C-n-C Mailbag: Trading Renteria
R. Luciano writes,
I read your column on the Braves' pitching situation. I agree that Blanton can be a great addition. However, I wouldn't include Escobar in a package. I have always believed that he, Escobar, will be our SS for the next 10 years. Renteria is more likely to be traded, I believe. A trade with the Jays for [Roy] Halladay and [Dustin] McGowan for Renteria and three more players, seems like a very reasonable deal.
I honestly think that McGowan, a Georgia native, would be a great addition to our pitching staff. Trading for Noah Lowry would also be a good deal.
Lets please forget about Chuck James. I really would not put him #3 in our rotation.
The Braves starting woes is going to be something that comes up quite often this off-season. I agree with you saying that Renteria is more likely to be traded. Although Renteria is the better player at this point, it comes down to money. Renteria is more expensive, Yunel is under team control for a while, and the drop off isn't extremely significant. The only reason I would like to see Yunel moved is because he is at peak value right now. He just isn't going to keep up his .380 BABIP so why not move him now while he is more valuable than he most likely will be moving forward? Just my opinion there though.
The Blue Jays seem like a good trade partner with me even after giving a ridiculous contract extension to John McDonald. The team is in real need of an upgrade from the .619 OPS that McDonald has given them at short. That being said, there is no way the Braves will be acquiring one of those two much less both. Roy Halladay even on an off-year has been wonderful. Having an ERA under 3.75 pitching in a hitter's park in the AL East is quite an accomplishment and he is consistently great. The team still has him for three more years on a pretty reasonable contract and even if a pitcher of his caliber came onto the market, there are contenders with much better farm systems that could outbid Schuerholz and the Braves. Dustin McGowan isn't exactly in the same position but would be equally as impossible to get your hands on. He was their top prospect and after stalling in the high minors has come into his own in the majors with a very impressive season. McGowan isn't even eligible for arbitration for a couple years and you just aren't going to find a team willing to trade a cheap, young, top-of-the-rotation starter right now. I think AJ Burnett is a legitimate possibility if the Braves are willing to add in some more to sweeten the deal, or a guy like Shawn Marcum could also be a possibility.
Trading for Noah Lowry is not something I would advise or be at all happy to see. Looking at his ERA it looks like a great idea but lets break down his numbers a little more. Lowry is 14-8, quite a feat for such a miserable team, and has a 3.92 ERA in 156 innings. Good so far. Let's go into his peripheral stats though. Lowry has allowed 155 hits, which is perfectly acceptable, but has also walked 87 leading to a pretty miserable 1.55 WHIP. Add that onto the fact that he has walked exactly one for every one of his strikeouts. That is truly awful. Basically, if you took luck out of the equation this year, Lowry would not be pitching in the major leagues. He is relying far too much on getting double plays and they normally will not come so much for him. I would stay away from Lowry; his peripherals have tailed way off since his last couple seasons and he is a very risky acquisition.
I'll address Chuck James again here. I think the hate for him is completely undeserved. He was supposed to come in this year and be the fourth starter. Unfortunately Mike Hampton got hurt and now he is being judged a third starter. If someone on here wants to tell me that they wouldn't be happy with 165+ innings of 4.20 ERA from the fourth spot in the rotation, then please do so right now. I don't think he is a third starter but that isn't what he is supposed to be. If the Braves acquire a third starter and move him down a spot or even two if Hampton is healthy, he immediately becomes one of the top back-end starters in the National League if not all of baseball.
Well, I'm back from my little hiatus and I'll be posting regularly. Let's kick this off with another mailbag. Remember, if you want to get a Braves question answered, send the question to