Braves Seeking Top Of Rotation Arms

The Braves have been connected to several pitchers this summer, but ESPN's Jayson Stark hears from other teams that Atlanta is only interested in acquiring top-of-the-rotation pitchers at the deadline (Twitter link).

As Stark notes, that contradicts reports that link the Braves to names like Francisco Liriano and Jason Vargas. Atlanta has been linked to Zack Greinke, but GM Frank Wren will reportedly only part with his prized young pitching prospects if he's able to extend Greinke. Wren is unlikely to exceed $20MM annually in an offer for Greinke. The Brewers themselves are said to be gearing up for an offer in th five-year, $100MM range to retain their ace.

The Braves have seen young arms like Mike Minor and Randall Delgado struggle this season and turned to Ben Sheets in the short-term. Sheets had a brilliant Atlanta debut, but it's unlikely that he'd be counted on for significant contributions. After losing Brandon Beachy to Tommy John surgery earlier this summer, it stands to reason that they'd seek a front-line arm to replace his fantastic 2012 numbers.

Full Story | 129 Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves

129 Responses to Braves Seeking Top Of Rotation Arms Leave a Reply

  1. tomymogo 3 years ago

    Garza, Gallardo, James Shields?

    • Mike Query 3 years ago

       Gallardo? Why the hell would the Brewers trade him? Hes signed through 2015 at a great price.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        A guy I would actually give out top prospects. Anybody except Simmons.

        • Mike Query 3 years ago

           Thats nice, but again I ask, why would the Brewers trade him? I would give up prospects for Robinson Cano, King Felix, Clayton Kershaw and lots of other players, doesnt mean a damn thing.

          • tomymogo 3 years ago

            If they trade Yovani, they could get two top pitching prospects from the Braves system(mlb ready), their top 11 prospect Nick Amhed(SS), + a 1B, or catcher (Ernesto Mejia a 1B from AAA could solve their mlb problem).

            He has an affordable deal, making 5.5 million this year, 7.75 in 2013, 11.25 in 2014, and 13 million club option for 2015 that’s club friendly for a top of the rotation starter.

            If I’m the Brewers, I’d do a fire sale. Trade Greinke, Marcum, Wolf, and Corey Hart. All of the sudden Brewers will have a ton of prospects, and have a very affordable mlb team until the end of the season. And in the offseason they have the resources to sign someone like Cole Hamels, and Carlos Quentin or Nick Swisher. Maybe I’m just speaking non-sense, but there are holes at SS, 1B, CF, RF, and the bullpen.

            Greinke, Marcum, and Wolf are no brainers, Corey Hart and Yovani Gallardo are tougher to trade because they are under contract, but that’s the reason teams will give out top prospects.

            Trade Greinke to the Angels for Peter Bourjous and Jean Segura(their top SS prospect), trade Corey Hart along with Gallardo to the Braves and get back the package I said earlier + another top prospect. Sign Nick Swisher, Jonathan Broxton, Brandon League, and Cole Hamels in the offseason.

            C Lucray/Kottaras
            1B Gamel/Mejia
            2B Rickie Weeks
            3B Aramis Ramirez
            SS Jean Segura
            LF Ryan Braun
            CF Peter Bourjous
            RF Nick Swisher

            SP Cole Hamels
            SP Mike Fiers
            SP Julio Teheran
            SP Randall Delgado
            SP Marco Estrada

      • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

        how the heck did you get away with using “H-E double hockey sticks” when I get reprimanded for saying diputs (spell it backwards)

        • tapehead4 3 years ago

          My “flesh-eating bacteria” reference was removed, yet we can continue to utter the name of Scott Boras…

        • The_Unnatural 3 years ago

           That’s why I rarely visit this site. The mods are ridiculous.

        • CowboyJames 3 years ago

          Yeah, I too have been “moderated” for saying the word diputs

    • Shields has been too hittable this year. 

      • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

        maybe leaving the AL East as well as that atrocious mess the Rays call a ballpark will do him some good?

        • MB923 3 years ago

          The Trop is a pitchers park.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            But it’s still an atrocious mess…

          • MB923 3 years ago

            Haha, that it is. One of the worst in baseball history.

    • Jeff 3 years ago

       Shields would be my first pick.  Innings eater, and 2013 option means you can get draft picks for him. 

      I’d offer Teheran, either Hinske or Fransisco, and maybe Gattis for Shields.

      • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

        No one wants Eric Hinske.  The Braves should just release him and call up Mejia to replace him.  Gattis is on the DL.

        •  That is actually an awesome idea.  I think we’d benefit from Mejia’s bat. 

          • tomymogo 3 years ago

            The thing I don’t get about resigning Hinske is he is left handed hired to occasionally sub Freeman at 1B who struggles against lefties. He doesn’t need a platoon but a right handed backup 1B made more sense.

            Mejia is really crushing the ball in AAA.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      Garza’s not a top of the rotation arm.

      • tomymogo 3 years ago

        I’d say he is a legit #2 starter, I’d say an ace in Braves rotation.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          He’s only had one season in his entire career where he was anything more than a #3, so I have a hard time believing he is anything more than that.  And that’s not really how #1-#2 starter works, just because he’s the best pitcher on his staff doesn’t really make him a #1 pitcher.

          • tomymogo 3 years ago

            Career ERA of 3.85 and played in the AL East for 3 seasons. James Shields has a career ERA of 4, with only one good season under those standards. He had a good post season, a no hitter, a good mid 90’s fastball, with a slider and a curveball, good control and endurance.

            In a pitchers park like Turner field he could have a 3.20 ERA

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            ERA and no hitters are not how you judge whether a guy is a #1 or #2 or whatever (Phil Humber threw a perfect game, is he better than Garza?) outside of his breakout year last year he had never had a FIP below 4.14, and has a career K/9 of 7.5 and a career BB/9 over 3.0; he’s a good #3.

  2. Dylan 3 years ago

    I think Liriano will be the steal of the deadline to the team that acquires him.

    • The way he has been throwing… plus a fresh start, change of scenary… could be a major impact player for someone.

    • BrandonP 3 years ago

      I have been saying that all along. Liriano will be a heck of a steal

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      A steal for MIN getting someone to bite on him. The guy is a more expensive version of Mike Minor. He walks about as many as he striks out out and is incredibly inconsistent. That being said, he’s not a winner. And he’s definitely not worth the prospects he’ll take to get him here. 

  3. Christian Hamby 3 years ago

    The Rays don’t want arms for Shields, they want bats. I don’t think the Braves are a match for him unless another team wants to jump in and formulate a deal.

    Somebody who has extra batting prospects but needs pitchers, then the Braves could send the arms to whoever, get Shields, and the Rays get the bats.

    • Christian Hamby 3 years ago

      Possibly a scenario like thiis:

      Rays get: Oscar Taveras and Kolton Wong (AA)
      Braves get: James Shields
      Cardinals get: Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado

      • Mike Query 3 years ago

         Someone is overvaluing James Shields quite a bit haha

        • Christian Hamby 3 years ago

          We saw what he can do last year, right now his mechanics are in a mess and guys are figuring him out. His numbers will improve is a different and weaker division.

          • Mike Query 3 years ago

            Its cute when fans remember the one good year and forget the 4-5 average ones. What makes the one good year the real James Shields and the other 5 just a coincidence?

          • petrie000 3 years ago

            i’d call Shields a solid no. 3, honestly. He’s not spectacular, but he’s reliable… in short, the kind of pitcher who wins games in the regular season, but won’t shut people down in the playoffs

          • Mike Query 3 years ago

             I actually like Shields, but Teheran and Delgado is a ridiculous overpay. Never happen.

          • petrie000 3 years ago

            i agree. the Braves need an ace if they wanna make a real run at the WS. Shields doesn’t fit and would cost them a fortune in terms of talent.

            they can probably get Dempster, but even as a Cubs fan i’d have to admit he’s not what they really need either.

          • Shields is an excellent pitcher.  He’s not “average”.

          • Mike Query 3 years ago

             His career ERA is barely above league average. That is a fact, not an opinion. He has the potential to be excellent, but also to be terrible. Hes extremely inconsistent and over his career has been pretty average overall.

          • 215 innings per year, 7-8 k’s per 9 innings career, and I count 4 season with an ERA of 4.14 (not great) or lower (3 below 4.00).  If you can get under 4.00, throw 200+ innings in the AL East and strikeout 8 guys per 9 – that’s not average at all.

          • The_Unnatural 3 years ago

             He also gives up a lot of homers, which is bad.

