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…
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?