UPDATE (12/16): Morosi and Rosenthal are reporting that Derek Lowe may become the primary target for the Angels now that Lackey and Halladay are off the market. So I thought this trade idea would be worth discussing once again. What do you think of this trade?
As we all know by now:
-The Braves have six starters on their roster right now and they are looking to move either Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez for a big bat. Lowe would provide the most economic relief and leave the Braves with the best possible rotation.
-The Angels have been actively trying to trade Gary Matthews Jr., who has been a bust during his three years with the Angels.
-The Angels have been shopping Juan Rivera in the hopes that they will be able to sell high on the outfielder and make a run at Jason Bay
With those needs in mind, let's make a deal.
Here is the (hypothetical) offer on the table:
Angels trade Gary Matthews Jr, Juan Rivera, and prospect(s) to the Braves for Derek Lowe and $5 million
Would you do it? Let's lay out the pros and cons for each side:
Why the Angels would do it:
-get rid of Gary Matthews Jr without picking up any salary
-acquire a solid veteran starting pitcher at his lowest value
-Allow the Angels to focus their efforts this winter on landing Jason Bay
Why the Braves would do it:
-Rivera fills their need for a right handed power hitter
-Very reasonable price for Juan Rivera (2 years/$10 million)
-Get rid of the $45 million owed to Derek Lowe over the next three years
Why the Angels wouldn't do it:
-Are they getting enough in return for Juan Rivera?
-Is Derek Lowe at 3 years/$45 million worth it?
-Adds an additional $15 million in payroll in 2012
-Prevent them from re-signing John Lackey
Why the Braves wouldn't do it:
-Do they really want Gary Matthews Jr?
-Too many outfielders
-Is Juan Rivera the impact right handed bat they have been searching for?
This is a trade that would allow both sides to get rid of their unwanted contracts and in the process, fill needs. The Braves have coveted a power hitting outfielder and Juan Rivera fits the mold (25 HR, 88 RBI) while Derek Lowe would give the Angels another solid and dependable starter, who could replace John Lackey in the starting rotation if he bolts. Lowe's contract is roughly $12 million more than Matthews and Rivera combined, so if the Braves throw in $5 million or so over the course of the contract, that figure should help the contracts offset.
At the same time though, there are many questions that surround this deal:
- Are the Braves willing to take on Gary Matthews Jr., who has been one of the worst players in baseball over the last two years?
- Do the Braves think Matthews can still be a productive player?
- Are the Angels willing to pay Derek Lowe $45 million over three years?
- Do the Angels think that Derek Lowe can be a front line starting pitcher?
- Are the Angels willing to take on Lowe's contract and unload Rivera in order to get rid of Matthews Jr?
- Are the Braves willing to take on Gary Matthews Jr's contract in order to get rid of Derek Lowe and the money owed to him?