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Braves Not Interested In Dealing Lowe

The Braves may be contenders, but that hasn't stopped people around the game from wondering whether the team might be interested in trading right-handed starter Derek Lowe. That talk should probably cease for now, though, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

The reasons behind the Lowe trade speculation were obvious. The Braves have multiple quality alternatives currently dwelling at Triple-A, including Rodrigo Lopez, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor, and Lowe is Atlanta's most expensive pitcher, making $15 million both this season and the next. So you can understand why people would propose that the Braves could be interested in moving Lowe now, while he's currently posting strong numbers, in order to free up starts for one of the aforementioned pitchers.

But Atlanta expects to contend all season, and they clearly believe that they're a better club with Lowe around. It's tough to disagree given how good he's looked this season, though. He's missing more bats than ever before, and he's still posting an exceptional ground ball rate in the high 50's. His 3.07 xFIP is currently tied for 14th-best among all pitchers with 40+ innings pitched so far.

And even though Atlanta's impressive pitching depth is a core part of why some wonder if they'd deal Lowe, we all know how fragile MLB pitching depth can be. Brandon Beachy is currently on the DL, and Jair Jurrjens spent some time on it earlier this season; it's always risky for a contender to give up MLB-ready starting pitching.