The Braves are looking to trade two veteran starters: Rodrigo Lopez and Kenshin Kawakami. Lopez logged 200 innings in the majors last year and teams will find his minor league contract considerably more appealing than Kawakami's $6.67MM salary.
Lopez led the National League in losses, earned runs and homers allowed last year and FIP and xFIP suggest his 2010 ERA of 5.00 was appropriate. But he logged 200 innings and struck out twice as many hitters as he walked.
The available alternatives are not inspiring, so teams looking for rotation depth could check in on the 35-year-old right-hander this month. Here are some of the clubs that could be calling the Braves:
- Brewers - GM Doug Melvin says he's making calls to determine who's available. Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada, Eulogio de la Cruz and Tim Dillard are internal candidates to start for Milwaukee.
- Rockies - The Rockies inquired on Lopez late this offseason and Troy Renck of the Denver Post wouldn't be surprised to see them check in on him again (Twitter links). Lopez appeared in 14 games for the Rockies in 2007. Esmil Rogers and John Maine are among the candidates for the Rockies' final rotation spot, which opened up when Aaron Cook broke a finger.
- Orioles - Another one of Lopez's former teams, the Orioles, could monitor Lopez's availability, though they have reason to like their own rotation candidates.
- White Sox - Phil Humber, who has started two MLB games in his career, appears to be the leading candidate to start until Jake Peavy is healthy. Lopez wouldn't be a sexy choice, but he's far more experienced than Humber.
- Indians - The Indians expressed interest in some experienced starters this winter, possibly because Fausto Carmona is the only pitcher in the Indians' projected rotation who has a 200-inning season to his name. Lopez could have appeal to the Tribe.
- Athletics - Though the A's appear set for now, they could inquire in case the combination of Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer falters.