In the background of the big news that the Atlanta Braves traded Derek Lowe on Monday, the Braves made two other significant moves, although expected moves.
First of all, they exercised the option of Eric Hinske. He was a valuable piece to the Braves in 2010. He, like many other Braves’ hitters, struggled in 2011. Look at the differences between the two seasons:
Hinske is still a valuable piece for the Braves. He is a well-liked player and he is about as clutch a pinch-hitter as the Braves have had in a while. His option for 2012 is only $1.5 million, so for that price, he is a value.
The Braves also declined the option on Nate McLouth. As with Lowe and Kawakami, the Braves don’t have to worry with his ineffectiveness any longer. They will pay McLouth a buyout of $1.25 million. McLouth missed most of 2011 due to injury. The Braves utilized Jordan Schaefer, then traded for Michael Bourn to alleviate the need to depend on McLouth any further.