The Braves have a six-game lead in the National League Wild Card and trail the Phillies by only three games in the National League East, but they may be open to dealing a prominent member of their starting rotation before the July 31 trade deadline.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Tigers have approached the Braves about acquiring veteran right-hander Derek Lowe. And Atlanta’s front office may be ready to listen.
The Braves have one of the top rotations in the majors and possess great pitching depth in the minor leagues. They can get rid of Lowe, who has registered an underwhelming 4.30 ERA in 20 starts this season, and get equal — if not better — production from Julio Teheran or Mike Minor down the stretch.
Atlanta’s preference is to acquire a major league-ready right-hitting outfielder by the deadline, but Morosi says the organization may be content with dumping salary and netting young talent in a deal involving Lowe.
Lowe, 38, is making a whopping $15 million this season and is owed another $15 million in 2012.
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.