In a move designed to clear both money and a rotation spot, the Atlanta Braves traded veteran RHSP Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians for minor league LHRP Chris Jones on October 31st,2011. In the 3rd year of a 4 year pact, Lowe was 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA in 34 starts in 2011. Over his 101 starts with the Braves, he went 40-39 with a 4.57 ERA. The 38 year old veteran was Atlanta’s opening day starter for the past 3 seasons. The Indians have agreed to pay $5 million of the $15 million Lowe is owed in the final year of his deal(2012). Jones pitched well in Class A, with a 3.36 ERA in 43 games while striking out 65 in 72 and a a third innings. He killed lefties- .143 batting average(12-83)- and could make the majors as a southpaw specialist. While the Braves slash the $5 million of their payroll, more importantly a slot in their starting rotation is now open and Atlanta has two prime candidates in LH Mike Minor and RH Julio Teheran, one of the top pitching prospects in the game, to compete for the role this spring. According to Braves General Manager Frank Wren, the team has around $10 million to spend in free agency. He hopes to find a starting shortstop, veteran outfielder and a utility man who can play both middle infield positions.
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