Yesterday afternoon the Atlanta Braves proved to all of major league baseball that indeed they have moved on from the Jake Peavy trade talks, as they traded several minor leaguers to the Chicago White Sox for SP Javier Vazquez. I know one man in San Diego that is using up those free minutes on his Blackberry.
Atlanta has held true to their word that they were going to bolster their starting rotation this offseason by trading for Vazquez. Vazquez has pitched with the "potential ace" label for years, but never lived up to the high hopes. But, he makes his 33-34 starts per year, gives the Braves 200+ innings and will strike out 200+. What he gives the Braves is consistency.....he will be on the mound every 5th day, unlike alot of the Braves starters last year.....Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Mike Hampton to name a few.
The Braves gave up Tyler Flowers, a power hitting catcher in High single A, SS Brent Lillibridge, who has a good glove and good speed, and two minor league pitchers Jon Gilmore and Santos Rodriguez.
For fantasy league owners, Vazquez is more valuable in the 5x5 format due to his high strikeouts. He will give owners about 12-14 wins per season.
There is also word that the Braves are hot after SP A.J. Burnett. Burnett could learn alot from John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, should the Braves sign him. There is also speculation that the Braves did not include Charlie Morton or Jo Jo Reyes in the Vazquez deal because they could be included in another deal for a starting pitcher, possibly for Zack Greinke or Aaron Harang.
Put Vazquez and Burnett/Greinke in a rotation with Jurrgens and rookie Tommy Hanson, the Braves could become contenders in the NL East again real quick. Are you listening Omar?
Foxsport's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Dodgers and Twins are leading the chase for Casey Blake, who is seeking a 3-year deal. XM Radio's Kevin Kennedy confirmed the rumor earlier this evening as he all but said the Dodgers will sign Blake. Kennedy has close ties to the Dodgers organization via a Foxsports gig. Kennedy also hinted that Ned Colletti will come away from next week's winter meetings with at least two free agent signings to fill some of the many holes on the Dodgers roster. Anything more than a 2-year deal for Blake is too much for a 36 year old third baseman.
The question now that the Braves are apparently out of the Peavy trade talks is who is the frontrunner to trade for him now? Cubs? Yankees? Dodgers? the age old "mystery team"? A bigger question is will Towers get more value than what the Braves were offering?