The Braves have aquired pitchers Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan from the White Sox for catcher Tyler Flowers, shortstop Brent Lillibridge, third baseman Jon Gilmore, and pitcher Santos Rodriguez. I like this deal a lot for both teams.
The Braves get the established starter that they want to add. Vazquez is more of a #3 or #4 starter rather than the #1 or #2 they wanted to add, but he is a solid addition nontheless. Atlanta has stated that they want to add two starters, anyway. This guy seems more like the second tier aquisition.
Javier Vazquez had a down year; his ERA was 4.67. His other stats were still solid, however. He threw 200 strike-outs and 200 innings despite his ERA. I think the most likely reason for his poor performance was bad luck; his BABIP was second highest in the MLB. If Javy just continues doing what he has already done, he will really nice pick-up for the Braves. I love this move for them because I truly believe he can bounce back.
I still like this trade for the White Sox, but I’m confused on their direction. They have already dealt two veterans, Vazquez of course and also Nick Swisher. If the Sox are trying to compete, I don’t know why they are trading these guys away. There has also been rumors swirling of Jermaine Dye and/or Bobby Jenks getting shipped out as well. I’m at a loss.
On the package of players they got, I think the Sox recieved a great haul. Tyler Flowers is one of the best catching prospects in the game. If they want to, they could move him to left field or DH eventually because they have AJ Pierzynski at catcher and Flowers’s defense is awful. He will be a great hitter no matter where he plays. Brent Lillibridge comes in and brings depth to the second base position. (I think Alexie Ramirez is definately moving to shortstop) The two other prospects they recieved aren’t bad; they are solid C prospects. I like this haul, just confused why they wanted it over an established starter like Vazquez.
Replacing Javy will be tough. The White Sox depth at starting pitching was tested last year because the starters they called up once Jose Contreras went down were very ineffective. Now one of them will be starting the season in the rotation. An additional transaction will have to be made in order to accommodate for the loss of Vazquez.
My letter grade for the Braves: B. My letter grade for the White Sox: C.
I know that the Padres really want to trade Jake Peavy, but there are no good suitors left. The Braves dropped out when free agency started, and the Cubs have many obstacles to overcome. They need to fit him into the payroll as well as get a solid package together. I really don’t see what the Cubs have to offer, to the Padres or to a different team in the event of a three-team trade. Lou Pinella says that they’re not interested, anyway.
The Braves still make the most sense. I know that Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward are off limits, so the Padres will have to accept an offer centered around Yunel Escobar. Back in October, I thought that Tommy Hanson, Yunel Escobar, and Jordon Schafer would be an accpetable package. The Braves apparently thought that would be way too much. Their offer was Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Charlie Morton. That’s not even close to what the Pads wanted. I don’t blame them for declining.
A lot of people think that Padres’ GM Kevin Towers screwed up the negotiations, but I think he was doing a very good job. This is not like the Johan Santana situation where you have to trade the player, even if you take a bad offer. They have Peavy under contract for 4 more years. If they can’t trade him now, deal him at this year’s trade deadline. If you can’t trade him then, flip him next offseason. Continue until Peavy is gone. Unless the Braves come back with a much better offer than the one before, it looks like Peavy will be staying put.
I have a feeling that the Braves will come back, though. Whether they sign another top-of-the-rotation starter like Derek Lowe or AJ Burnett will make no difference. If they truly want to compete, they’ll need more than just Lowe or Burnett. Peavy plus a Lowe or Burnett would make them serious contenders for the NL East. They will probably pursue Peavy even harder if they miss out on Lowe or Burnett. I think a package of Yunel Escobar, Jordon Schafer, Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, and Tyler Flowers would get it done. The Padres still get a very good deal, and the Braves are able to keep Tommy Hanson. This seems like a good compromise for both sides.
If the Braves are truly out of the picture, look for the Angels or Yankees to get involved. Whichever team that misses out on CC Sabathia could put in a huge bid. Could you imagine if the Angels signed Mark Teixera and added Jake Peavy? They would be unstopable. The Yanks could also use him, but the two teams might not be able to find a match with the prospects.
I really don’t know where Jake Peavy will end up. He might stay put, he might get traded to the Braves, and he might even go to a surprise team. I don’t know.
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