Interesting note from Peter Gammons’s blog a couple of days ago:
"The Braves were heavily involved in the Joey Gathright deal and still could get him from Kansas City. Yes, they need a leadoff hitter, but there is the possibility that they will explore dealing Andruw Jones at the end of the season."
A lot of folks have emailed me asking whether I thought Gathright could end up with the Braves, and my knee-jerk reaction was to dismiss the idea because of Jones. But Gammons makes a good point. Andruw Jones makes $13.5MM next year in the last of his deal. He’s reaching the point where his next contract will not offer a positive return on investment for the Braves.
According to Baseball Prospectus, Jones will be worth about $9-10 mil from 2008-09 before the real dropoff begins. Obviously John Schuerholz understands this, and it seems highly unlikely that the Braves will enter the bidding for Andruw’s next deal when you have to offer 5/65 just to get in the door.
The Braves always seem to be one step ahead. They don’t have much in the way of top-shelf outfield talent now that Jeff Francoeur has been called up. It’s time to snatch up a couple more Major League ready outfielders, and the Braves have what everyone wants: starting pitching. The Yankees and Red Sox should come calling for John Smoltz and Tim Hudson. And don’t you just have this feeling that Kenny Williams will make some phone calls, just because he understands that you can never have too much starting pitching? He hasn’t been shy about trading his best prospects and Josh Fields is taking care of business at Triple A.
The Brewers and Nationals were scouting Philip Hughes recently, but that seems to be related to the Yanks’ outfield vacancies. It just doesn’t seem that New York can acquire any big names while keeping Hughes.