Awaiting trades and Dodgers

   (Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien this weekend for the Dodgers series.)

 

   Well, it’s trade deadline day, and here we are. Not exactly brimming with anticipation at a pending move, but hey, that’s probably a good thing. I still bet the Braves add a piece for the bullpen if they can. I can’t remember the last July 31st where they did nothing.

   Though I have to say we’ve had much more activity on the trade front earlier this season than normal, for the Braves, so that might skew things. Nate McLouth was a big trade, so was Jeff Francoeur, all things considered.

   And it does seem this trade deadline around baseball has featured more early moves than some years. Every day this week has been boom, boom, boom.

   DOB is going to follow the trade situation today – the deadline is 4 p.m. – and I’ll be covering the game, but either way, you folks will be getting your news.

 

DODGER BLUES: 

 

   So we have the Dodgers in town this weekend, as the big series keep coming. They’ve had quite a season, these Dodgers, who bring the best record in baseball to town at 63-39 (.618). And only the Angels (28-20) have a better road record than the Dodgers, who are 29-22 on the road this season.

   They do come in on a little down-note. After going 5-2 coming out of the All-Star break, the Dodgers have gone 2-5 since, including a season-worst four-game losing streak, while dropping series to the Marlins and Cardinals.

   Manny Ramirez has been cool too, going 4-for-26 (.154) in his last six games with nary an RBI. And that was the least of his problems yesterday, when it was revealed both he and David Ortiz were among the infamous 104 who tested positive for PEDs in 2003.

   Neither one is a big surprise, at this point, but to have that kind of black-and-white confirmation puts a big old taint mark on the magical Red Sox 2004 World Series, no matter how you look at it.

 

FURCAL RETURNS: 

 

   Speaking of tainted, I’m wondering how Rafael Furcal will be received tonight at the Ted in his first trip here since the free agent fiasco of this past winter, when the Braves made a run at signing Furcal, only to, it appeared, get used by Furcal’s agent Paul Kinzer to get a better deal with the Dodgers.

   Furcal has denied that he or his agents had agreed to a deal with the Braves. He was always a fan favorite here for his speedy and gritty play. I have a feeling all is not quite forgotten though. Not yet. But we’ll have to see.

 

NEW LA RELIEVER

 

   The Dodgers just picked up Orioles closer George Sherrill, a left-hander, to help lighten the load for their bullpen coming down the stretch. That adds to an already formidable back end with Jonathan Broxton, an NL All-Star, who has 24 saves in 27 chances. Sherrill had 20 saves for the Orioles. Sherrill will join the Dodgers tonight in the ATL.

   (I pause to tell you it’s pouring outside my window right now. My window could be a car windshield in a car wash. Let’s just get this all out before tonight, is all I’m asking. Yeah, looks like chance of rain decreases as the night goes on 40 percent at 6 p.m., 30 percent at 7 p.m., 20 percent at 10 p.m.)

 

OLD FRIEND

 

   We’ll also see an old friend in Jason Schmidt, who hasn’t pitched against the Braves since August 29, 2006, when he was with the Giants. He gave up eight runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings that day and walked four.

   Schmidt won his first game in two years on July 20, coming off multiple shoulder surgeries, holding Cincinnati to three runs in five innings. But then on Sunday, he gave up five runs in three innings to the Marlins. He’s teetering on something, and he’s got to hope it’s not the end of his career. He’s 36 now and has been in the majors for 13 years.

   I have a happy memory of writing about Schmidt though, one of those neat little stories you come across. He’d told me about an eighth grade teacher who asked his class to talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up, and when Schmidt said major league baseball player, the teacher was skeptical and told him to come up with something more realistic. I ended up tracking down that teacher and talking to him for the story. He was a good interview and had gotten a kick out of seeing Jason reach the bigs.

