UPDATE: Chip Caray has been axed by TBS.
Ken Davidoff of Newsday tells us that "the Braves will shop Derek Lowe more aggressively" after John Lackey signs. That only makes sense, since most of the teams willing to pay for Lowe are probably in on Lackey as well (and presumably Lackey is the more desirable commodity). But only one team can get Lackey, and there's more than one team that wants him. He speculates that the Braves might be able to get another team to take $39 million of the $45 million still owed to Lowe, which would be ideal. For what it's worth, Lowe says he wants to stay in Atlanta.
Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker translates a Japanese report that names the Braves as one of eight suitors for Takashi Saito's services. It'd be awfully risky to bring Saito in counting on him to close, since he'll be 40 years old and he's had his share of injury issues. That said, he was truly dominant in his three seasons in the Senior Circuit, and while he fell off a bit in '09 with Boston, it's still worth seven figures to bring him in as a setup man. A deal for a year and perhaps $4 million would make a lot of sense for both sides; pair Saito with, say, Billy Wagner, and you've got a helluva righty-lefty tandem for about $12 million, and no long-term commitment to either one.
Speaking of Billy Wagner, David O'Brien of the AJC spoke to Wagner's agent. Stringfellow confirms that eight teams are interested in Wagner, including the Braves. He says one team (not the Braves) could be deterred if Boston offers the lefty arbitration, which they are fully expected to do. More importantly, Wagner apparently likes the Braves: "The Bravesí proximity to his Virginia home and presence of Bobby Cox for 2010, along with having a pitching staff and team that should compete for a postseason berth, are favorable for them...," and Stringfellow indicates that the Braves might be able to get Wagner for less years or dollars than other teams that don't have so many positive attributes. This signing makes a heap of sense for both sides, and it sure would be nice to get Wagner in the fold early so that the front office's attention can shift its focus elsewhere.
The FOX Sports rumor gurus tell us that the Braves have shown interest in Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, but it doesn't appear that the Rockies are all that interested in moving him. That's OK by me...Spilborghs has always been helped by Coors Field (.861 career OPS at home vs. .730 on the road), and the last thing the Braves need is another outfielder teetering on the cusp between great bench player and mediocre starter.