Braves’ Lowe traded to Cleveland – updated

Braves pitcher Derek Lowe was booed off the mound in his last start of the season, stripped of a guaranteed spot in the rotation shortly thereafter, and ultimately traded to Cleveland, completing a tailspin to close out his tumultuous three-year stint with the Braves.

The Braves traded the 38-year-old Lowe on Monday to the Indians, who have agreed to pay $5 million of the $15 million Lowe is owed in 2012 in the final year of his contract. The Braves, who will cover the remaining $10 million, got minor league pitcher Chris Jones in return.

With the additional $5 million they cleared in this deal, the Braves are believed to have about $10 million to purse additions at shortstop and the corner outfield.

“Once you know what you want to do, you want to get the dominoes falling, and that was the first one,” said Braves general manager Frank Wren, who said Lowe had at least one other suitor, but the Indians were ready to move faster. “(This) allows us to pencil in one of our young starters and also frees up some payroll flexibility for us, which gives us a better idea of the direction we’re going this winter.”

Wren made it known shortly after the season ended that Lowe would be relegated to the bullpen next season. Both Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are expected to return from injury, and with Tim Hudson and Brandon Beachy back, the Braves have a wealth of choices for an additional spot with Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, and Julio Teheran, or even the versatile Kris Medlen.

It’s been hot or cold for Lowe since he signed a four-year $60 million deal with the Braves in January of 2009. He was the Braves’ Opening Day starter each of the last three seasons, led the staff with 15 wins in 2009 and was second in 2010 with 16. But he’s also been in double-digits in losses each of the past three years, including 17 this season which led the National League.

Wren said Lowe gave the Braves what they wanted when they signed him – stability and veteran leadership for their rotation at a time when it was decimated by injuries. Lowe missed only one of his 102 scheduled starts as a Brave, and after the one he skipped to rest a sore elbow, Lowe went on a 5-0 run to get the Braves into the postseason a year ago.

That was the highlight of Lowe’s time as a Brave, when he went 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA last September and became the Braves’ No. 1 starter in their first trip to the playoffs since 2005.

“He gave us 31 wins the first two years,” Wren said. “If you told me I could sign a free agent that averaged a little over 15 wins a year, you’d take it every time. He did exactly what we wanted him to do. This year, he had a tough time at the finish. But he still won nine games and won 40 in three years.”

There was no September push this year; Lowe went 0-5 with an 8.75 ERA this time around. He gave up five earned runs in four-plus innings in a 7-1 loss to the Phillies on Sept. 27, the second-to-last game of the season, and left to boos as the Braves fell into a tie for the wild card with St. Louis.

Lowe finished the season 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA. He was 40-39 with a 4.57 ERA as a Brave overall. He did not help his cause when he was arrested on April 28 for driving under the influence and reckless driving, though charges were eventually dropped.

The Braves had made attempts each of the previous two offseasons to trade Lowe but this time were able to make it work with his salary at a more manageable level.

The Indians were looking for a veteran starter after losing Carlos Carrasco to elbow reconstruction surgery. Lowe will join a rotation that features Fausto Carmona and Ubaldo Jimenez.

Wren said Lowe was gracious when he called him Monday morning to tell him about the trade.

“I thanked him for what he did for us for three years and just told him we were at a point where we wanted to give the young pitchers the opportunity to win those spots,” Wren said. “He wished us well, said he’ll be pulling for us, and said those young guys are going to be good, keep them healthy.”

As for the young piece the Braves will add to their minor league organization, Jones went 7-1 with a 3.36 ERA in 43 relief appearances for the Single-A Kinston Indians last season. The 23-year-old left-hander struck out 66 batters in 72 1/3 innings, while holding left-handers to a .145 opponents’ batting average. He was a 15th round pick in 2007 out of Gaither High School in Tampa.

407 comments Add your comment

Alex Muerlo

October 31st, 2011
1:26 pm

VIRGIL

October 31st, 2011
1:28 pm

VIRGIL

October 31st, 2011
1:29 pm

Enter your comments here

The Big Neck Beard

October 31st, 2011
1:29 pm

DEX

October 31st, 2011
1:29 pm

Kenshin Kawakami

October 31st, 2011
1:29 pm

Oooh roster spot open again for me!

Don Green

October 31st, 2011
1:29 pm

Good deal for the Braves. Frees up $5 million to be spent on someone else. I don’t even care if we get a player in return.

