Braves Rumor Round-Up

Drew Hallowell

Looking at recent rumors as we head toward the July 31st Trade Deadline

I'll go over one quick thing before we begin because there's always some confusion over late-season roster moves. The July 31st Trade Deadline is actually a misnomer. It is actually the deadline to make a trade without passing a player through waivers first, or the way you normally see a trade made. That's just not as catchy as The Trade Deadline. After July 31st and until the end of the season, teams can continue to make trades, but there are more restrictions.

From August 1 to August 31, a player on the 40-man roster has to be placed on waivers before a trade can be made involving that player - those not on the 40-man roster can be traded without passing through waivers. If the player is claimed, the team placing the player on waivers can either pull the player back, let him go to the claiming team, or trade him to the claiming team, but if the player is NOT claimed, he can then be traded to any team. During this month, teams will send 20-30 players through waivers to gauge interest or to simply keep their options open. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THEY WANT TO TRADE THE PLAYER. Any player acquired during the month of August is eligible for the postseason roster.

From September 1 to the end of the season, the same process reigns. The only difference is that anyone added to the active roster - note: rosters expand in September, allowing all 40 players to be eligible to play on the major-league team for this month if the team so chooses - AFTER August 31 - technically players are added before a deadline, but I'm trying to be more simplistic - is not eligible for the postseason roster, though there are loopholes (especially in the case of injuries).

On to rumors:

  • Ken Rosenthal reports "limited interest" of Matt Thornton. It makes some sense given that he's a left-handed reliever with a pedigree. But his peripherals and velocity have been headed in the wrong way for the last 4 seasons, and his 3.04 ERA isn't sustainable if he continues to pitch as he has - 4.76 FIP. At 36, he's not a saving grace anymore, and he has $2.5M owed to him over the rest of the season with a $6M option for 2014 that has a $1M buyout. Unless the White Sox cover a lot of this, meh.
  • There's a rumor that Tim Hudson expects to be traded, but I'm with Scott in that I don't think it's realistic. While I don't think his 4.03 ERA indicates his true talent-level, Huddy's trade value isn't high right now, especially considering he'll be 38 in a week. The only reason I would see a trade here is if the Braves need to clear payroll for another trade. It seems unlikely to me, but it's possible.
  • It has also been reported that the Braves have some interest in Joba Chamberlain. I agree with Ben in that the Yankees do match up as a trade partner, but Joba isn't really the guy we want. Joba's BB rate has skyrocketed this season, and he continues to be more and more flyball prone, which means he's more likely to surrender home runs. This seems more like an instance of people tying a team with an obvious need - the Braves and relievers - to the team they cover who wants to move a player - the Yankees and Joba.
  • This is a good time for some Trade Deadline advice. You'll hear a lot of reports over the next few weeks, and while I won't go so far as to say they're false, most of them will be plants or talks that just never materialize. Some teams will use the media for negotiating purposes - ie., link a team with a need to us to increase our leverage with another team that's interested. Some times the definition of "interest" is exaggerated. And if you hear "Team A's scout went to Team B's game to see Player Y", scouts go to other teams' parks all the time. It's their job. Unless the scout or the team specifically says - and not hearsay, either - on record that they were there to see a specific player, don't read too much into it. Again, a lot goes on over the next month, and very little of it will come to fruition.
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