching minor league ball in America than go back and play at the highest level in Japan for a few millions less. It’d be a nice life with those options, but pride doesn’t seem to be pushing Kawakami back to the Land of the Rising Sun.

4 years 6 months ago

He’s a serviceable 5th starter, no doubt. Nobody is going to take on all of his salary, but I think he’d definitely be worth taking for around $3 million. The Braves are just waiting for a team to get desperate enough to take on more….

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

I think it’s that Braves want depth more than money. They want a team to pay 2 mil and trade a prospect as well. If they wanted money, they’d send him to Japan.

4 years 6 months ago

No, they want the money.

They can’t trade him (or any player) to Japan without their permission, and he refuses to be traded back to Japan. Them’s the rules…

-C

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 6 months ago

I know the rules, but I’ve also read the stories. Both Pirates and O’s were willing to pay all but 2 mil, but Braves didn’t make the trade because they asked for prospects in return. There are articles, go look it up.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 6 months ago

Just stick Tallet in the rotation. I mean, he was a beast for the Jays..

EDIT: I’m thinking Cards. *smacks head on desk*

4 years 6 months ago

D Lowe for C Rasmus. Get it done already.

James DeMott
4 years 6 months ago

@Bravester I’d take that trade in a heartbeat. Knowing that Rasmus wants/wanted out, the trade could work and I think Minor has what it takes to be a Major League starter.

4 years 6 months ago

If the Braves had a chance to trade a starter say if someone wanted to pay for JJ of 2 years ago or slightly overpay for Beachy I would certainly be looking to improve at shortstop instead of CF myself. McLouth, Schafer, and Young-I sincerely doubt none of them will play out well. Gonzalez is not going to produce how he did last year but if by some miracle he puts up 20 hr and a sub-.300 obp I would like to have an insurance plan aside from Diory Hernandez.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Slowly breaking Cards fans hearts with that post. Luckily I’m not one of them :P.