Matthew

October 31st, 2011
1:30 pm

WinderDawg

October 31st, 2011
1:30 pm

j

October 31st, 2011
1:31 pm

awesome. what single-A player?

PJ

October 31st, 2011
1:31 pm

Now I know how the munchkins felt when the house fell on the wicked witch of the west.

full of it

October 31st, 2011
1:31 pm

Chan Gailey

October 31st, 2011
1:31 pm

Thank goodness. I wish they would have included Dave O’Brien in the deal also.

full of it

October 31st, 2011
1:31 pm

although clevand is getting a pretty good deal for 5 mil

Q

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

As long as this isn’t a Halloween trick, it’
s certainly a Halloween treat! Wren is a magician. Who would’ve thought he could find a team to take Lowe? And save $5 million and get a young player back?

HAPPY

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cornfuzed

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

Yeehaw!!! I’ve been waiting for this day for 2 years. Bring on Teheran, Delgado, and Medlen.

DanJ

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

Getting a player for D-Low? I’d have settled for a case of Levi Garrett. Now can we please get a shortstop and lock-up Borne with a deal.

Keep it Real

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

Did I read that right? We traded $10,000,000 and D. Lowe for a low level minor league player. Oh boy, am I excited.

TDub

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

DB, you mentioned on Twitter the situation with Lowe had become “untenable” – just from a financial standpoint, or otherwise? Character issues i.e. the dropped DUI/reckless driving? Other things?

USMC DAWG

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

Thank God! Start buying stock in beer and liquor stores in northern Ohio, their sales are about to go through the roof!

Rico Brogna

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

UGASlobberknocker

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

he’s washed up

Jeffro Bodeen

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

They could have traded him for Gonnorhea and it would still have been a good swap.

Marlow29

October 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

i am so happy about opening up another spot in the roation for some of our young pitchers. Hopefully we can fill another hole with a decent offseason bat signing or another trade. We can take over the Phillies I am sure of it.

Archangel

October 31st, 2011
1:33 pm

Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God almighty, we’re Free at Last!!!

skip

October 31st, 2011
1:33 pm

Cost the Braves 10 mil to dump Lowe but it would have cost 15 to keep him. Wren did the right thing. The rotation will be better without him.

Tomahawkin

October 31st, 2011
1:33 pm

Head Boppin Like Hell Yeah!

Its about Frinning Time Blowe and Nasty Nate got “Ol Yellered!”

Hot Err

October 31st, 2011
1:34 pm

Good riddance. The streets of Atlanta are just a bit safer now that Frank Wren finally shipped this drunk outta town. Too bad the Braves still have to pay him 10 million to suck for the Indians next year.

Lobosolo

October 31st, 2011
1:35 pm

T-Dub… It’s because he can’t get hitters out… do you really need DOB to tell you that?

Marlow29

October 31st, 2011
1:35 pm

look at it like this, if Lowe were FREE, would you want him in our rotation next year? the answer is “no”.

falcon

October 31st, 2011
1:35 pm

yes lawd…….glad we freed up a spot for those young’uns!

Gary

October 31st, 2011
1:36 pm

That’s still going to hurt to pay Lowe 10 million to pitch for another team. I can’t believe the Mets actually outsmarted us by not adding another year to their offer, allowing the Braves to grab Lowe for 4 years. Lesson learned, dont make deals when you are desparate.

coachx

October 31st, 2011
1:36 pm

Looking foward to seeing more of Tehran and Minor now.

Heisenberg

October 31st, 2011
1:37 pm

Make that deal in July, Bravos would have been in playoffs. But at least they did not have to eat the entire 15 million.

ohhhhYEAH

October 31st, 2011
1:37 pm

and the Indians also didnt re-sign Seizmore….worth a shot?

hank57

October 31st, 2011
1:37 pm

Even if it was a low level minor league bat boy, it was a great deal for the Braves. They saved $5 mil a year, and dumped a pitcher who is capable of losing 20 games a year.

WrenandStimpy

October 31st, 2011
1:37 pm

I’m going to celebrate by trick or treating as a DUI Derek Lowe.

BrandonW

October 31st, 2011
1:37 pm

What about Kinshin Kawakami? or is his contract up?

bravesfansince1961

October 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

Addition by subtraction! Subtracted Nate McLouth as well. At least you know what you’re getting with Eric Hinske whom the Braves accepted the option on.

