So, most of Braves nation has heard the leaked rumor that Boston proposed Jonathan Papelbon for Javier Vazquez in 2009, but then the Braves went to the Yankees instead. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the Braves went to the Yankees instead. The Braves didn’t need an expensive Papelbon. Our bullpen has not been the issue in recent years, and it’s safe to say it wont be in years to come. (It goes to show you how much confidence the Bravos had in Craig Kimbrel, as well.)
The Braves ended up getting a highly touted prospect from that trade, a player by the name of Arodys Vizcaino, who projected as a top-five Braves prospect right away. For most organizations that’s not a major eye opener. To make the top five in a loaded prospect system, as the Braves have, he must be really special. He was projected as a solid number-three starter, but made his debut this year in the bullpen. He’s a flamethrower and the Braves could be taking the same rout with Vizcaino as several recent clubs have done with top pitching. Six years of a controlled Vizcaino over one or two years of an expensive, roadblocking Papelbon is way worth it in my eyes.
Braves trying to create payroll space (and lineup space) but for who?
Let’s start with what we do know.
- Braves traded Derek Lowe (thank you!) and $10MM to the Indians.
- Kenshin Kawakami is gone.
- Nate McLouth is gone.
- Braves have explored trading Martin Prado.
- Braves have explored trading Jair Jurrjens.
- $5MM – Amount saved from trading Derek Lowe.
- $6.75MM – Amount saved from taking $1.25MM buyout on McLouth.
- $2MM – Amount saved from Scott Linebrink‘s expired contract.
- $2.5MM – Amount saved from Alex Gonzalez‘s expired contract.
- $1.2MM – Amount saved from George Sherrill‘s expired contract.
- $7MM – Amount saved from Kenshin Kawakami’s expired contract.