The National League portion of the playoffs don't start until tomorrow, but there's plenty of news coming out of Senior Circuit. Let's round up some links from the NL East…
- "That's a tough call, a tough call" joked Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies when asked by Newsday's David Lennon if he would play in New York (Twitter link). Rollins will become a free agent after the season, like Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
- Braves GM Frank Wren told Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Derek Lowe is not projected to have a spot in the rotation next year (Twitter link). The bullpen or a trade are options. Lowe is owed $15MM next year, the final one on his contract.
- Wren also said that Jason Heyward is not guaranteed to start in right field next year, but the GM told MLB.com's Mark Bowman that the Braves have never talked about trading the 22-year-old (Twitter link).
- Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com looked at five issues the Nationals must deal with this offseason, including settling on a manager.
Wells for Lowe straight up.
In all seriousness, if the Braves really have decided already that he isn’t going to be in the rotation, might as well try and trade him and save as much as possible. He does have bullpen experience, but is it really worth $15 mil to pitch in the pen?
this season was not a lot worse than the last two for. the ERA-results of sinkerballers like lowe depend heavily on the defense behind them. he can be an effective mid-rotation guy next year for a team with strong infield defense
I’d give you Lackey for Lowe.
Unless Wren can convince the idiotic Cubs that they need another overpaid useless player, the Braves are likely going to eat $10M of that contract anyway. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the ‘pen and he would be a good guy to have around for a spot start or when the inevitible happens and Jurrjens needs to miss a month or two.
Or Tommy Hanson.
Maybe the Royals would bite? Sometimes I think Kauffman Stadium should be renamed “The Atlanta Braves Garbage Dump”
Hopefully Heyward will earn the starting right field job next year. He is too talented to give up on. Maybe some more time in the minors could help him learn to make adjustments at the plate.
Or send him back to Triple AAA
Derek Lowe for a bag of corked bats. That might solve their pitching and hitting problems all together.
I hope what Wren meant was “we recognize that Heyward is an extremely talented young player who needs some coaching and training, not further benching.” Because if Fredi and Wren keep up this play-Contanza/bench-Heyward nonsense while Heyward is still just 22 years old and developing, they will have wasted one of the top premier young talents of the next decade.
wait, Wren says Heyward isn’t guaranteed to start in RF next year, but they haven’t talked about trading him either. seems odd, though i know Wren wont come out and say they’re shopping him
He could play in AAA.
He has nothing to learn at AAA though.
i don’t think that’s necessarily true. and even if it is, i think there’s something to be said for the ‘psychological momentum’ of crushing the ball for a month and then getting back to the bigs
if he has a strong spring, there’s probably no need. but if he’s struggling early, it might be best for him to go somewhere for a few weeks just to get his groove back
I guess that can be true though I don’t really buy it. If a player has to make adjustments and get better in the bigs, he needs to do it while facing big league pitching.
Besides, I think a healthy Heyward is fine.
so was a healthy carl crawford. i’m an unabashed stat guy, but human psychology is part of the game
carl crawford has the weight of his contract on his shoulders and brings it up every AB…
Baseball is one of the few sports where trying too hard is actually detrimental and works in reverse of your ultimate goal.
When he’s in the Major Leagues, he’s under pressure from EVERYONE in baseball. He has to be the super prospect. He has to be the future face of the franchise. He’s a 22 year old man. Going down to AAA would allow him to clear his head, reestablish some confidence and work on some things without having to deal with all that pressure.
If he tears it up in Spring, it’s a non issue. I think the Braves did a big disservice to him by not optioning him out to AAA this year.
Terry Pedelton said his swing had massive flaws in it and he even told bobby and Wren about it and recommended at least another year at the AAA level to work on it. I mean come on.
I think it is more as He will fight for a spot in spring training…
Most likely means that he’ll platoon with Diaz until he can prove he belongs out there everyday.
I have enough confidence in Frank Wren that he will handle the Lowe situation the way it needs to be handled. Not sure what that may be but Wren will take care of it. It’s been a while since he’s let us down.
A new hitting coach should help Heyward figure some things out.
Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for the heir apparent to retire as a player.
Rollins, don’t kid yourself. You’d play in New York if they offered you the most money. The Mets would be wise to not waste time even talking to you though.
Why would he come out and say that?
Probably lots of pressure from the public- who was demanding heads, and Fredi’s statement about keeping everyone forced Wren’s hand a bit.
He’ll take the most money but I doubt if he”ll go to a team that’s not’s contending like the Mets. Probably SF or maybe Cincy if they come up with the money. Othwise he’s stays in Philly for 3 years
Rollins is a washed up money whore
Cool story bro.
He’s not the league MVP player he was but he’s still better than most shortstops out there. He’s a top 7 shortstop if not top 5.
Tulo’s better, Castro’s better, Reye’s is better. Why is rollins in the conversation? oh maybe because he plays for the most overrated team in baseball.
If the Braves want to win next year they have to fire Freddi Gonzalez.
If the team hits better, they win another 5 games, and Fredi wouldn’t have been able to screw anything up worse. I don’t like Fredi, but I don’t think he’s a big enough problem that talent can’t overcome.
Fire Parrish, bring in a competent hitting coach for a change, yell at Fredi to stop using the same three relievers every other game even when they’re not needed (though he’s probably too dense to ever learn such obvious lessons), get rid of Lowe anyway you can since he’s a waste of a roster spot at this point (hopefully he simply retires), keep A-Gonz though make it apparent to him that he won’t be the everyday starter (swap with Pastornicky until he has his feet under him), trade JJ and Minor for Moustakas and one or two low level prospects, put Teheran and Delgado in the rotation (rotation of Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Teheran, and Delgado), shore up the bullpen and bench.
