It looks like the long-awaited trade of Atlanta Braves starter Derek Lowe is nearly upon us. The prerequisites for a Lowe trade are about to be finalized and that could be the trigger which leads other teams to make a move to acquire Lowe.
The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of signing John Lackey for way too much money. The Phillies and Mariners and Blue Jays are playing the Napa Cap Shuffle with Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, and the Phils want to have their cake and eat it too, so they will land Halliday regardless of the cost.
That leaves several teams, particularly the Angels, without a "top-flight" starter, and if they believe that Lowe fits that mold, then maybe they'll bite on a trade. The Mets, and specifically their fans, are also left wanting more, but not only do we not want to trade with a division rival, we don't match up well with the Mets on the trade front.
Those two teams would be the front runners for his services, but there may be another mystery team or two who could get into the bidding, especially if the Braves can eat some of Lowe's salary as they apparently indicated that they can (though that is not their preference). Lowe is essentially the next most attractive starting pitcher on the free agent or trade market this winter, and his services could come relatively cheap in terms of players a team would have to give up to get him.
For the Braves, getting rid of that contract would be a huge help, as the team must view that as somewhat of an overreaction last year to what had transpired the year before with the starting rotation. The balance on the Braves now would be to spend more money on the lineup rather than the rotation, especially with inexpensive rotation options in Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson entrenched for several years.
We're still in the sit and wait mode on a possible Lowe trade, but we're certainly waiting more eagerly.
Maybe the White Sox could be a buyer. After all they seem to be collecting a bunch of old Dodgers players who have bad contracts.