January 13, 2009

Braves sign Lowe, Kawakami, Cards potential pitching pool draining fast

The Atlanta Braves have just polished off a couple more potential pitchers that the St. Louis Cardinals could have taken a shot at in the FA market.

First Kenshin Kawakami went to the Braves on a three-year deal, the particulars of which will be announced Tuesday.

Then Derek Lowe got scooped by the Atlanta organization, reportedly taking a four-year contract that may be worth as much as $60 million.

The Braves also signed (earlier this off-season) Javier Vazquez, giving them a solid pitching core, even after parting ways with John Smoltz.

The pool of potential pitchers worth Cardinals time is becoming shallower by the week, and with a little over 30 days left until Spring Training, GM John Mozeliak may be looking at a late-winter deal that will have to encompass one of the surplus outfielders within the Cards' roster, including Chris Duncan is he shows up healthy.

The Cardinals continue to search for a deal within their means that can fill any of the following areas: 1) closer; 2) 5th starter to fill out rotation; 3) utility infielder.