Thursday, October 23, 2008
GM reiterates Braves won't part with prospects, even for Peavy
ATLANTA -- General manager Frank Wren insists the Braves won't trade their most valued prospects, apparently not even to bring Jake Peavy to Atlanta.
Speculation about the Braves' interest in Peavy has grown since the San Diego Padres confirmed they were fielding offers for the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner.
On Sept. 29, one day after the Braves completed their first 90-loss season since 1990, Wren said he wouldn't part with the organization's top prospects.
Wren made that proclamation before knowing the Padres would consider trade offers for Peavy, but he affirmed his stance Thursday when asked about Peavy.
"From our perspective we still feel the same and we are looking to the future when that next wave of talent I spoke of arrives in Atlanta," Wren said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Two top minor league players mentioned in widespread trade speculation are starting pitcher Tommy Hanson and outfielder Jordan Schafer.
Peavy has a no-trade clause in his contract with the Padres, and his agent, Barry Axelrod, has said the right-hander likely would approve moves to the Braves, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.
Peavy, a native of Mobile, Ala., would seem to be a good fit for the Braves. Wren said his top offseason priority is to add two starting pitchers.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported this week the Padres had three scouts watching Hanson make an impressive start at a recent Arizona Fall League game.
Numerous reports suggest the Braves might include Schafer, Hanson and one of two Atlanta infielders -- shortstop Yunel Escobar or second baseman Kelly Johnson -- in an offer for Peavy.
"Many of the trade speculations that have been written over the past few weeks are inaccurate," Wren said. "For the most part they are simply an outsider speculating what we might do and not what we would do."
The 23-year-old Hanson threw a no-hitter for Double-A Mississippi this year. He was 11-5 with a 2.41 ERA and had 163 strikeouts in 138 innings at Class A Myrtle Beach and Mississippi.
Padres general manager Kevin Towers has said he expects to have young pitchers included as the starting point of any talks involving Peavy.
Wren said the Braves must plan to be without right-hander Tim Hudson, who had elbow ligament-replacement surgery on Aug. 7, for the full 2009 season.
John Smoltz and Tom Glavine had season-ending shoulder and elbow surgeries, respectively, and their status for 2009 remains uncertain.
Meanwhile, left-hander Mike Hampton is a free agent.
Wren said he hopes to re-sign Hampton, but he still will need to add more starting pitching. As the rotation currently stands, the top returning starters are 2008 rookies Jair Jurrjens, Jorge Campillo and Charlie Morton.
"We're going to have to get an established starter or two that can kind of lead the way for our younger pitchers, and we do like our younger pitchers," Wren said. "We think we've got a real good group coming, but we need some veteran stability at the top of the rotation to take some of the pressure off them."
Wren said Hanson could make his major league debut "at some point" in the 2009 season but shouldn't be counted on to make the opening day rotation.
Peavy was 10-11 with a 2.85 ERA this season and was on the disabled list from May 15 to June 12 with a strained right elbow. He was 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 2007.