Why Trade Thomson?

I’m really confused by the Braves reported interest in trading John Thomson.

Macay McBride and Blaine Boyer could join John Foster on the disabled list to start the season, adding more urgency to the Braves’ efforts to trade for bullpen help before opening day.

The player being shopped around is starter John Thomson. Two officials with American League teams confirmed the Braves are trying to trade him and are seeking a reliever as part of any package in return. Kyle Davies would be the likely candidate to replace Thomson in the starting rotation.

With McBride and Foster hurt, Mike Remlinger is the only healthy left-handed reliever. The Braves are considering moving lefty prospect Chuck James to the bullpen instead of Class AAA Richmond’s starting rotation.

The Braves want Smoltz, Hudson, Ramirez, Sosa, and Davies to be their starters. The bullpen is so bad, Mike Remlinger might actually make the team. Here’s and idea: put Thomson in the pen. Thomson will make $4.75 million this year. That’s a cheap price for starter and on the high side, but not unreasonable, for a good reliever. I’m not sure whom the Braves think they can get for him—especially after his “shaky” spring— but I doubt they’ll get much more than what Thomson offers. If I heard the Braves acquired bullpen help with the same stats as Thomson, I would be elated.

Thomson has a good strikeout-to-walk ratio and he doesn’t give up a lot of home runs. Plus, he can step in and pitch a lot of innings if anyone in the rotation gets injured to sucks. Smoltz and Hudson are injury risks. Ramirez and Sosa fall into the latter category, and Davies may not be ready yet. Mr. Schuerholz, if you think you need bullpen help, look no further than your own bench. I think you’re trying to trade away exactly what you’re looking for.

3 Responses “Why Trade Thomson?”

  1. Andrew says:

    The thought of Horacio Ramirez in the #3 spot really scares me. I would feel much better if Thompson were in the rotation and Horacio was traded/in the pen. I suppose Sosa could get traded too with his value likely at its peak. Two things I do know (and reinforced a couple chapters into Built to Win): Trust John Schuerholz and If you heard about a trade the Braves are going to make, the source was probably just guessing and the move the Braves make will be under the radar (examples: Farnsworth, BJ Surhoff, McGriff, Sheffield, Jorge Sosa, and the list goes on).

  2. Thomas Bradshaw says:

    JC, I agree. Getting equal return on Thompson is going to be tough to find. Thompson gives the Braves flexibility that would be hard to replace or do without given the current construction of the club. While I trust in Schauerholz in general, I remain skeptical at this point in the season. It would be better to wait until the deadline to get backend reliever.

  3. Mac Thomason says:

    I’m not worried about righthanded relief if Boyer really is ready to go; Reitsma-Devine-Boyer-Villareal-Cormier isn’t exactly the 2002 Angels but it’s pretty good. But as long as they’re determined to play the “percentages” and have two lefties that’s going to be a problem. I’d rather, all affection for Remlinger aside, just go with McBride (if he’s healthy) and use Thomson there.

    Thomson or Craig Wilson… I don’t know which I’d rather have. Depends on the day.