Lowe upset about trade talk, Braves need to move him

Last season didn't go as well as expected for Derek Lowe, and now the Braves may move him.

Last season didn't go as well as expected for Derek Lowe, and now the Braves may move him.

Even before Derek Lowe complained about being singled out for his struggles last season – and I’ll get to that in a minute – it was safe to assume the Braves were not going to get much for him in a trade. Now that he admits he’s miffed about the trade talk and has made the need for a deal a little more desperate, I’m sure they won’t get much.

Trade him anyway. It would be significant addition by subtraction.

Lowe, a relative bust as the Braves’ $60 million free agent last season, told Mark Bowman of MLB.com: “I’m just waiting for it to happen. I don’t think it’s a matter of if anymore. It’s just a matter of when.”

And then came the money quote (pun absolutely intended): “It kind of [upsets] you in a way. It’s well-documented that I stunk the last two months of the season. But I look at it as, ‘Am I the only guy who has struggled for a couple of months in his first season after signing as a free agent?’”

Lowe also said he is bothered that nobody from the organization has contacted him directly about a trade possibility.

Dude. Seriously?

The Braves didn’t exactly cozy up to franchise icons Tom Glavine or John Smoltz on their way out the door. How much good will does Lowe think he has built up? Besides, I would think his $15 million salary last season would buy a little therapy.

He went 7-3 with a 3.44 ERA in his first 13 starts. He fizzled to 8-7 and 5.59 in the next 21. Remember, the Braves got better in the second half, not worse.

Lowe was given No. 1 starter money. But by the last two months of the season, he looked like the rotation’s sixth most important pitcher (partly because of economics). Ahead of him: Javier Vazquez, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami and Tim Hudson (back from surgery).

Before, the Braves wanted to dump him. Now, they almost have to dump him.

Vazquez would be easier to move because he’s entering his free agency year. But Vazquez (15-10, 2.87) is coming off a great season and Frank Wren wants Lowe’s contract off the books.

There are a lot of rumors flying around  — not quite to the level of  Georgia defensive coordinator rumors, but close. One has Lowe going to the Angels for outfielder Juan Rivera. Another has him headed to the Yankees for Nick Swisher.

Wren probably would jump at either. But I’m guessing he’d settle for a couple of prospects who don’t bruise so easily.

Just getting Lowe off the payroll would give Wren $10 million to $15 million to spend in free agency (or via trade). He needs that to strengthen the lineup.

It’s not like there’s zero upside to keeping Lowe. He has been a solid pitcher through his career. But the upside has significantly decreased.

313 comments Add your comment

beau vighn

December 16th, 2009
10:15 pm

bravesfan22

December 16th, 2009
10:16 pm

trade lowe for some bats and balls and it’ll be a win for the braves……first!!!!

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
10:16 pm

Beau, I think you get double points after hours. Mazel tov.

bravesfan22

December 16th, 2009
10:17 pm

never mind.. beau vighn beat me to it!!

matt-t

December 16th, 2009
10:19 pm

Swisher would be a great get for Lowe, and Rivera would be nice too.
I agree Jeff, at this point trade him for whatever, get that contract off the books and get a bat. Even if they flip him for prospects they can use those prospects to get a bat.

Reid Adair

December 16th, 2009
10:21 pm

That is absolutely amazing. Derek Lowe was here for the Tom Glavine debacle, and I’m sure he’s well aware of the John Smoltz fiasco. He honestly thinks Frank Wren – or anyone in the organization – would tell him they were considering a trade?

Many people thought Wren signing lowe was a mistake, and his collapse in the last two months of the season did nothing to prove them wrong. Now he wants to cry about it.

I agree with you, Jeff. Dump him. Now. If Wren can get a case of baseballs and a few bats, that will be fine.

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:24 pm

Playoff recipe:

Unload Lowe for a bench outfielder
Play Matt, Nate and Jason in the outfield
Make a big trade for A. Gonzzzz at 1ts base to cover up Chipper’s bat (he will need it)

Playoff’s here we come…..

Joe Schmoe

December 16th, 2009
10:25 pm

Anything to dump his salary at least, so we can free up money to buy a bat or two.

Eric

December 16th, 2009
10:25 pm

bravesfanm you gitta type “first” first. Don’t waste time with comments!!

