Thursday, December 17, 2009

Knee-Jerk Reaction? Too Late to Fix It.

Derek Lowe is as good as gone. Though there is no news that the Braves have found a suitor, it appears the damage is done and now the Braves have to trade Lowe, and Lowe alone. That's great news for those of us that love Vazquez, but could be bad news for how the Braves come out in this deal.

Frank Wren has made it no secret that he wanted to move a pitcher to make room for a bat (preferrably a BIG bat, though there appear to only be MEDIUM-sized bats available). But in expressing the need to move a pitcher, Lowe in particular, the media, Mark Bowman in particular, have made Derek's 15 win season sound more like a 5 win disaster. This article, and the accompanying video, illustrate my point.

You'll also notice Derek is none-too-happy with the Braves' lack of communication through this process. From his language (perhaps a bit whinny) it appears that the damage is done. Lowe's not happy with the Braves, the Braves aren't happy with Lowe and in the end... Lowe goes back to LA, only in the American League this time. We get no value out of TLAAOA (The Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem). And we're stuck with a sizeable chunk of the salary that we we're trying to shed.

If that is the total of the damage, I won't be that upset. The problem is, isn't this reaction a little rash? Lowe had a 15-win season, with 2 months of poor mechanics that caused his ERA to balloon. Less than a year ago we thought he was an ace, worthy of $16M/yr for 4 years. He's eating his innings, despite his struggles, and by the way... HE PRODUCED 15 WINS! If 5 of his 13 "tragic" starts go the other way, thanks to fixing whatever mechanic issue was causing the trouble, we're talking about a 20-5 season and the best investment in recent Braves history.

Admittedly, I'm playing a bit of a "devil's advocate" role here. I think the Braves probably do need to move Lowe, even more so now that the damage is done. But the way it appears to be going down, I just can't see the Braves being the winner in this deal.

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