          • Point is – that’s excellent return this day and age.  He is durable and has swing and miss stuff.  If he pitched in the NL, at Atlanta, his ERA would easily be half a run lower, on average.

          • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

            he’s a solid pitcher but one that isn’t worth elite prospects

          • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

            I’m over hoarding pitching prospects.  It’s time to cash in.  Shields has a nice, team friendly contract in comparison to what he provides.  That’s 200+ innings, good K rate, fairly low BB rate, and the rest of his numbers will absolutely go down in the NL.  I say deal for him.  Greinke’s too expensive, Garza’s inconsistent, Dempster’s old. 

      • Tomahawkin11 3 years ago

        Teheran and Delgado is a massive over pay for James Shields.

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          Only other rotation in MLB both would have a hard time cracking. They have too many arms already.

      • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

        yeah bro we’re trying to better ourselves not destroy our future lol

        • Again, that would be worse for the Cards then the Bravos.

          • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

            how so? Teheran and Delgado are going to be beasts someday and trading both for an above average at best pitcher just doesn’t make any sense.

          • Dylan 3 years ago

            Wong and Tavaras are going to be beasts as well.

          • Forget about Shields… I’m talking about the Cardinals prospects… Cards trading them away would be a bad move for them, even with getting those two arms.  I guarantee you that Teheran AND Delgado will not BOTH pan out into Beast Aces.I wouldn’t trade Taveras for Delgado or Teheran, let alone both of them together.  Taveras is the real deal.

          • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

            I think you need to understand that the Cardinals aren’t the only team with star prospects. Also, remember the last time the Braves gave the Cardinals a top pitching prospect?

          • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

            Do you understand how good those two Cardinal prospects are?  That trade scenario would be bad for the Braves but worse for the Cardinals.

          • CowboyJames 3 years ago

            The Beast of Brunswick

      • and your insane my friend, the cards really gonna get those 2 lovely arms that will be 15- 20 game winners one day, dont think so!!!!

      • Never happen.  No way Cards trade Taveras, let alone Taveras AND Wong.  Taveras and Wil Myers are the top two offensive prospects in baseball not yet in the majors. If the Cards got in on that and retained those two arms in exchange for those two bats – then the whole front office should be fired, hanged, tar’d and feathered in public.

      • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

        That trade really would only work for the Rays.  The Braves aren’t giving up those two young starters for James Shields alone.  And the Cardinals certainly wouldn’t give up Wong and Taveras.

  4. mad_dog31 3 years ago

    Shields isn’t top of the rotation, The Braves need someone who is going to get the job done. Someone along the lines of Dempster or someone of that level of competition.

    • cubs223425 3 years ago

      Dempster would be smart beacuse they won’t have him for a long time (meaning room for the young guys going forward), and the lack of FA compensation means a likely lower trade cost.

      • mad_dog31 3 years ago

        well depending on how well he does, i wouldn’t be opposed  to giving him maybe a 2 year deal to give us some experience in our rotation.

      • yea I like dempster too, he hasn’t given up a run in his last 5 start since he returned from the DL, and it wouldn’t take but like 2-3 AA players to get him either!!

        • Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

           Depends on who those AA players are.  Based on the demand and availability, Dempster is going to require at least one, maybe two, high-upside prospects.  Probably one projectible from 8-12 prospect range and then another raw prospect with upside in the 15-20 prospect range.  You are not going to get him by trading two surplus players.

        • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

           He’s also 35 years old and not signed beyond 2012…not too mention earns 14MM this year. 

    • Mike Query 3 years ago

      Thats funny seeing that James Shields actually has a winning record in his career, a lower ERA, more complete games, a better whip, and a better k/BB ratio. So these lucky as hell 30+innings for Dempster all of a sudden make up for a lackluster career and make him an ace? Youre paying for what someone is gonna do for you, not what they already did.

      • mad_dog31 3 years ago

        Dempster has not really been lackluster..he is pretty solid year in year out. is he maddux, smoltz level? no but we’ve  been spoiled. I feel like this would be a good solid pickup to make us even more of a post season team than we already are.

      • Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

         “Lucky as hell 30+ innings for Dempster”?  What are you talking about?  Oh, you mean the one where has pitched to a .8 WHIP with a decent 6k/9 rate.  And before this streak, he still had an ERA under 3, and the only reason it was that high was due to one start in an incredibly windy day at Wrigley where you and I could have gone deep.  You say he is lucky…I say he is just flat out dominant this year. 
        Nobody is hitting him even if he isn’t striking out everybody.  And that is what he is going to do for whatever team acquires him.  The guy has the best ERA in all of baseball, including a 0.00 ERA in 15 innings against AL competition (Red Sox and Twins), just in case you wanted to use the AL Beast argument.

        And as far as comparing him to Shields, it’s not really apt.  In order to compare Dempster and Shields, you have to look at Dempster’s stats from when he became a starter with the Cubs in 2008.  Prior to that, he struggled through injuries, TJ surgery and spent time as a reliever.  But, in 2008, he basically reinvented himself and learned how to pitch and became a very good starter.  Some guys just take longer for various reasons.  And during that stretch, his WHIP is nearly identical to Shields, but his ERA is much lower and his winning pct. is higher, which doesn’t really matter but you brought it up.  So aside from last year, Dempster has arguably been the better pitcher.  Saying he has had a lackluster career is a very lazy statement, but it seems that underrating the incredible season that Dempster is having is modus operandi around these parts.

        • Kev 3 years ago

          Everything about his advanced stats say that not only will he not keep up this level of production, he’s probably going to get shellacked hard a couple times before the season’s out. He’s been so lucky this year, I’m beginning to wonder if he’s a wizard.

          • Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

             I am all for advanced stats, but there is no way you can assume that Dempster is going to suddenly regress, let alone get “shellacked hard” in the future.  If he is so lucky, then by that same token, both C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver, who have even lower BABIP and K/9 rates, are due for some serious regression.  But those pitchers are not lucky, they are ace-level pitchers, while Dempster is waiting to turn into a pumpkin.  I am not saying that Dempster is on their level career-wise, but for this season he is, and that is what matters.

            Besides, the same call for regression could have been said a month ago when Dempster had an ERA in the 2’s and similar advanced stats.  But not only did he keep up his level of production, he took it to another level and went on a 33-inning scoreless streak. 

        • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

          Dempster’s BABIP is .242 so far this season so he has been incredibly lucky.  His career FIP is only 4.22 so that is pretty lackluster.  All that being said, I would prefer that the Braves trade for him in hopes that he continues this miracle season rather than giving up the farm for Greinke.

          • Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

            Like I said, can’t look at his career stats.  You need to look at this stats from 2008 to now, when he basically reinvented himself and became a full-time starter with the Cubs.  That 5 year stretch is definitely a large enough sample to give you an indicator of what type of pitcher he has been and has become.  And during that time, his FIP has been around 3.6.  Yes that number is higher than this season, but Dempster has been a very solid pitcher for half of a decade who just happens to be on top of his game this season, so why is that suddenly going to change?

            And I agree that he will not cost as much as Greinke/Hamels and could give any team the same production as those two.  Also, he won’t require a $120+ million contract to get any value past this year, but could instead be extended for 2 years at a similar price for ONE season of Greinke/Hamels.

        • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

           But he’s 35 and is owed 14MM, and not signed beyond 2012.  If you want to take one season of achievement, Shields’ 2011 was just as impressive.  He’s 30, has years remaining on his contract and is a reliable arm. 

          • Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

            I said that Shields had a better year last year than Dempster, though I would hardly say it was better than the year Dempster is having this year.  Yes, Shields pitched in the AL East, but Dempster’s ERA is a full run lower than Shields was last year, including 15 scoreless innings against AL competition.  But every other year since 2008, Dempster has been better than Shields. 

            Yes, Dempster is 35, but he is not owed $14 million, it’s more like $7 million for the rest of the year and the Cubs have already said they would pay most of that.  Then, he could extended for like 2 years $20 million, which is very similar to what Shields is owed.

            Shields is younger and might include draft pick compensation at some point, so he does have more value.  But Shields will cost much more than Dempster, trading with the Rays is not an easy task.  And he has been inconsistent, while Dempster has been a much better pitcher this year and, despite his age, could be a better pitcher for the next 2-3 years, the length of time that Shields is controlled, for a contending team if he is extended. 

    • LayerCake 3 years ago

      And who are you proposing we give up? Cause I seem to be one of the few who doesn’t want Dempster.

    • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

      Ummm…I think you should have a lot some numbers.  I don’t see, in any factor, how Dempster is a better pick-up than Shields.  That’s including peripherals, contract status, age and overall tangible statistics.  Shields averages well over 200IP, with a K/9 rate near 8, while his BB/9 is over 3.  Dempster doesn’t touch Shields in any area…except for 2012 numbers.  I don’t understand your perspective on this…

  5. Tomahawkin11 3 years ago

    So the Braves are basically going to try for Greinke, because I don’t see the Phillies sending Hamels to them and vice versa.

  6. Ryan Cothran 3 years ago

    Signing Greinke, if Wren can extend him, is the obvious “win now” choice for 2012, but it’s going to come at a serious price, and that price is saying goodbye to Michael Bourn.  While it’s financially possible to sign Bourn for 5/75 million and Greinke for 5/100 for 2013’s budget, the problem lies with the budget in the years following. In 2014, the following players will be eligible for arbitration:
    1. Jason Heyward- 2nd time
    2. Craig Kimbrel-1st time
    3. Freddie Freeman-1st time
    4. Tommy Hanson-2nd time
    5. Jonny Venters-2nd time
    6. Brandon Beachy-1st time
    7. Kris Medlen- 2nd time
    8. Cristhian Martinez- 2nd time

    The Braves young players are going to get expensive quick.  That arbitration group above could demand 35-40 million.  Adding the 35 million that it would cost to sign both Greinke and Bourn, and that’s 75-80 million dollars for 10 players. Add Uggla’s salary and there’s no money left.  With the Braves’ budget probably staying around the 90 million dollar mark, that leaves nothing to fill the obvious holes that a now weak Minor League system cannot fill.

    With that being said, I’d love for the Braves to go after Dempster and keep our leadoff hitter around for another 5 years. These young pitchers are exactly that, young, and should not be treated like last year’s hype based on one year of poor performance.  In order for Atlanta to continue to be a competitive team, they’re going to have to stay young, because they just cannot afford to go veteran.

    • NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

      A team has much better control and understanding of their finances than the beat writers or analysts try to make us believe. Who is informing us of the Braves financial capabilities? Mark Bowman or the teams accounting office? Try not to read too far into what you see because with all due respect to the guys who let us as fans know what’s going on, they aren’t accountants or financiers, they’re journalists. Now I’m not saying that they (the writers) are completely off the mark, I’m just saying that it’s more complicated and controlled than we’re made to believe.

      • Its not hard to look at players salaries then look at where we have been budgeted the last few years and figure out that it just doesn’t fit into the equation.  Regardless of what DOB or Bowan say our payroll “could” be going into next year Liberty just isn’t going to push us into the 110 million mark.

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

      Very well said.  Signing Greinke means that the Braves will be saying good-bye to McCann and Bourn.  I would prefer those two to a pitcher that may or may not have the mental stability to pitch in a playoff situation.

      I also would prefer they go after Dempster just to solidify the rotation for the rest of this season. Even James Shields has a reasonable salary for the next couple of years so he would make sense.

      • Jay212033 3 years ago

        You can already say goodbye to Bourn and I really don’t want to throw a ton of cash at McCann who’s gonna go south really quickly after he signs a huge contract. If I had to choose i’d take Bourn and hope that Gattis or Bethancourt can step up at catcher.

        • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

          McCann is only 28 years old so there is no indication that he will “go south” any time soon.  There are no catchers in the Braves system that are close to MLB ready.  Gattis has been moved to LF and Bethancourt can’t hit.  It’s foolish to give away McCann with nothing better than Bethancourt in the minor league system.  Mac needs to be given a 4 – 5 year contract extension.  By that time maybe one of the young catchers just drafted or Bethancourt will be MLB ready.

          • rundmc1981 3 years ago

            There is no indication that he will go south anytime soon? Have you not been paying attention? McCann’s health has already become a factor, even at 28. Just imagine how much it’ll be by the time he hits FA at 30. Giving at 30-year-old a 4-5 year contract where we don’t have the DH to fall back on and we have 1B filled is beyond foolish. You’re right about Bethancourt’s offense, it’s not there yet. But we still have a season and a half for him to develop it. Great thing is that his defense has been there. Frankly, I’m more worried about his defense than offense. Most teams have catchers that are more defensive specialists than hitters, and considering Bethancourt’s abilities behind the plate, I think his defensive upgrade could make our team more balanced.