Sunshine

December 16th, 2009
10:26 pm

Nothing gets done as long as we have the donk Booby Cox here!

hal

December 16th, 2009
10:27 pm

i wouldent give him away i think hes still got the chance to bounce back but as in all things since ted sold the braves its all about the money i wish we could trade liberty lol

Gator Man

December 16th, 2009
10:28 pm

Dayman

December 16th, 2009
10:29 pm

Whether it be Lowe or Vazquez someone needs to go and bring in a bat. Vazquez obviously has more trade value, but he also is a legitimate #1 after last year. I didn’t agree with giving Lowe all that money last year, I wouldn’t be upset if they dumped him for some prospects.

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:29 pm

Remember all, the braves only had one pitcher when they signed Lowe (JJ). They had to sign him and over pay. Frank knew he was over paying but he had no choose at the time.

It just happened that everything worked for starting pitching, finally.

Man Hampton filled the Braves for three years, made them a $75 mil club. Unload Lowe for anything.

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:31 pm

I own the Gator’s O

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:31 pm

I made Tebow Cry…..

Derek Lowe

December 16th, 2009
10:33 pm

I would love to go to the Yankees for Nick Swisher! Remember 96 and 99!

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
10:37 pm

Derek, you don’t have a no-trade clause, but I’m sure the Braves appreciate your stamp of approval.

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
10:37 pm

Kirby — Yes. But do you write the songs that make the Tebows cry? Sorry. I was channeling Barry Manilow.

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:38 pm

mets will suck
marlins will suck
phillies win div
braves win wild card

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
10:38 pm

Reid — I know. I actually started laughing when I read that.

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
10:39 pm

Matt-t — I’m thinking prospects is the most likely scenario.

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
10:39 pm

Bravesfan22 — It’s OK, you were in the money.

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:41 pm

Jeff:
no, I am really a uga fan. And yes gator man is correct they own us…. it sucks, at least we own gt

tim

December 16th, 2009
10:44 pm

I’d be shocked if we could get someone as good as Juan Rivera.

At this point we should pretty much give Lowe away if it means not having to eat any of his salary.

Kriby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:44 pm

how did a braves blog turn into college football?

reid, i agree. lowe got $15mil and he wants a phone call…..please

Kirby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:45 pm

i just noticed that my spelling is really bad, somebody needs to let a brother know….

A Man Named Derek Lowe

December 16th, 2009
10:46 pm

Honeyyyyyyy, grab that a-hole Schultz’s Christmas card and burn it. Then wipe your tail with the ashes and flush it!

A Man Named Derek Lowe

December 16th, 2009
10:47 pm

Props to Curtis

Dayman

December 16th, 2009
10:48 pm

I was thinking, who really cares what Derek Lowe thinks anyway.

Kirby Smart

December 16th, 2009
10:49 pm

dayman, u r correct. I am going to bed…..

A Man Named Derek Lowe

December 16th, 2009
10:52 pm

You care enough to ask who cares. I’m flattered…

Todd - Dacula

December 16th, 2009
10:52 pm

Can a Lowe – Adam Dunn senario work? Dunn, McCann and Chipper Jones in the 3-4-5 holes…

Art Vandelay

December 16th, 2009
10:53 pm

Frankly (pun absolutely intended), Wren should be looking to get rid of Lowe if for no other reason than that he’s a jerk and called out his defense on the field at least twice this season (twice that I saw, anyway). I was completely stunned to see him throw his arms up and yell toward the outfield when whoever was playing CF (I think Schafer once and McLouth once) didn’t dive for a ball that Lowe thought he should have gotten to. Maybe if he wasn’t constantly giving up screaming liners to the gap, he wouldn’t have to worry so much about whether his OF was giving the effort he expects out of them.

PMC

December 16th, 2009
10:53 pm

yeah but seriously… they’ll be lucky to get anywhere close to equal value and they will probably have to pay part of his salary anyway. It would be better to try and keep him start the year strong showcase him and then trade him during the season.

It’s not like he’s a terrible pitcher. Right now they haven’t done a thing to improve the offense…. Jason Bay is out there for the taking….. all it costs is money…..

Dan

December 16th, 2009
10:54 pm

Dump LOWE get Jason Bay !!!

Really??

December 16th, 2009
11:01 pm

The Braves went from a GM who never disclosed his plans to Wren, who never shuts up. Last week it was the “we are going to trade Soriano immediately” as though his contract was vesting by the second. Predictably, he got nothing for Soriano. Now, he announces to the world that he can’t wait to get rid of Lowe. Quite the poker face, Wren.

