Atlanta Braves Relief Options, Part 3
ROYALS – SCOTT BARLOW
Kansas City is in the same boat as a number of teams: playing relatively well in recent days (winning 4 straight), but mired in the back of their own division (41-55).
The 28-year-old Barlow has seen his ERA jump a bit in recent days (2.04 to 2.68 since we last checked), and that’s due to a pair of bad outings (Cleveland, Cincy) that cost him 5 total earned runs back on July 7th and 8th.
Since then? 4 goose eggs with 1 walk, 3 K’s, and 2 hits allowed over 4.1 innings. Pretty much back on track.
The biggest concern with Barlow’s track record may be a 1.234 WHIP, which means that he has relatively few clean innings in relief, and that’s something that the Braves would be looking at.
Nonetheless, Barlow should get some interest this week.
TWINS – TAYLOR ROGERS
Probably the most disappointing team in the majors calls Minneapolis their home, and things haven’t improved since early July.
The Twins are now in last place… bouncing back and forth with Kansas City… and yet they might still hang onto closer Taylor Rogers.
The reason? He’s still under team control next year, and for a club that thinks they are still close to being contenders, that may be enough reason.
Rogers has seen his ERA increase to 3.35 (from 2.73) since our last look, but he still sports a 1.14 WHIP and has been quite effective aside from a big “oops” against the Tigers (4 runs allowed on July 11, plus another pair of runs — 1 earned — six days later).
So it’s hard to rank Rogers here since it’s hard to guess that Minnesota will allow him to be moved… I expect some General Manager might be persuasive, but likely not at the price the Twins will set.
Summary – Atlanta Braves best candidates
Yeah, I know everybody wants Craig Kimbrel — he’s definitely the best option, but also the most expensive — but that’s not terribly likely.
Given the relievers profiled here, let’s put rankings on the Braves’ possible preferences — which takes into consideration the expected price to acquire along with performance:
- FRY (Orioles)
- CISNERO (Tigers)
- SHREVE (Pirates)
- RODRIGUEZ (Pirates)
- SULSER (Orioles)
- BARLOW (Royals)
From the “likely can’t get” list, here are the preferences:
- KIMBREL (Duh… even though I didn’t bother to profile him)
- GRAVEMAN (Mariners – again, no profile)
- IAN KENNEDY (Rangers – likely to have serious competition)
- CHARGOIS (Mariners)
- SEWALD (Mariners)
- ROGERS (Twins)
Best hope? Seattle tries to thread a needle and allows one of their bullpen members to depart in exchange for some future help. Chargois might be the choice if that happens.
For the record, I would rank everyone on the “Can’t get” list above the “Can get” list… excepting Rodriguez, who I would rank in the Graveman/Kennedy range.
The Braves probably still need a couple more wins to put something into motion, but in having to wait this long to get something moving to help the bullpen, multiple potential wins have been forfeited.