Trade Winds update

Last night saw a flurry of trade activity. None of the players involved was rumored to be coming to Atlanta. The main development for the Braves purposes is the signal that the Pirates have definitely given up. At least two Pirate pitchers are rumored Braves trade targets.

Interest in Kristin Benson has dropped off after his bad start and the Pirates pulling him from the rotation to “work on mechanics, strength, and endurance”. Of late, rumors have surfaced of the Braves’ interest instead in Jeff Suppan. Suppan has pitched pretty well, 9-7 with a 3.67 ERA. But a number of teams are supposedly interested in Suppan, and he’s a finesse pitcher with a mediocre strikeout rate. I think that the Braves are interested but Suppan will go elsewhere.

I don’t particularly care if Greg Maddux has a personal catcher or not. To me, the big problem is that his personal catcher sucks. It’s just barely possible that the Braves have noticed this and would look to bring in a replacement. If they do, who better than the Personal Catcher? Eddie Perez is hitting .304/.333/.475 for Milwaukee. Just something to keep in mind.

13 thoughts on “Trade Winds update”

  1. Word is that Giles can be had for a song by any team willing to take Kendall. My mouth waters at the thought of Giles in left, Chipper at third, and Kendall as the Personal Catcher. Don’t anybody go bumming my high.

  2. As far as trades, why is everyone talking so much about starting pitching when there is such a big hole in the middle relief? I personally think the Braves should have had no problem keeping the divison lead the way things are with the current rotation. As it is there are already four starters (Maddux, Ortiz, Hampton and Ramirez) who can be the playoff starting pitchers. I think there we could have done with Mike Williams instead. He would have been a good setup guy for Smoltz. The offense is strong. The pitching will take the Braves to playoffs and then the 5th starter (aka Reynolds can be dumped).

  3. Mike Williams has pitched worse than Boom-Boom this season, hasn’t he?

    How much time/$$ are left on Kendall’s contract? Giles would be useful to have around, though that surely means sheffield would be gone. Giles is signed for less money than Sheff is likely to make next year, I want to think.

    A reliever would be useful, though I’m not sure what the market is on releivers right now.

  4. There have been four deals involving major league relievers in the last week — Williams to Phillies, Benitez to Yankees, Orosco to Yankees, Sauerbeck to Red Sox. The pool of available relievers is starting to get thin, so the Braves need to get on the stick if they’re going to shore up the pen.

    Agreed, MS, a playoff rotation of Ortiz, Maddux, Hampton and Ramirez would be adequate, but you just know Cox would go with Proven Veteran Shane Reynolds as that No. 4 guy. The Braves must make a deal for another starter, if only to save Bobby from himself in the playoffs.

    By the way, Rob Neyer’s column today deals with what every team SHOULD do before the deadline.

    He says the Braves shouldn’t do much, unless it’s add a bat off the bench (which I realize is what many of us have been arguing as well). With the Francos already on board, you’d think it would have to be an outfielder who can play center (ergo, no Greg Colbrunn). It would almost certainly be a veteran (which means none of the Twins’ youngsters are likely) and someone not making a lot of money.

    A few guys off the top of my head who fit that bill are Anaheim’s Eric Owens, Florida’s Todd Hollandsworth and Arizona’s Quinton McCracken or Danny Bautista (who they could probably get in a waiver deal when/if the D-Backs fall out of the race).

    Remember, Luis Polonia and Mike Devereaux joined the Braves on Aug. 11 and 25, respectively, in 1995 and were key contributors to a World Championship team, so a deadline deal is not absolutely necessary. But then I also remember we told ourselves the same thing last year, and the Braves did NOTHING.

    I tend to think the Braves are going to do something, given that we haven’t seen Cox and Schuerholz quoted 15 times this week talking about how much they “like this team’s chemistry.” My gut tells me their shopping list is 1. Starting Pitcher, 2. Middle Reliever, 3. Bench Help. After last year, ANY move would be welcome (short of trading for Rey Sanchez, that is).

