LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — An elbow injury for St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright and rumored Yankees trade interest in Tim Hudson led some Braves fans to wonder if the team might dangle Derek Lowe or another established starter on the trade market.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez made it clear that’s not in the plans five weeks from opening day.
“[Are the Braves] looking at trading somebody? Oh, no, no, no,” Gonzalez said. “I think this is where you build your team from. Your strength is your starting pitching. No, I don’t anticipate us moving any of those guys.”
An Internet blog report said the Yankees recently called the Braves with interest in Hudson, but the Braves told them he wasn’t available.
Lowe has two years and $30 million left on his contract, but the Braves aren’t interested in blowing a hole in their strong rotation and filling it with a rookie or someone else from their organization. They already have two rookies – Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy – and veteran Rodrigo Lopez competing for the fifth rotation spot.
Bilingual manager a plus for some
Gonzalez was born in Cuba and raised in Miami, and the first-year Braves manager’s bilingualism is viewed as a plus by some Latin players.
“It’s very good,” said Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who has known Fredi since he was his minor league manager in the late 1990s in the Florida Marlins organization.
“Maybe some guys who come to the team from the minor leagues don’t understand a lot of English,” said Alex Gonzalez, who is Venezuelan. “They can come up to him to ask about something after a meeting, if they couldn’t understand something that was said.
“It’s easier for us. It’s very good for us – for me, too.”