   I just looked back to see Schmidt only pitched two seasons with the Braves, after coming up through their minor league organization – 1995 and 1996. Shoot, he’s started more games against the Braves (18) than he did for them (13). He’s 5-6 with a 6.45 ERA in 22 games (13) as a Brave. He’s 5-8 with a 5.00 ERA in 18 games against them.

 

CRIME DOG TO THE HALL? 

 

   It’s a fitting topic for trade deadline day, if you ask me. To discuss this, I steal from Mr. Marc Topkin, a veteran Rays beat writer for the St. Pete Times who happens to be a super nice guy and a member of our notes group.

   Here’s what he wrote about former Brave Fred McGriff, who will go on the ballot for the next Hall of Fame election (from here to the end is written by Topkin):

 

   “With each new revelation about steroids and PED use, his all-natural candidacy should look better and better.

  McGriff, who is now a special advisor for the Rays, should measure up pretty well numbers-wise with 493 homers, 1,550 RBIs, a .284 average.  Further research by Rays VP Rick Vaughn makes them look even better, noting that all eligible players with similar triple crown category numbers are in, and that McGriff compares very favorably with other first baseman in the Hall, as well as those in his era.

   And then there’s this: ‘I take a lot of pride knowing I worked hard to play the game for 18 or so years,’ McGriff said. ‘I know I can take to my grave I didn’t do steroids, performance-enhancing drugs, whatever you want to say. I played the game the correct way.’

  That being said, the question then becomes how much better McGriff’s numbers should look given that so many of his contemporaries have either admitted, been accused of or caught cheating.

  McGriff is cautious to provide the answer. ‘To say my numbers should be judged better because some of those guys are considered having used steroids, I don’t know if that’s the right wording,’ he said.

   He’d prefer to be judged on his consistency, on his reputation among his peers, and his work ethic, and not on the flaws of others.

  Former Rays GM Chuck LaMar said there should be little debate. ‘Fred McGriff is a Hall of Gamer in my mind,’ he said. ‘And there’s no question he did it the right way.’

 McGriff vs. 1Bs in Hall of Fame

                            HRs   OBP  SLG  BA

Fred McGriff        493  .377 .509 .284

Orlando Cepeda   379  .350 .499 .297

Harmon Killebrew  573  .376 .509 .256

Willie McCovey      521  .374 .515 .270

Eddie Murray        504  .359 .476 .287

Tony Perez           379  .341 .463 .279

    OK, there will be plenty of updates coming your way this afternoon. More from the ballpark….

 

 

4,246 comments Add your comment

Bravo

July 31st, 2009
12:31 pm

Will Furcal be booed?

the hopes of the braves nation rest in your hands mr. hanson

July 31st, 2009
12:36 pm

flange1

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

Boo Furcal and manny! I will tomorrow!

the hopes of the braves nation rest in your hands mr. hanson

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

damn….second.

yes, raffy will be booed.

Drew

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

It takes a lot to get booed in Atlanta. Hope so, just for the sake of it but I don’t know if I’d count on it

N8

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

Sorry to start this blog with a long post, but wasn’t sure if DP would go to the old blog to see it, so I’m copying and pasting it (that and I think it’s a valid argument to all the Kotchman bashers):

DP, normally a team wouldn’t have to do so. But a team that has 45 percent of it’s payroll tied up into it’s rotation, and has only so much money to go around.

So your reference to the pitching staffs of the 90’s is a worthless comparison, because money wasn’t an issue back then. In case you’ve forgotten, along with those great pitching staffs, we usually had 4 or 5 high-priced all star caliber everyday players to go with the expensive pitching staff (the bullpen is where JS skimped on payroll back then).

In this day and age, even though McCann is signed to a “friendly” contract, with the dollars tied up in the pitching, we cannot afford to acquire a 1B with power. One needs to be developed (say, perhaps like Freeman?)

We could have Adam Dunn at 1B, but that would have meant passing on one of the pitchers. So if you’ve read any of my posts in the last 6 months, you’ll know that while Dunn’s defense was a turn off for me (I would have put him in the OF and kept Kotchman), I was all for another bat and one less pitcher in the off-season.

