Atlanta Braves: Derek Lowe Trade Put Braves $6 Million in the Red

Blake SilversAnalyst IIIFebruary 24, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 21:  Pitcher Gerek Lowe #32 of the Atlanta Braves throws against thes Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on September 21, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Liberty Media, the company that owns the Atlanta Braves is reporting that the team finished 2011 $6 million in the red, a product of the trade of struggling pitcher Derek Lowe.  

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution report Friday that details of the team's financial shortfall stated that “this one transaction had the impact of swinging [the Braves’] adjusted OIBDA from earnings to a loss." 

OIBDA is an acronym for “operating income before depreciation and amortization."

Lowe, whose final record for the Braves was 40-39 after three seasons, struggled mightily during the 2011 season, losing 17.  He was dealt to the Indians during the offseason in a deal that was enough of a loss to put the entire payroll into a state of debt.  

Liberty believes that if not for the Lowe trade the team would have shown a possible profit of $4 million, which would gross the total loss of the transaction at around $10 million.  

Derek Lowe was brought to the Braves by general manager Frank Wren as a cornerstone to rotation but was never able to win more than 16, even though he started 33 games or more each of his three seasons in Atlanta.  

The financial report apparently referred to Lowe simply as “one of their pitchers,” but included enough details to conclude that it was the 38-year-old veteran.

With Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami officially off the books, Frank Wren should certainly be relieved to put his two big pitching signings behind him.