Mar 20, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) chats with general manager Frank Wren (left) before spring training action against the New York Mets at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves MLB writer Mark Bowman: Peavy not on Braves Radar

Atlanta Braves say not so fast, Pilgrim…

According to this piece from Mark Bowman, the information received about Jake Peavy wasn’t accurate.  For many a Brave fan, this is a relief as the masses seem to question the reasoning behind acquiring a starting pitcher who has been worse than the current 5 in the rotation.  With that being said, there is some truth to the Braves interest in the Boston Red Sox pitching staff, but it doesn’t seem to be coming in the form of their starters.  Here’s David O’Brien’s tweet from earlier today about the Braves interest in another Red Sox pitcher…

Andrew Miller is the one they want. RT : Any word on, uh, other Sox pitchers?”

This makes much more sense as the Braves, according to the link to the Bowman article, have no financial flexibility to add payroll considering the team is already well over the budget due to the Ervin Santana contract.  This causes a wrinkle in the plans a bit as most teams out of contention will be looking for either salary relief, or a better prospect package to acquire the “good ones”.  Andrew Miller has been lights out for the Sox, but will be a free agent after this year so the return will be minimal but will cost more due to good LHPs being an invaluable asset in the stretch run.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to cost a Top-15 prospect.

Also, in the Bowman article, he discusses the Braves having to get “creative” at the trade deadline due to the limited financial flexibility.  This could mean a few things, the first being the most obvious:

1. The Braves add higher-end prospects to deals to get teams to offset financial obligations.

2. The Braves trade a high-salaried player away to create financial room.

3.  The Braves trade for low-cost controlled players.

Number 1 is the most likely scenario, however #2 really intrigues me.  What if the Braves were to trade Ervin Santana to a team in contention, and piggyback it by acquiring another high-priced frontline starter that’s under contract after the 2014 season? This would create the “financial flexibility that is needed to make such a move, and would, in turn, solidify the rotation for the next few years.  A very unlikely scenario, but one that I wouldn’t mind seeing the Braves accomplish.  Who matches the criteria?

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Tags: Andrew Miller David O'brien Ervin Santana Jake Peavy Mark Bowman

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    The only gotcha: the Braves are the only club who could glean a draft pick from Santana. Once he is traded, that bit goes away.

    Now: one might look around and ask “Is Santana actually going to be worth a Qualifying Offer this off-season?” The Braves are obligated to offer him a 1-yr deal that would be around $15m for 2015 IF they want that draft pick. Right now I’d say that’s a little iffy. Given the difficulty some of these ‘borderline’ Q-offer free agents have had in getting a new contract when they suitors have to sacrifice a 1st round pick, that might be an interesting question.

    So selling Santana MIGHT be a smart move if the Braves aren’t convinced that they’ll be able to get the compensation pick – and could be stuck smelling baseballs in 2015.

    • Ryan Cothran

      I can’t believe that thought slipped my mind. Thanks. Edited and updated.

  • Brandon_Woodworth

    good.

    Nice John Wayne nod.

  • fireboss

    The problem as we all know is that pitching alone doesn’t fix the issue of striking out against the best pitching. The Braves need to add contact hitting with obp to the lineup to fix that. Ideally – and yes I know it’s unlikely for so many reasons – they would package a high level prospect with BJ and others – no the improvement isn’t real or sustainable – to address the problem. Without being long winded as usual I do think there’s a match for that but I’d be shocked if our risk averse from office does anything like it.