But here is an example. Take the Brewers. They have a monster at 1B in Prince Fielder (23 HR and 89 RBI), which are obviously better numbers than McCann has put up. But their main catcher? Jason Kendall. 0 HR, 26 RBI. Rivera, their backup catcher has 0 HR and 2 RBI.

So, combined they have 24 HR and 117 RBI out of 1B and catcher.

McCann has 12 HR and 52 RBI. Ross, McCann’s backup, has 6 HR and 15 RBI. Kotchman has 6 HR and 41 RBI. Prado has had 1 HR and 3 RBI while filling in for Kotch at 1B.

So, combined, they have 25 HR and 111 RBI. Not really that far off of the production that those guys have. And we’re talking about Fielder, one of the best power hitters in the game.

My point is that different teams get production from different positions. Cal Ripken provided more offense for the Orioles, than Ozzie Smith did for the Cardinals. Meaning the Cards had to get their offense elsewhere.

We have one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. Appreciate it. Respect it, and get over the fact that we don’t have a big bat at 1B.

We’re years removed from having big production at every positions like we did in the 90’s and early 00’s.

Heath

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

If they only going to make a small move…it would be nice to get a reliable guy for the ‘pen.

timthebrave

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

I think the “crime dog” will make the hall of fame. I definitely have some great memories of him playing in Atl. Braves need to keep winning series. We would have won the last one except for the blown save. Not blaming Soriano since he has been awesome this year and it was bound to happen. Go Braves!

CaseyRome

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

Oooh, might be first today!! Anyway, let’s go Braves..

Roman Gal

July 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

Lost his luster? Shamus

Nah…I’ve still been talking about him. I just didn’t last night since he decided that he wanted a Golden Sombrero.

Roman Gal

July 31st, 2009
12:38 pm

If you were the GM and could trade Freeman, Schafer, Medlin, Kotchman and a lower level arm to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez, would you do it?

No. Absolutely not.

Heath

July 31st, 2009
12:42 pm

I still think it’s interesting that we discuss trades with the Padres with Towers as the GM. Haven’t we realized that the guy is just not reasonable with his trade requests? If we are going to throw out trade scenarios for a power 1B, we are far better to dream about trading with Cleveland.

Renegator

July 31st, 2009
12:42 pm

Quiet day so far on the trade front.

Rock On....the denizen formerly known as Dadgum

July 31st, 2009
12:43 pm

You can count on Furcal being booed….loudly and often.

Could this be a preview of a 1st round playoff? If the Braves make it then probably so.

Got a feeling either Conrad or KJ is traded today.

brent a.

July 31st, 2009
12:43 pm

I’ve got tickets for this one and it looks like a rain-out

TnBrian

July 31st, 2009
12:44 pm

Furcal should booed like never before. He’s a lying sack of dog crap, he and his agents. For Sheurholz, who is a classy, well respected man to come out public and say he’s never seen such disgusting actions in all his years tells me Furcal and his agent are scum.

LuisG

July 31st, 2009
12:45 pm

I agree with Heath, that’s something that has to be made, but who’s that guy still available on the market? Will we just sit and wait until Hudson gets back (probably to come out of the pen)?

LuisG

July 31st, 2009
12:46 pm

And also: what will we be willing to give in return for that reliever?

Rock On....the denizen formerly known as Dadgum

July 31st, 2009
12:46 pm

TnBrian…..yep, they don’t fit the good ole boy mode do they now.

ChipperFan

July 31st, 2009
12:47 pm

If you were the GM and could trade Freeman, Schafer, Medlin, Kotchman and a lower level arm to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez, would you do it?

Yup, in a heartbeat

chc4

July 31st, 2009
12:48 pm

Heard on the radio that Selig was looking into the Bill Hohn incident Wednesday night but can’t find anything about it online. Anyone have details?

flange1

July 31st, 2009
12:49 pm

N8,

Great post at 12:37, might be your best ever.

