The Braves have been very active so far in this very young offseason. Here’s what they’ve done today:
- The Braves traded Derek Lowe today to the Indians, according to multiple reports. The Braves will get an undetermined minor league player in return for Lowe and will be paying $10MM of the $15MM left on Lowe’s contract. Lowe led the league in loses this season with 17. He was a combined 31-22 in his first two years of a four-year, $60MM deal he signed before the 2009 season. However, he had arguably the worst season of his career, despite getting support from a talented team around him.
- The Braves also declined the club option on Nate McLouth‘s contract. The deadline for players and clubs to accept or decline options is tonight at 11:59 ET. After earning himself an All-Star selection with the Pirates, McLouth was traded to the Braves in June of 2009. Since then, he has hit just .229 in 250 games with Atlanta.
Both moves were great for the Braves. First, they unloaded $5MM in the Lowe deal, likely the only way they could get rid of him. This reminds me of how close the Mets were to signing him. Thanks to Omar Minaya, the Mets wouldn’t offer Lowe any more than three years, which was a sticking point. The McLouth option was a no-brainer. There wasn’t a chance that the Braves were going to pay a .228 hitter last year $10MM. This will give the Braves enough salary flexibility to go after a big free agent, which could makes this offseason worse for the Mets.