  7. Hoss10 3 years ago

    Out of the names listed most often, I only see the Braves really going after Dempster and Greinke. Maybe Liriano if those two don’t work out…

  8. If the Reds fell out of contention (that’s still a big IF, even with Votto going down for a month), and with Latos pitching well as of late, could he be a possibility for Braves?

    • Mike Query 3 years ago

       They just gave up half their farm system for him, why would they turn around and trade him?

      • They’re middle of the pack offensively.  If someone came through with some offensive pieces, they might.  I would say the Braves probably wouldn’t be the best place to look offensively, though, in a trade partner.   

        • Mike Query 3 years ago

           They just shipped a bunch of bats for Latos cuz they needed pitching. Actual GM’s dont overreact to a down month or two like that.

          • I didn’t think they’d part with him, but I was just pondering a what if scenario if Reds do free-fall. 

          • If the Reds free-fall this year, then they’ll hold onto Latos and use him next season. And the one after that. And the one after that. Until at least 2016.

  9. Ryan Cothran 3 years ago

    reply fail

  10. Ryan Cothran 3 years ago

    double reply fail

  11. Ryan Cothran 3 years ago

    i give…

  12. undocorkscrew 3 years ago

    I really don’t think they need a front-line starting pitcher. Don’t want them going after Greinke unless he can sign a reasonable extension. I’d definitely look into Shields if he’s available, but those two teams don’t really match up well at all. Liriano is a wild card, and the Braves just have too many of those on their hands already. Dempster, Garza, and maybe Wandy(assuming the Astros eat a decent chunk of his remaining salary) are more reasonable targets.

    • I don’t like Wandy at all.  I hope the Braves don’t bite on him. 

    • Jeff 3 years ago

       I’m ok with the Braves standing Pat, I think their pitchers have underperformed this year, and might regress to the mean, and the lineup’s really good and setup well for the future, and I want to keep Bourn.

      Bourn’s going to more valuable over the next 5 years than Grienke.  (and both are FA’s, you can sign Grienke in the offseason if Bourn slips away)

      • ChiefTomahawk 3 years ago

        You cannot stand pat. We have to move forward and get a top of the line SP. Our pitching has been so inconsistent this year. This week fans say we don’t need a SP. The following week everyone will be wanting Greinke. Our SP is INCONSISTENT. 

  13. undocorkscrew 3 years ago

    If the Phillies really are going to trade Hamels, I doubt they’d shun the Braves if Wren called asking. It’s not like the Braves would have any shot of extending or re-signing him, he wouldn’t be a threat to the Phillies whatsoever.

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

       The Phillies would have no problem trading Hamels to the Braves.  Its the Braves who would not trade their top prospects to a division rival.

  14. The Braves are probably the only team looking for top notch pitching.  VERY newsworthy.  

  15. As a Braves fan, looking at top of the rotation starters for the next two years there are not many options.

    1. Cole Hamels
    2. Zack Greinke
    3. Matt Garza 
    4. James Shields ( I know his contract is not due in 2 years, but theres talks)
    5. Tim Lincecum
    6. Josh Johnson
    7. Chris Carpenter (currently done for year)

    Obviously this list does not include people with buyout clauses in their contract. (Dan Haren, Peavy etc….)

    I feel like certainly your not going to pry Lincecum or Josh Johnson loose by any means…Hamels will not be traded within the division. At this point, I really dont see the Rays struggling so much to trade Shields. Although, if in the next two weeks he is available, he is my guy. I don’t want anything to do with Garza (regardless of his postseason success) he really cant pitch on the road. 

    At this point, I would want Greinke of the bunch. I think he would sign a somewhat friendly deal with Atlanta. He has a Cy Young to his name and I think he would be a great anchor for years to come. Whether if his anxiety will handle the postseason or not I think is somewhat overblown. I think with the veteran experience from Chipper, McCann, Uggla, and others will go a long way to settling him in to the confines of Turner Field. 

    I would like to give up Delgado or Minor plus two to three mid tier prospects to acquire him, but given the lack of pitching available at the deadline, I know we may have to give up more. as long as we do not give up: Teheran, Gilmartin, and Sims moving forward I would be ok with the trade.

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

       Sims can’t be traded, he was just drafted.  I would have no problem at all trading Gilmartin in a deal to get Greinke.

      My big problem with Greinke would be tying up so much of the payroll for him.  Signing him would mean that McCann is gone after next season…and probably Bourn too.  Yes, the pitching rotation would be better but the offense would take a huge hit.