Jay Dubu

October 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

There goes the gains from Kenshin Kawakami & Nate McLouth coming off the books. Unless Liberty Media is loosening the purse strings, there will be a lot of youngsters on the roster next year.

Veterans play a big roll in the day to day confidence of a club…isn’t that the reason that Wren brought in Sherrill and Linebrink last year?

Chief Knock A Homa

October 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

OK, now what are we going to do with the left side of the infield? Totally on board with keeping Borne a Brave. Pitching, solid defense and speed usually don’t go into prolonged slumps. Hey, let’s be that team. Kudos to the Cards.

Lewis Grizzard's Ghost

October 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

It’s gonna be an interesting off season …

Shane Dodah

October 31st, 2011
1:39 pm

Yepeeee. My dream has been realized.

RPollardRealtor

October 31st, 2011
1:39 pm

This is the best news I’ve heard!!! Thank you FW for trading that bum!

Tomahawkin

October 31st, 2011
1:39 pm

WrenandStimpy

“I’m going to celebrate by trick or treating as a DUI Derek Lowe.”

OUCH!

james connah

October 31st, 2011
1:39 pm

Bodeen post caused me to chuckle even though it was rough. The horrible mistake . of course, was signing him to a lucrative, long-term contract. Did Wren do that ?

And even though I like Chipper he is a 4-5 million dollar player now. We don’t need to extend him after next season because he will probably be only worth half that the next year.

Lake Erie clean up

October 31st, 2011
1:40 pm

We don’t want your trash pitcher up here – we have enough trash to clean out.

Shane Hicks

October 31st, 2011
1:40 pm

Thank the heavens.

extremus

October 31st, 2011
1:41 pm

You can see just how far Lowe’s stock has fallen when you read that he was traded WITH CASH for a low-level minor league pitcher…and that’s before you factor in the $10 million the Braves will be eating for his salary. Knowing what a good pitcher Lowe used to be, I know that has to hurt, and for what it’s worth I wish him luck in rebuilding his career in Cleveland.

This trade HAD to happen, but if you look past the euphoria of thinking “Derek Lowe is no longer our problem” you realize that the Braves will STILL be significantly impacted by his contract through the end of next season; that’s $10 million that could have gone to address a whole lot of other needs on this club. If ever there was a case against giving ANY player in ANY sport a guaranteed contract for work not yet done (and there have been COUNTLESS examples) this would be it. If it’s a victory for the Braves, it is a phyrric victory at best.

Jay Dubu

October 31st, 2011
1:41 pm

Gary, The Mets had just as much or more disappointment with Ollie Perez and his 12 mil per year.

He didn’t pitch for almost 1.5 years for the Mets.

Tomahawkin

October 31st, 2011
1:42 pm

Its Also Good To Hear That SKEEEE Is Coming Back To The A!

Chuck Dawson

October 31st, 2011
1:42 pm

Maybe we can take the extra money and get a mid-market Asian experiment.

Luv 2 Hate Me

October 31st, 2011
1:42 pm

There is a god. Thank you Wren your getting off to a good start. Lets make 2012 happen!

Braves outtahere

October 31st, 2011
1:42 pm

Pack your bags and get out. Who will the cat bring home now?

Kyle

October 31st, 2011
1:43 pm

I’m surprised someone would take him but that is good news.

Around The Horn

October 31st, 2011
1:44 pm

AND NOW FREDI

Now it’s Fredi’s turn!

Let him go too Frank!

Chop Chop

October 31st, 2011
1:45 pm

Ten million is a big chunk for a club with a payroll like ours, but I knew we’d probably have to spend about that much to get him off the team. Lowe had some good moments in Atlanta, but he had to go after last season. You can’t really give Wren “credit” for this because he signed the dude in the first place. Anyway, that’ll open a rotation spot. We’ll see who gets it.

Laughing Jack (OUT LOUD)

October 31st, 2011
1:46 pm

Looking ahead, that was one very good trade! But, most trades look good if you’re moving forward. It’s in hindsight that the vision is 20-20…Hindsight is what most bloggers have. It’s easy to be a critic, but when you have to account for the purse and the over all performance of a team, it’s different.

Danny O

October 31st, 2011
1:46 pm

Better race on up there, Derek.

