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40-players-in-40-days-the-pitchers | November | 2009 Articles

2009 Archives

40 Players in 40 Days: The Pitchers

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[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Taken by Keith Allison"]By Keith Allison[/caption]

With the pitcher profiles finishes, here's the whole lot of them, grouped loosely by my own seven "categories". Note that Jorge Campillo and Buddy Carlyle have been removed since they were designated for assignment:

Rotation: Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, Javier Vazquez

Hanson is certainly untouchable, and I'm beginning to be more and more convinced that Jurrjens is too. Hudson isn't going to be traded after signing his extension. I can't see Kawakami bringing back any kind of return really, and his contract really is a bargain (plus there's the whole Japan PR issue that I think the Braves are concerned about). And I can't see the Braves getting better by trading Vazquez, as I wrote. So there's your 2010 rotation.

Bullpen: Kris Medlen, Peter Moylan, Eric O'Flaherty

I want to see Medlen get to try his hand at being a starter someday, but for now he's going to be a very solid reliever. Moylan and O'Flaherty were excellent in 2009, and they should be a solid tandem again in 2010.

Trying out for a 'pen role: James Parr, Luis Valdez

I like both these guys as potential bullpen pieces, but neither has enough of a body of work to merit an automatic bid. They'll get a long look next spring, with both potentially making the team on Opening Day.

Riding the bus back and forth from Gwinnett: Manny Acosta, Boone Logan

I don't view either of these guys as having as much potential as Parr or Valdez, since these guys both do have major-league track records, and those track records aren't great. I feel like we have enough info on them to hope that they aren't integral parts of the 2010 bullpen, but they will be useful injury fill-ins. Still, they're young enough to break through and could easily prove to be valuable relief arms.

Fearing for their roster lives: Stephen Marek, Todd Redmond

These guys are both old and not really prospects; they ought to be the first to go should Frank Wren ever need to clear a 40-man roster spot. They may last through the winter to get tryouts in the spring, but there's little reason to project either to have any role on the 2010 team.

Trade candidates: Derek Lowe, Jo-Jo Reyes

I stand by what I wrote in my profile of Lowe, that he's due to bounce back in 2010. I am, however, becoming convinced that the lack of starting pitching on the free-agent market may make it easier to move Lowe and most (if not all) of his contract. If another team will take on perhaps $35 million of the $45 million still owed to Lowe, it may make sense to trade him. Plus, one starter has to go, and I'm beginning to agree with the legions of posters who've said Jurrjens can't and won't be traded. Reyes is a guy that just doesn't quite fit in the Braves' plans right now, but who could still bring back value in trade from a team that has room to be patient with him in its starting rotation.

Playing elsewhere: Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano

The Braves will likely offer arbitration to one of the two, not wanting to risk the financial commitment of both accepting. Still, I think both can get multi-year deals on the open market and will head off for greener pastures. It doesn't sound like the Braves have any plans to have substantial contract negotiations with either.

So what does everyone think? Any guys that need moving? Any guys require new categories?

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