Yes, the Braves are still in the bidding for FA pitcher A.J. Burnett. Burnett has always had some really electric stuff. And now, he appears to be healthy, and as Chipper Jones stated, "Now he gets it. He's a pitcher and when he's healthy, he's as good as there is."
Maybe Burnett can become the pitcher we all thought he was going to be when he came up with the Marlins. But what if the Braves don't get Burnett? There have been little-to-no talks with Derek Lowe, and the Peavy talks have dwindled to nothing.
Frank Wren has stated that he wants two veteran "top notch" pitchers and a power hitting left fielder with the $40 million that is allocated to him this offseason. However, our options are closing fast and it seems that in order to fill these needs, we will have to do the majority of it via trade. There are an awful lot of possibilities.
We may need to sign Jon Garland off of Free Agency. I know there will be some people that won't like this idea, but Garland is an innings eater, and coming to the N.L. would help his ERA.
After this, the Braves could go to the White Sox for a trade that has been discussed with the Braves getting Jermaine Dye and Javier Vazquez. I don't think the Braves would be giving up as much in this deal, as they would if they go back and try to land Peavy; and they will be getting two of the three needs taken care of.
Even though Vazquez has somewhat of a habit of having a high ERA, just remember that he has been in the American League for the past few years, and since the 2000 season, he is averaging over 216 innings per year. Isn't this exactly what the Braves need?
Don't they need solid pitching and pitchers that are going to be consistent and go deep into ballgames? This pitching rotation would be above average with Garland, Vazquez, Jurrjens, Campillo, and Tommy Hanson when they bring him up (officials have said that it will be sometime in 2009).
If the Braves aren't able to land Burnett and decide not to go back and try for Peavy, there are still viable options out there. Are they as good as having gotten Peavy, Burnett, and Derek Lowe this offseason? No, but they are options that can improve the team and put the Braves back into playoff contention.