76 hours to go… and the Braves haven’t done anything yet!
As an organization, the Braves under Frank Wren’s tenure as General Manager (since October 2007) have shown a few general philosophies with regard to obtaining personnel near the trade deadline:
- If a player won’t make a noticeable difference above and beyond that of the currently available players, then they will not make the pursuit (this has been reiterated this week, as Wren referred to Jake Peavy and Ervin Santana as “legit upgrades”)
- For such players, there is a price they will pay – and no more. This year, the price is measured in the minor league talent that will be required, not in dollars.
- They will wait as long as it takes to act… up to the last day if necessary.
- Rentals better darn well have a LOT of purpose behind them – there is some poor history in their recent past involving rentals.
- Both of the deals involving Mark Teixeira continue to haunt the corridors down at Turner Field. Wren was on the staff as assistant GM to John Schuerholz at that time.
Here’s what we know since the last update
- Cuban Pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has signed with Philadelphia. Ugh. I suggested that they had good reasons for pursuing Gonzalez, and unfortunately they agreed. I guess you can say that the era of great starting pitcher in Philly will continue. I guess you can also say that the Braves probably taught the NL East everything they needed to know during the 1990′s when Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz were the perennial lineup killers. Every NL East opponent has stoppers for the future now.
- Atlanta is seriously considering Ervin Santana and Jake Peavy. But there could be others, as we outlined in this post. Again: you’d have to believe that the Braves will not go after a starter unless (a) the price is right, and (b) the player is significant. For those reasons, I drop the count of possibilities to these two … plus Kyle Lohse, with Ted Lilly approached in a few days for depth purposes.
- The Orioles have now also been linked to Jake Peavy. This would be a surprise, considering the team involved, but they may wish to bolster their rotation to stay ahead of Texas as the second wild card. Other reports suggest they are “done” shopping, having given up all they want to give from the farm.
- The Cardinals have also been linked to Peavy. How formidable would that team be with him on board? Oy.
- The bullpen remains the number one priority. I am still not ruling out Jesse Crain from the White Sox. Two reasons why: (1) his price should now be lower; (2) He qualifies as a “difference maker”. One reason why not: he’s right-handed. But creativity will have to be involved to get him… and for the record, ESPN’s Buster Olney agreed with me.
- We have a new lefty reliever name to consider: Javier Lopez. Since Seattle still thinks they have a pulse after winning 7 of 10, it’s clear that the Giants do not, having lost 7 of 10 and falling into last place. Lopez now has a 1.42 ERA and has only given up one earned run since May 5th, though most of those outings have been of the one- and two-out varieties.
- Meanwhile, there’s a lot less buzz about guys like Oliver Perez and Charlie Furbush with Seattle’s mini-resurgence… but I personally think they’re posturing and will trade Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales, and Oliver Perez before Wednesday’s deadline. I mean, come on: they were beating Cleveland and Houston before dropping 2 of 3 (so far) to Minnesota.
- The Cubs have several arms to offer, including Jeff Samardzija. James Russell is a great fit for Atlanta, though the Cubs’ priority is to trade players that they could lost to free agency at year’s end. Russell is not on that list.
So the executive summary for this morning is….
- Still looking for bullpen help: left-handed first, then an impact righty (maybe). Joe Thatcher, Javier Lopez are real possibilities.
- Kicking the tires for front-line starters. I could see Atlanta offering to take Jake Peavy and his entire contract for a B-level prospect or two. Betting the White Sox will hold out for better prospects and less money. The could certainly keep him, too.
- No word about getting a replacement for Ramiro Pena.