Let the Lowe bidding begin
While the Phillies attempt to complete the Roy Halladay trade and the Red Sox debate whether the John Lackey acquisition provides an oportunity to improve their offense with the acquistion of somebody like Adrian Gonzalez, the Braves are preparing for the increased demand that Derek Lowe will now draw.
Within a span of just a few hours today, the Angels learned that Lackey was signing with the Red Sox and that a division rival (the Mariners) might have added Cliff Lee to a rotation that already included Felix Hernandez.
As I write this, there are some reports indicating that Lee might not be included in the Halladay deal. If that’s the case Ruben Amaro may want to have his people call some of the Turner Field engineers and determine how best to display four consecutive division titles.
But whether or not Lee is included in this deal, it’s safe to say that the demand for Lowe will increase over the course of the next couple of days.
With speculation that they would lose Lackey via free agency, the Angels have long been considered one of the more likely suitors for Lowe.
Understandably, there were some who believed they’d first make an attempt to grab Halladay before exploring this option.
But now that Doc H. will be pitching across the street from where Dr. J. soared to legendary status, the Angels will have to take a much longer look at the durability and dependability that Lowe could bring their rotation.
There have already been some Braves fans asking that 31-year-old outfielder Juan Rivera be included in the return package. While he stands as the affordable right-hander who could provide some pop to the Atlanta lineup, look for the Braves to also dig into the Angels farm system.
When I ask about the availability of Brandon Wood last week, one Angels source said, “the more teams ask about him, the better I start to think he might be.”
Over the next couple days we might learn more about a potential return package. But it’s safe to say that the Angels have the prospects to deal for Lowe and seemingly the sudden need to bring him back to the Los Angeles area.
Just as a reminder, Javier Vazquez’s contract includes a no-trade clause that prohibits him from being dealt to the Angels or any other club that competes in the AL or NL East.
To answer some of the hot topics on the previous post, I like most of you was shocked when I saw what it might cost to land LaRoche. But as long as a middle ground is eventually reached before he runs out of options for the multi-year contract he certainly deserves, you can just chalk this figure up as a product of his agent doing his job during the early portion of negotiations.
Also some of you have been talking about Milton Bradley. Because I haven’t had the opportunity to be around him on a regular basis, I’m not going to simply assume he’s as bad as his reputation suggests.
But I think it’s pretty safe to say that he has kept this reputation long enough to prevent the Braves from even taking a chance on the possibility that he would be different in the friendly atmosphere that Gary Sheffield enjoyed in Atlanta.
If the Cubs are definitely willing to take on a majority of the $21 million Bradley is owed over the next two seasons, maybe you do take a chance on his power potential, which was really only seen during his one year playing the offensively-friendly confines that the Rangers call home.
But would you really throw Bradley on Bobby Cox during his final season? Or would you take a chance on the kind of negative influence that he might bring while Jason Heyward is introducing himself to the Majors?