Outside the world of the Atlanta Braves, things have been a little quiet. The Braves signed two starting pitchers in an attempt to re-build a rotation that hasn’t been the same since the glory days. With Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami in tow, the Braves hope to regain some of the past glory, but how will these additions help your fantasy squad?
Lowe is a sinker baller and relies heavily on his infield defense to make outs for him. The Braves infield isn’t the best in baseball, but it is a serious upgrade over the one that backed up Lowe in 2008. Look for improved ratios and a similar win total.
Kawakami comes over from Japan and will be a solid mid-rotation type of guy. He’ll probably throw a lot of off-speed junk (similar to most Japanese pitchers that come to MLB) and should see mixed results. A big park will help to hold some of his fly balls. Look for 10-12 wins with an ERA near 3.70 and a WHIP around 1.20.
Andruw Jones cut a deal with the Dodgers that allowed him to become a free agent immediately. His stock is so low that no MLB team is expected to offer him a major league contract. Instead, he’s likely to receive a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. The Braves are his likely destination as his family still lives in the Atlanta area. He’ll have to earn his way onto a major league team, which will give you a good idea of if he’s worth having on your squad. He’s a great late round flyer, but don’t spend too much to get him until you see he’s regained his swing.
Michael Young has agreed to move to third base for the Texas Rangers. This shouldn’t affect his batting stats much, but will give him some nice position flexibility. Bump up his draft day value by a couple of bucks with this knowledge in mind.
Felix Pie was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Garrett Olson. Pie was a highly regarded prospect, that has never seemed to live up to his billing. The Orioles will likely plug Pie into left field and see what he can do. Don’t expect big numbers going up against AL East pitching. Olson will go into the Cubs‘ swingman role and hope to get some starts. If this is his future with the Cubs, he will be wasted. There is a lot of speculation that this is the beginning of the next round of Cubs-Padres talks regarding Jake Peavy.