As soon as the Teixeira trade went down yesterday, a flurry of rumors started about John Schuerholz’ next move to improve the Braves for a postseason run. With fewer top prospects in tow, these deals could be difficult to pull off, but here’s where they stand. I’ll update this post throughout the day as things heat up, but I warn you: these are just rumors until you see these players in uniform for the Braves.
UPDATE (3:43 PM): The deadline is less than twenty minutes away, and the Braves have finally announced the Teixeira deal. The Rangers also got Beau Jones in the deal, along with Salty, Andrus, Harrison, and Feliz. Presumably this means that Dotel will be on his way to Atlanta soon.
Right after the Teixeira deal was confirmed, the Braves were immediately rumored to be after Royals’ closer Octavio Dotel. For a while, the Braves were rumored to be sending Kyle Davies for Dotel straight up, but most sources have backed down after Dotel was seen shagging flies before last night’s game.
This deal was supposedly contingent upon physical exams of the players in the Teixeira deal (mainly Matt Harrison’s), and if one of the Braves’ players in that deal fell through, it was possible that Davies would have to be sent to the Rangers.
Right now, MLB.com has backed off of this deal, saying that the teams are not close, and that Davies for Dotel was merely an offer. It’s rumored that Royals’ GM Dayton Moore may prefer Davies to the Mariners’ offer of Wladimir Balentien, which may be totally nuts, but it should make Braves fans happy if this deal actually happens.
Dotel has an incentive-laden contract worth $5M for this year, with up to $2.25M in bonuses based on games finished, plus some postseason bonuses. It looks like he’ll get at least $1.2M of the bonuses this year if he stays healthy, and I assume the Braves would be on the hook for 1/3 of his base salary. He also has a player option for ’08 at $5.5M, and he can continue earning those bonuses next year.
UPDATE (3:55 PM): DOB confirms that this trade has been finalized. It’s Davies for Dotel.
MLB Trade Rumors posted that the Braves are interested in the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo to fill the heavily-discussed starting pitching void. If the Dotel deal falls through, Davies may become a piece of this trade. Jo-Jo Reyes would also figure to be a part of this one, and who knows what other prospects the Reds would want. The Braves appear to be unwilling to part with Yunel Escobar, but I think that might change if a decent starting pitcher like Arroyo were on the table.
Arroyo’s current contract runs out after next year ($3.8M this year, $3.95M next year), but the Reds signed him to a 2-year/$25M extension through ’10, with a club option for ’11 at $11M. The extension is closer to his market value than his current contract, and he’s possibly a bargain at that price, as expensive as it may sound.
UPDATE (2:05 PM): Reds insider John Fay has confirmed that Jo-Jo is part of the package currently being offered for Arroyo.
UPDATE (3:45 PM): Fay is now saying that the Braves could be offering Escobar after all. I’m not sure I’d mind giving up both Escobar and Reyes.
UPDATE (5:10 PM): Fay now says that the Reds didn’t make any deals, so I guess Arroyo’s staying put.
Could the Braves also be sellers? Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports that Bob Wickman can be had if the Braves secure Dotel. All I know is that this better go down fast.
The Braves are also in the mix for the Twins’ starter who dominated them in the series earlier this season in Minnesota. He’s not that good, but he’d be a step up over Jo-Jo Reyes if the Braves can’t get Arroyo. I’m not aware of any rumors as to what the Braves might have to give up.
The Braves dealt for Padres’ reliever Royce Ring just before the deadline, according to DOB. They sent Wil Ledezma and Will Startup to San Diego in this deal.