To me the things all of these folks who want to trade for A-Gon or V-Mart is who do you give up for these guys? and then how do you pay the guys you get?

Both San Diego and CLeveland are looking to cut payroll and add prospects. Neither wants Kotchman or KJ and trying to throw JoJo out as something of substance is absurd.

San Diego asked for Maybin and Miller for HEATH BELL. That is basically what the Marlins got for D. Willis + M Cabrera.

An talks with San Diego will start with Heyward and Hanson. If we can push them off of those 2 guys, then you will give up 2-4 of the best pitching prospects in the system, Freeman, Cody Johnson and Jordan S. and we would still be light…

NOT happening.

Juts hope for a reliever and maybe an upgrade for the 25th man. A RH hitter with pop would be great with KJ on the bench. If he can play 1B, great, if he can play OF even better.

DP

July 31st, 2009
12:53 pm

Given Furcal’s performance this year, the fans should applaud him tonight for reneging on the contract offer. Maybe they can have a ceremony where Frank Wren presents him with a bouquet of roses at home plate. Escobar is a much better all around shortstop and much cheaper than Furcal. The contract Wren offered to Furcal would have been an awful lot to play him out of position at second given the Braves budget limitations.

Wren has made some good moves but he also got lucky that Furcal and Griffey decided to go elsewhere.

Geo123

July 31st, 2009
12:54 pm

Roman Gal,

It’s good tha tyou wouldn’t make the trade because the Padres wouldn’t even answer the phone on an offer like that for Gonzalez. They have already said numerous times that they would have to be “blown away” in order to trade him. That probably means Freeman plus Hanson plus more . Especially since they want Buchholz plus Westmoreland, + Masterson from the Red Sox (they supposedly would want Bard to if they added Bell to the trade. Gonzalez IS their franchise right now and in order for them to trade him they would need to be offered more than his value. To me he either goes to the Red Sox or he stays in San Diego…

Lew

July 31st, 2009
12:54 pm

Carrol and the AJC staff are remedying the Identity theft problems. Thanks Carroll.

Heath

July 31st, 2009
12:55 pm

If I were the Padres owner, Towers would be gone. He is over-valuing his talent so much that he still has Peavy on his roster (and and injured Peavy at that) and he probably will still have Gonzalez and Bell at the end of the day too. Sure, Gonzalez is a great player, but Gonzalez will never see a winning season in San Diego at this rate and trading him would give the team a far better chance to improve in the near future.

Lew

July 31st, 2009
12:55 pm

I hope Furcal is soundly booed at every opportunity tonight AND all weekend-a well deserved honor.

Heath

July 31st, 2009
12:56 pm

Bowman on ESPN News right now.

Shaun

July 31st, 2009
12:56 pm

N8, the Braves haven’t really strayed all that far from their run differential in recent years. Through the first half of last season, they had one of the best run differentials but things “corrected” themselves toward the latter part of the season, once the injuries started piling up. In other words, I don’t think there is any reason to believe that the Braves will significantly underperform their run differential.

That said, obviously run differential isn’t a crystal ball as it regularly happens that a team’s record strays pretty drastically from its run differential. But things like run differential are among the best tools available for trying to assess what your team is likely to do because there is no such thing as a crystal ball.

Plus, as I mentioned on the last blog, the current Braves team is clearly better than the Braves team from the first few months of the season.

Heath

July 31st, 2009
12:57 pm

…basically Bowman said he doesn’t think there will be any moves.

Lou Vales

July 31st, 2009
12:57 pm

Grew up a Tigers fan and still follow them closely. I believe they got Washburn for “almost” nothing. French “may” someday be a marginal 5th starter and Robles throws “hard”–as do may. Pretty good piece to go with Verlander, Jackson and Porcello.

Shaun

July 31st, 2009
12:57 pm

I hope Bowman uses that opportunity to explain the Hohn situation. Everyone needs to be on his case until he’s suspended for the remainder of the season.