Matt

October 31st, 2011
1:46 pm

I’ll say it AGAIN…….does anybody read these articles before they are posted? Mistakes everywhere….

Nova Scotia Steve - Braves Fan Until The End

October 31st, 2011
1:48 pm

I still think Lowe has value and something to offer, but its a good deal for the Braves. $15 million is way too much for this guy.

However, we were in a bind when we signed him 3 years ago and wouldn’t have made the play-offs in 2010 with out him.

$15 million for the Braves to spend elsewhere this offseason. Extremely happy Hinske is back as well. Sign Gonzo and some BP help and we still have roughly $6 or $7 million to spend.

PJ

October 31st, 2011
1:48 pm

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monty Python

October 31st, 2011
1:48 pm

. . . And there was much rejoicing.

bbkorbel

October 31st, 2011
1:48 pm

Young Guns Pitching Idea: probably unheard of, but if you don’t want to rag-arm your young pitcher & keep them to 90-100 pitches per game & if like this year, next year they reach that amount by the fifth…then do this: Have a five-&-a-half man rotation. Have your young gun go 5 innings, with the second half of the five man rotation going the second half of the game. Whada y’all think?

Dwayne

October 31st, 2011
1:52 pm

bbkornball, that is one redunkuless idea. lmao!!!!
Fredi will still lead our Braves to another collapse.
That’s with a new SS, resigning Bourne and JH hitting better.

Brandon

October 31st, 2011
1:52 pm

wow i didn’t think anyone would take him….what a great trade.

Dwayne

October 31st, 2011
1:54 pm

He ragged out the bull pen, TH and JJ.
How about a new coach!! Hate to admit it, but Larussa is the best manager I’ve seen. And that’s with his “phone issues” in game 5.

swhite

October 31st, 2011
1:55 pm

I think that Wren is putting Gonzalez on a short leash. Regardless of what the “baseball experts” on this comment page think, Wren is working hard to right the ship. He’s dumped Lowe (who I hope has a really good season with Cleveland), and McLouth (who I hope gets picked up by someone and gets his form back). He’ll go after Bourne as a long-term answer in center and use whatever money Liberty gives him to get some help in here at other positions. He’s doing his part to give Gonzalez the weapons he needs to win…and I would imagine he’s probably told Gonzalez that he’d better win or get his resume ready.

ZJ

October 31st, 2011
1:56 pm

Lowe, you sack of sh*t! Don’t let the door knock your beer over on the way out. Now, other than your pitches, you’re going going gone!

Braves Squawk

October 31st, 2011
1:56 pm

DRINKS ARE ON THE HOUSE!!!

Dee

October 31st, 2011
1:56 pm

It’s about time we got rid of Lowe. He was a bigger monetary black hole than Hampton ever was.

Ryan

October 31st, 2011
1:56 pm

Imagine being so bad that a team is willing to pay you 10 mil just to leave

Dontavius Supremo

October 31st, 2011
1:57 pm

Not me, but does nnyone want to predict that, typical of so many “prior-Braves”, he’ll win 15 games next year for the Indians??? Any takers?

t_height

October 31st, 2011
1:57 pm

they may as well have kept and put him in a relievers spot instead of trading him and paying 10 million dollars. I think he could have done really good in the bullpen. Well at least they got something in return. Now try to find a way to get rid of fredi gonzalez.

Jay Dubu

October 31st, 2011
1:57 pm

Does this mean that JJ and Tommy Hanson are healed and ready to pitch a full season? JJ has missed the end of the last 2 season, and Tommy’s shoulder is bothering him, so what are the expectations for the two of them?

The Braves are down to 1 guy that can take the ball every 5th day…Hudson.

bbkorbel

October 31st, 2011
1:57 pm

Hey Dwayne…as I said…unheard of. Like have Tehran(sp) pitch the first half of his game with Medlen pitching the second half. And whoever had the better half that game gets the start the next game. Disclaimer: Pitcher names used are just an example & not intended to be the actual pitchers used, in case you were getting picky!

cosmo

October 31st, 2011
1:59 pm

when we signed Lowe – he was all we could get – he gave us two good seasons and won nine this year in a bad season – when we signed him we did what we had to do to get him since we struck out on the other available arms – the money for Lowe worked out better than the money for kk

obviously many other older players often don’t pan out in the last years of their multi-year contracts- Chipper is a bit of a question mark

good luck to Lowe – he carried us last September 2010 to the playoffs -

Red Wolf

October 31st, 2011
2:01 pm

Heat, humidity, long season, and age caught up with him. Most likely he wouldn’t have made the final roster out of spring training. He’s lucky someone took him and we’re lucky to have gotten something for him. Good luck to him. He did give us his all.

