Saturday, July 30, 2011

What were the Braves thinking?

So the Braves could have prevented the Phillies from loading up on a good right-fielder for the next 2+ years, but ultimately they didn't, and now everyone is handing the Phillies the NL East for the foreseeable future. What in the world were the Braves thinking?

Presumably they weren't willing to trade two of their top pitching prospects - whomever that might be, because most in the media would draw Delgado, Minor, Teheran, and Vizcaino out of a hat and rank them that way.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you still only need five starting pitchers, right? Let's look at the Braves' rotation:

Derek Lowe - under contract (a big contract) through 2012.
Tim Hudson - under contract through 2012, with a team option for 2013 (and a $1m buyout)
Jair Jurrjens - a 25-year old ace, won't be a free agent until 2014
Tommy Hanson - 24 years old, won't be a free agent until 2016
Brandon Beachy - 24 years old, won't be a free agent until 2016 (or 2017, I can't tell. But it's on down the road).

So Lowe and Hudson are likely gone at the end of 2012, due to free agency, and them being old. Going into 2013, the Braves would have Jurrjens locked up until 2014, and three more years of control of Hanson and Beachy. That's two starting pitchers they'll need for 2013-2014.

Why not give up two of the Big Four? I could understand it if the Braves would have to flip the entire rotation in two years, but they clearly don't. Two starting pitchers is what they'll need...two years from now.

The Braves and Phillies clearly have different organizational philosophies, and that showed in the last 16 hours. Maybe it'll pay-off in the long run for the Braves, but it looks like the Phillies have the edge for the next two years.