GO BRAVES

December 16th, 2009
11:02 pm

Its not like he is the only one being mentioned in possible trades and it should’nt come as a shock.He should have known that we need run producers! by seasons end. Their will only be a few ways to do that uping the payroll, dont see that for a big bat,a trade DL will not give us that just prospects with high potential not like Jason Heyward though,so there is only one scenario the trade for prospects and a free agent signing and yes it would have to be Lowe.Vasquez is just to valueable to the club and the knowledge alone to the young guys is priceless

Art Vandelay

December 16th, 2009
11:03 pm

Problem with Jason Bay is that he’s the best FA hitter on the market and he expects to be paid like it. I’d rather see Wren get creative and add 40-50 HR to the lineup by signing/trading for two players who will hit 20-25 HR each instead of putting all our eggs in one basket. Didn’t work out so well with Teixeira, and we’re not the sort of team that can recover from a bad contract the same way a team like the Yankees can. The Braves should take a look at how the Hawks have been built — no real superstars, but a collection of several players who can take over a game at any time and know their roles. I’ll take a lineup with 15-25 HR power at positions 2-7 any day instead of one with 35-45 HR power concentrated at 3-4.

Driver 8

December 16th, 2009
11:07 pm

Art: Not disagreeing with you just had to note the irony that the Braves could/should look at the Hawks for a blueprint. Truly an alternate universe.

amicusterrae

December 16th, 2009
11:10 pm

Jeff,
This won’t hurt Lowe’s value much. Compare Lowe’s career numbers to Lackey’s, who just signed for 16.5 mil per for 5 years. Lowe’s 15 mil per year over 4 years turns out pretty close. How much do you think the Braves will have to pay? Somehow the Phillies got 6 mil from the Jays with Halladay.

But I agree with you that it’ll be addition by subtraction when he is moved!

amicusterrae

December 16th, 2009
11:12 pm

Besides, it’s not like we gave up any talent to get Lowe. He was free agent. Why does everyone think we have to get much in return? Freeing up the 15 mil per year will be great.

Art Vandelay

December 16th, 2009
11:12 pm

Driver: We have entered bizarro-world. No doubt about it. But I’ll take it — been way too long since the Hawks have been this much fun to root for.

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
11:14 pm

Amicusterrae — This isn’t necessarily about Lowe’s pitching value. This is about other suitors (and there aren’t many) for Lowe’s services knowing the Braves want to move him. If the relationship between team and player deteriorates, it stands to reason the team will now take less to trade him than they might’ve before, just to get rid of him. Granted, though, it probably wasn’t going to take much anyway. .. As far as how much of Lowe’s $$ they’ll have to pick up, that’s the question of the hour.

Art Vandelay

December 16th, 2009
11:16 pm

And amicus — you’re 100% right. I’d be happy if we could just find a team willing to take Lowe’s entire contract, even if all we get in return is spare parts. Soriano just used the Braves to get the salary he wanted, and there’s not a thing wrong with that since it didn’t really cause any problems. But it’s unreasonable to expect Wren to get anyone valuable in return for Lowe because his salary isn’t justified by last year’s performance, and there’s no real reason to think he’ll be any better this coming year. Anyone willing to take him and his bloated contract would essentially be doing us a favor.

Jeff Schultz

December 16th, 2009
11:16 pm

Dan, Art, everybody else: I just don’t see Jason Bay happening. Even dumping Lowe’s contract, he’s going to be way too rich for what Braves are budgeting.

cattle dawg

December 16th, 2009
11:24 pm

Honestly, who the heck is the big bat the braves are going to get? Wheres Nick Esaky?

Rico Carty

December 16th, 2009
11:25 pm

Is Jeff Burrough still available? How about Orlando Cepeda? Man, when I played he could swing de bat and pick it at de first base.

Joshhh...

December 16th, 2009
11:26 pm

bahaha! I love this article Schultz!

Herschel Talker

December 16th, 2009
11:34 pm

Schultzie – let’s trade him to the Rays for Rafael Soriano.

Seriously though, assuming this doesn’t net much in return since the desperation is obvious at this point, do you have any confidence in Frank Wreck to get a bat? He’ll have no trade chips left, and he won’t have the budget for a free agent. And he may need several bats if LaRoche isn’t signed. What a disaster we have on our hands.