1eyedJack

October 31st, 2011
2:02 pm

The Injuns got snookered.

VinceVanGo

October 31st, 2011
2:03 pm

If Frank Wren were a CEO would they take the $10 million out of his salary? Baseball G.M.’s should have fiscal responsibility too. Where’s the incentive to make really “good deals” when you’re not held responsible for really “bad deals?”

JOD

October 31st, 2011
2:03 pm

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!! THANK YOU GOD. WE WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD WITH BATS AND BALLS FOR LOWE!

GTFan

October 31st, 2011
2:04 pm

THANK GOD!!!!! It’s about time.

Scott from Fairburn

October 31st, 2011
2:04 pm

The good people of Cleveland will now get to see what ‘non-competitive’ stuff looks like every five days … So long D-Lowe

Longhorn

October 31st, 2011
2:04 pm

Julio Teheran will definitely get the rotation spot. The only reason Delgado went up as the starter this past season was because the spot start occured on Teherans off day. Had the timing been different Delgado would not even be in the conversation. Just look at the numbers and see for yourself. Delgado will start the year in Gwinnett’s rotation and be the go to guy when someone gets hurt.

David O'Brien

October 31st, 2011
2:06 pm

Hopefully, change of scenery will benefit Lowe. Trust me, he was a good dude who worked hard and took time to help young pitchers.

There was a reason teammates backed him, publicly and privately, till the end, despite his declining performance.

A.D.

October 31st, 2011
2:06 pm

The Braves are paying 10 million of his salary and all we get is a low level most likely never to do anything prospect. Was Derek Lowe really that bad of a presence in the clubhouse that he wasn’t worth paying an additional 5million for one year or was this low level minor league player a good pickup for us.

Jerry Seinfeld

October 31st, 2011
2:06 pm

Don’t worry Cleveland. Braves will not ask for him back. We are not one of those…….you know ….people who give something and ask for it back.

Powder Blue

October 31st, 2011
2:07 pm

Good riddance, loser.

A-Ville Ranger

October 31st, 2011
2:07 pm

Wren should have a fair size nest egg to throw into acquiring a big bat. Anybody have a quess asto who he might go after ?

Clay

October 31st, 2011
2:08 pm

That $10 million would sure go a long way towards adding other talent to the team. Too bad that’s what they have to pay to get rid of him.

VP

October 31st, 2011
2:09 pm

The rotation spot in all likelihood will go to Mike Minor. We need a left in there to spice things up.

This is a major victory for the Braves. I would have been thrilled if all the Indians gave us was used DVD of minor league in return.

Naboo the Enigma

October 31st, 2011
2:09 pm

Don’t let the door hit your drunk arse on the way out. YA BUM

NickB

October 31st, 2011
2:10 pm

I keep waiting to hear from all the anti- Frank Wren people… apparently they haven’t read about this yet.

The truth of the matter is that Lowe’s peripheral stats showed that he was fairly unlucky last year as far as ground balls becoming hits is concerned. That happens sometimes to ground ball pitchers. that doesn’t mean he’s going to be great again, but I would expect him to rebound a tad bit to an under 4.00 ERA in Cleveland. Regardless though, with hi recent problems I think it’s ana amazing job that FW was able to move him and save $5mill AND get a prospect of any merit, even an A ball level one.

The Indians must really gonna go for it next year.

Bernie

October 31st, 2011
2:11 pm

When is Hanson Jurjiens and Heyward leaving? Sure need to try and move them too, Mr. Wrenn.

McCannCanns

October 31st, 2011
2:11 pm

Apparently the AJC’s copy editor was also included in the deal.

@___ISH___

October 31st, 2011
2:11 pm

Free at last, free at last!!!

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

October 31st, 2011
2:11 pm

Interesting move. Opens up a rotation spot and some much needed cash. You have to think that Bourne is a priority. Other moves may depend on how the arbitration moves go.

MoGA

October 31st, 2011
2:13 pm

Addition via subtraction

ryan

October 31st, 2011
2:15 pm

Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder who would you get with extra money to spend or big time out fielder .

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