      • Keep In mind, this is a win now team: With Chipper retiring, McCann on the last year of his deal, Hudson is getting up there with age and I don’t see us resigning the Boras client Bourn in the offseason, he is having his best career year, and I am sure the price will be a hefty one. 

        Sims can be traded as a PTBNL but he can’t be traded till the end of the year.

        I agree with you on the fact that the offense could take a significant hit. It is certainly a catch 22 moving forward. I would love to have McCann back, Bourn and acquire Greinke. But even if we dont resign Greinke (just speculating) its not like we are in a weak position. we certainly have pitching that could fill in while we sign McCann and Bourn. 

  16. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    If the Braves can somehow land a top starter then the Nationals can take their superstar rotation and go pound salt because ours will be almost as good. And when they shut down Strasburg? Mmmmmmm, the NL East division battle is gonna get REAL interesting.

  17. rick staley 3 years ago

    Don’t think Wren is going to wait any longer (Hanson, Jurrjens,etc.) to solidify the top of the Braves rotation because Beachy was on his way to locking down #1 in an organization built on pitching.

    Grienke, Garza or Dempster. Any would be great additions for the rest of 2012, but Greinke is the choice to anchor rotation for next 4-5 years…imho. The market for Greinke seemingly is not as large as it is for Dempster or Garza. 14 days away before secrets get revealed.

    • Mike Query 3 years ago

      Pass on Garza, guy is a flat out awful pitcher on the road no matter what team hes pitching for.

  18. What do they do if Sheets does continue to pitch well?

  19. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Consider this part karma coming back full circle for all the has-beens Wren has signed and drive Sheets like a rental car with the $5 insurance. Elbow are made for falling off.

  20. Hudson/Hanson/Jurrjens/Sheets are all pitching well, sure rotations are built of 5 pitchers but Mike Minor aside from one terrible month has been serviceable.

    I say if we grab a guy, get Wandy or Vargas. Replacing Minor only makes sense if it’s an upgraded/more experienced lefty, we don’t need Greinke to bog us down financially when there’s a plethora of young talent already stuck behind this crew of pitchers nor do we need 5 righties in our rotation. 

    I guess trading Jurrjens is an option at this point? Would Milwaukee be interested in JJ/Delgado/Spruill? That would really shore up their rotation behind Gallardo/Marcum/Fiers.

    • Mike Query 3 years ago

       Vargas is no better than Minor, that move would make absolutely no sense.

  21. LuckyMN 3 years ago

    Aaron Gleeman at HBT might disagree. He thinks Liriano is the Twins ace. 

  22. Marty Levinson 3 years ago

    While Sheets was a revelation in his first start, it was also only one start and there are only two weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline.  I do think every good start that any Braves starting pitcher has between now and the deadline will strengthen their position in potential trades, as Wren will try to convince potential trading partners that the Braves don’t really need another SP because the guys they have are doing all right.

    That said, I do think that the Braves would really improve their chances of moving deep into the postseason by adding a top starting pitcher.  They have one of the best and most balanced offenses in the NL and have SOME pitching, particularly in the bullpen.  Another starter could be huge.

  23. WillieMayEsHayes 3 years ago

    I hate to think 20 mil of the braves 90 mil payroll would be going to Greinke, who is great most of the time, but who knows if he starts having mental issues again. I’d much rather trade for Garza or Dempster and not give up Teheran. Then resign Bourn this offseason and then maybe look into trading for j upton if he is still in AZ. Move prado to 3b. Beachy come back at As break and we would have a great lineup

    • CT 3 years ago

       Pipe dream trading for Upton, not going to happen.

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

      I agree about the payroll.  Pitchers are so prone to injury and sudden ineffectiveness that I don’t think it’s wise for a small market team to tie up a lot of the budget on one pitcher.  I love Zack Greinke but I think it’s a mistake to trade a bunch of top prospects for him AND pay him that much money. 

  24. Matt Talbert 3 years ago

    Delgado Minor/Gilmartin and Salcedo for Greinke.  The Brewers need a 3b for when Aramis retires and Salcedo would be that for them. They’d get two quality arms also back in the deal.  I think this is a fair offer.  To get talent you have to give up some promising talent.