There. You have a game plan for the offseason Wren.
Fredi already got yelled at for that, remember? There was a story a little after the all-star game that was about him finally deciding to only use Venters and Kimbrel in save situations or tie games that need to be kept tied. It’d be nice if the Braves would stop it with all of the close games and blow someone out of the water a little more often
If JJ and Hanson were healthy that would work. It has yet to be seen if either will be healthy enough to pitch a full season, and I think potential trade partners will be looking to buy low, if at all.
So Lowe will be there #3 starter and Heyward will be batting in the top 5 next year. That is what I got from this…..
Francona to Nats? That would be interesting.
Would the Braves take Alex Rios for Lowe? Money can be exchanged either way to even it up. The White Sox really have no need for Rios with De Aza, Viciedo and Quentin. I know the Braves have Bourn, Heyward and Prado but they could either flip him to a different team for a bad contract or use him a the most overpaid 4th outfielder.
We would be getting Rios for an extra 2 damn years I think. No thanks. I’d rather keep low and wait for his contract to end next year.
you couldn’t trade alex rios for a used box of tissues at this point
I hate to hear that about Parrish. How about the runner up last year, Jim Presley? He’s from the Southeast. Just a thought.
First off, theres no way J-Roll leaves the city of brotherly love, no chance. Second, Wren should trade Lowe to his original team, its clear Wren loves gettin’ “Figgy” with it. Lastly, I would sure love to see Rizzo drastically improve that team. I mean come on. Years of turmoil in Canada (which should even have a team in my mind), now you’ve got one of the best pitching prospects in the game (Strasburg), 2 potential superstar hitters in Rendon & Harper, Zimm at the hot corner, just add another starter via trade/FA & add a couple vets to that bench.
I could see Rollins in SF or Oakland since he’s from Oakland… I guess it depends on how generous the Phillies’ offer is to the one guy who has been there since the badddd years.
I doubt he’d wanna go to Oakland, they wouldn’t offer him a fair deal anyway. Maybe San Fran. My gut still tells me he re-up in Philly, why wouldn’t he.
Teams like the Phillies who have unloaded their entire farm system to win championships are foolish. I think they have one more year of dominance. Look at there roster filled with players who are getting old. The offense showed you how old they are getting. They play in a ball park that has school yard dimensions. The only legit HR threat is Howard in any park. Look at how Werth did playing outside of that school yard. And I think they are realizing that the last over hyped prospect Dominic Brown is a 4th outfielder at best. Other teams are loading there system with players and the Phillies have traded them all away.
I’m not a Phillies fan, but not for nothing, the Phils have gotten a bunch of division titles, a few trips to the WS and one ring (maybe another one this year).
I’d gladly trade 5 years of future for 2 or 3 years of dominance any day of the week.
Is continual dominance better? Of course, but very few franchises are set up for a long run of dominance …
There was a reason the phillies fell off the face of the earth in the 90’s
From Wren’s comments about the need to grind out at bats and make the opposing pitchers work, at least HE understands why Parrish was a disaster. Whether FG does, and will make the appropriate changes in his strategy to compensate, will tell us a lot about whether Fredi makes it past the ASB next season.
Now if someone could only convince FG to leave his starters in for more than 5 or 6 innings …
Maybe Wren should be the manager.
No one wants J-Roll in NY
I wouldn’t mind the Mets signing him, but not for his perceived value. Maybe offer 3 years, $22 million. Let him come back with 4/$40 and work from there.
I’d prefer the Mets re-sign Reyes (preferably with a hometown discount), but if you can get an top-10 SS for cheap, then you gotta go for it, regardless if the guy is a complete tool.
Anyways, I’d suspect that Rollins will end up staying in Philly … so it’s most likely a moot point.
I personally don’t want the Mets to sign either Rollins or Reyes.
I’d rather take the two picks for Reyes and finally get this team and farm system moving in the right direction.
100+ million for a guy who posted career highs in BA/OBP/SLG all the while still being injured and me-first (Batting title) scares the hell out of me.
wouldn’t lowe going back to a closer possibly make him slightly valuable to some teams despite his price tag?
technically that would be the way to drive up his trade value. realistically, he has no trade value. everyone in baseball knows what he is at this point in his career. he’s not a closer. at this point in time every team in baseball has a guy that strikes out 9/9 innings in their ‘pen. an over the hill sinkerballer that makes $15 mill isnt exactly going to make anyone salivate.
I don’t see how Lowe could close – he can’t find the strike zone and when he does it comes up there like a Frisbee and gets hammered.
that was a ridiculous question by lennon. maybe he was just trying to create drama. why would the mets not sign an oft-injured shortstop but sign an older oft-injured shortstop? if the mets don’t sign reyes, tejada is their starting shortstop.
I’d start Lowe in the Spring and see what happens there. I’m not against paying him to be in the BP because we are paying him regardless. I think he can be a great 5th pitcher next year due to his promise and his FIP inverse-regression to the norm.
what about his FIP inverse-regression-to-being-almost-40-and-not-putting-up-good-numbers-for-about-three-years?
on a serious note, i also am not against putting him in the ‘pen. i just don’t think he is or should be considered for the rotation. throw him in the ‘pen, limit his exposure, and hope that he is able to put up decent enough #’s to trade him mid-season.