  5. Colin, Kendall is signed through 2007 at $8M this year, $8M in 2004, $10M in 2005, $11M in 2006 and $13M in 2007. There is no way, repeat NO WAY, the Braves trade for Kendall. That would pretty much shoot their entire offseason budget to hell.

    By the way, Giles has got three years and about $29M left on his deal (it for five years and $45M before the 2002 season; he made $8M last year and is making $8.5 this year), which as Colin said, would mean Sheffield is gone. Another problem is that Giles isn’t a whole lot better than Chipper in the outfield and is pretty much confined to left these days. If the Braves put Giles and Chipper on the corners next year, Andruw would be dead from exhaustion by May 15.

    Apparently, Billy Beane really covets Giles; it’s possible he would try to work the Braves in on a three-way deal with the Pirates, although I shudder at the possibilities of Beane conducting a trade with John Schuerholz.

  6. If Shane Reynolds starts a single game for the Braves in the playoffs, I’ll eat my hat. And I absolutely mean that.

    If Reynolds pitches a single inning of anything aside from mop-up work in the postseason, I’ll have a heart attack from the shock.

    If Reynolds even makes the postseason roster, well, I’m sort of out of hyperbole here. But you get the idea.

    All of this is contingent on Reynolds continuing to suck, of course. If he goesd Greg Maddux-1994 on the league the rest of the way, all bets are off.

  7. Andrew, I’d like to agree with you, but ask yourself who has been skipped in the rotation when the Braves have had off days this year? Reynolds? No, Ramirez.

    It doesn’t make much sense to have a pitcher with a 5.50 ERA in the playoff rotation, but then we are talking about a team that has carried three catchers on its postseason roster in the past.

  8. I think there are only two positions worth making a trade for this season: 1) reliable set-up reliever; 2) outfield bench help.

    You don’t need the 5th starter for the playoffs, so there is no need to trade for a Reynolds replacement(although, I think they should just scrap him now and see if Marquis can cut it).

    Blanco is an offensive black hole, but if you were going to drop him why not bring up Estrada to see if he’s for real at the ML level? They’re probably holding on to Blanco so Cox can have 3 catchers in the post-season lineup again (shudder).

  9. Colin, Kendall is signed through 2007 at $8M this year, $8M in 2004, $10M in 2005, $11M in 2006 and $13M in 2007. There is no way, repeat NO WAY, the Braves trade for Kendall. That would pretty much shoot their entire offseason budget to hell.

    Ouch, that is one brutal albatross of a contract.

  10. If Reynolds starts in the postseason, I’ll be more than willing to come here and admit how brutally, horribly wrong I was. I don’t like admitting I was wrong. That should tell you how confident I am in Reynolds not starting.

  11. There is no way, repeat NO WAY, the Braves trade for Kendall. That would pretty much shoot their entire offseason budget to hell.

    How do you figure? They’d have Kendall and Giles taking the place of the Sheffield and Lopez contracts, and they’d have about $20MM in other obligations coming off the books. I agree that it’ll never happen, but it certainly wouldn’t blow the budget.

  12. Lopez will probably be gone after this year anyway (part of the money they could spend on him will go toward Sheffield, getting a third baseman and making a pitch to bring back Millwood). With Estrada already in the system, the Braves would be stupid to take on a slightly above-average hitting, injury prone catcher who is still owed $42M over the next four years … not with an already ridiculous Hampton contract hanging over the team’s head after next season.

    In other words, 2004 isn’t the problem, it’s 2006 and 2007 (when Chipper and Andruw are also due some big bucks; not to mention Furcal and Marcus Giles being in the heart of their free agency years).

    Estrada, while not the player Schuerholz would have us believe, probably will out-hit Kendall over the life of Kendall’s contract. Schuerholz isn’t that dumb … I don’t think.

  13. In case it wasn’t clear, my first post was more or less a flight of fancy, and I wouldn’t actually advocate trading for Kendall unless the Bucs were to pick up about a third of the contract. That said, his on-base skills make him more than slightly above-average even after the loss of his power, so if Johnny “27 and doing his first good work at AAA” Estrada out-hits him, I’ll buy you a Ferrari.

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