  25. I do not want to see Shields in a Braves uniform.  The guys has had one really good year, and a couple okay years.  However, his career numbers just don’t show him as a good pitcher at all.  For those that think he will be better in the NL, well he hasn’t pitched well in his 26 career starts against the NL.  He has a 4.29 ERA in 26 career starts against NL teams.  If you take out the 14 of those starts against a few teams (Astros, Mets, Marlins) that have been weaker the last few years, then he has 12 starts against the better NL teams.  In those 12 games, he has posted a 5.652 ERA.  I don’t want to depend on this guy to beat the better team in NL down the stretch, and definately not in the playoffs.

  26. ChiefTomahawk 3 years ago

    Braves need to trade one of these guys: Delgado/Teheran/Minor. Preferably Minor or Delgado. I’m tired of hearing about these prospects that are supposed to be untouchable. We’ve seen all of them in the majors and Minor has had his chance. Yes, he has potential however he will be back of the rotation guy who will pitch games that he allows 5 runs and then pitch a game that he pitches a shutout. We need proven players. We have a young roster as is with the exception of Chipper. Get a SP in here that can anchor this team for the next few years. 

    • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

      Delgado would be the only “untouchable” pitcher for me. He has passed Teheran as far as I am concerned.  I hope the Braves trade Minor++ to get another starter so that the two younger guys can be kept.

    • craigkimbrelfan 3 years ago

       Minor’s value has plummeted though.  The net he returns you is probably at it’s lowest.  I think you have to suck it up and have him as your #5 or in the BP for a while…unless someone wants to overvalue him. 

  27. ChiefTomahawk 3 years ago

    Keep reading these “what if (_____) pitches well…” C’mon guys Delgado and Minor do not belong in this rotation. Our pitching has been so inconsistent this year. We have no idea how Hudson, JJ, Minor, Delgado, others will pitch. Hanson has been the only consistent pitcher. We need someone who will provide consistency. Pitching wins championships. Caridnals won last year with their great pitching and Giants accomplished it the year before. Carpenter 2011 post-season=top of rotation line. Lincecum 2010 post-season=top of rotation guy. Look at the makeup of both those rotations and compare that to current makeup of Braves. We are missing an ACE.

  28. Seth 3 years ago

    Greinke to Braves for Delgado, Pastornicky, and Minor?

  29. No, just no lol. Shields is inconsistent year in and year out. I would lose hope in the Braves organization if they ever thought of giving up Teheran for Shields.

  30. Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

    Would you trade Teheran for Garza, because he is very similar to Shields, but younger.  Both still have controllable years and will bring back draft pick compensation.  Both have had success in the vaunted AL East and both were very good last season, except Garza has been more consistent over the years.  Also, Garza has been excellent in the postseason, while Shields has been horrible. 

    It just seems that everybody is so down on Garza and even Dempster to a degree.  It’s probably because we have been hearing non-stop rumors surrounding those players and then when a “new” player suddenly becomes available, everybody gets excited, even though there is nothing new or different about said player.

  31. Marty Levinson 3 years ago

    You’re not kidding.  Vargas’ 2012 splits:

    Home:  2.84 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 6 HR in 57 innings
    Road:  5.09 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 17 HR in 69 innings

    Probably not a good match for a team that doesn’t play at Safeco.

  32. Andrew Cartwright 3 years ago

     Their WAR would be closer if extrapolated to the same denominator and should be almost identical, if not for Garza only having a 1.6 WAR in 2010 even though he had a very good season.  And Shields might have a better xFIP and GB rate, but their K/9 is identical and Garza has a lower ERA and HR/FB and HR/9 rate.  Taking out their respective rookie years, Shields has had an ERA well over 4 for 3 of his 6 seasons, while Garza has only been over 4 this year. 

    I will give you that Shields has the extra year of control, which is valuable.  But Garza has been much more consistent and is two years younger than Shields, which makes him an ideal candidate to lock up long-term.

  33. I live in Tampa and have to deal with Rays fans. Shields is inconsistent. He’ll have an awful year, then have a great year, and then back to a mediocre year. He’s not worth trading for if the Braves can get Greinke. I would never want “Big Game” James on this Braves team.

  34. CowboyJames 3 years ago

    I wouldnt say “never” but I agree he may not be quite worth Teheran

  35. Seth 3 years ago

    Granted I posted this before Minor’s last start. Take off Minor and you have a good deal.

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