The O’s pre-trade deadline dance with Miguel Tejada to the tune of the Clash – Should he stay or should he go now? – bears some resemblance to the Atlanta Braves’ situation with Andruw Jones. Reading the “Inside Baseball” section of this week’s Sports Illustrated produced an all too familiar feeling.
A Brave Move By Atlanta
After entertaining offers for Andruw Jones before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, the Braves caused a stir last week when they put the All-Star centerfielder on waivers. Atlanta had the right idea: The club has to overhaul its aging pitching staff, and trading Jones (26 home runs, 95 RBIs, both team highs through Sunday) for young quality arms would move the franchise in the right direction. After the Braves had won 14 straight division titles, the bottom fell out this year (51-59, third place in the NL East) with the staff ERA ballooning from 3.98 in 2005 to 4.75 (ranked 12th in the league). “Their most impressive minor leaguers are position players,” says an NL executive. “They’re not as stocked with quality pitchers as they used to be.” With no deal in the works after four days, Atlanta pulled Jones off waivers last Saturday – effectively ending the possibility of a trade until the off-season.
A prolific offensive star serving as trade bait for a team in need of pitching? I think we’ve heard that one before in Baltimore. It’s just too bad that the Birds haven’t resembled the Braves more often in recent years. You can ask Leo Mazzone about that.