NORRIS

July 31st, 2009
12:58 pm

boweman doesnt have anything to say. the braves arent going to do anything. zzzzzz

Nova Scotia Steve

July 31st, 2009
12:59 pm

Hey Folks! Happy Friday…

So a couple things…

1. What’s up with Mike Gonzalez and his wild pitches this year…again I said it before…I’m worried about the guy.

2. Kenshin Kawakami and I have burried the hatchet.

3. Garret Anderson is such a professional.

Efrim

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

Lou Vales, I’m not sure Washburn will qualify as a Type A or B free agent, and the arbitration number for him next year would be awful. So I think the M’s just tried to get whatever they could for the guy.

McFann ;Ô;

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

The Dodgers just picked up Orioles closer George Sherrill, a left-hander

Crud.

Mixxo

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

Nuthin’ yet huh?

Oh, and screw Furcal. Guy’s a joke and was when he was here too. Add Manny to that list.

:roll:

Heath

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

I like MLB Network better than ESPN these days, but that Greg Amsinger guy has to go.

Shaun

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

Nate McLouth was a big trade, so was Jeff Francoeur, all things considered.

This is an important point. Some are piling on Wren for not making moves at the deadline. But he made a couple of significant moves already. The McLouth trade was one of the biggest of the season. I would argue that Wren deserves more credit for making moves early rather than waiting until there is two months of the season left. Kind of silly to say that Wren isn’t doing anything because the McLouth trade didn’t happen on or around July 31.

Packerman

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm

I’ve got to admire Bronson Arroyo for coming out and letting everyone know that he is probably on the list. Everyone who thinks they’re on the list should man up and do the same. Come out and tell everyone what they took and when they took it. The backlash from the public would be so much less if they just did this themselves instead of having a couple of names leak out every couple of months.

NORRIS

July 31st, 2009
1:02 pm

they got sherill yesterday

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:02 pm

We have roughly 19-20 mil freed up at the end of this season after Hudson and Anderson walk, and we “dispose” of KJ. Soriano could probably be locked up for 12mil a year for four years, he’s already making 6.5. I think McLouth gets a 2mil pay raise next year, so we still have 11.5-12.5 mil for locking up JJJ, Escobar, and/or Hanson. If Gonzo walks that’s another 3.5 mil freed up.

That doesn’t get us any bats, but with Freeman and Hewyard coming up soon, we may not need one. Then JV comes off the books at the end of next year to open up another 12 mil to lock up guys.

Then KK the year after that opens up 8, then Lowe opens up 15 the year after that. Maybe Chipper resigns or doesn’t, big money there too. Point being, if we just keep locking up young talent for cheap as our costly vets come off the books, then we have no need to “blow up” the team, or frantically sign every FA that can hit for power. We have a good future right now as is.

I don’t think Kotchman will be around long enough for his pay increases down the road to matter a whole lot. (No offense to the Kotch, but Wren won’t hesitate to move him for the cheaper/slugger Freeman).

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:04 pm

And who cares about the steroids list? As a 15 year old in 95′ I knew most professional athletes were using steroids or some variation. Are any of you really shocked by any of this? It doesn’t matter, Selig needs to stop using this as a PR stunt and close the book on it already so we can start talking baseball again.

Mixxo

July 31st, 2009
1:05 pm

Nova Scotia Steve

Hiya Skoshe! BMAC showed me something last night…….”leader-style.”

Looks like we have our own “Varitek” …..finally. 8) Haven’t had anyone like that in years. Hoss has never been that guy, just not his make-up.

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:06 pm

Chipperfan, that’s overpaying for Adrian Gonzalez, hell, Freeman for Adrian straight up is over paying. I said it last night and I’ll say it again, Adum Dunn looks like Willie Mays compared to Adrian Gonzalez, there’s a reason the “super-slugger” is signed for dirt cheap – aside from a hot start this season, the dude sucks.

Efrim

July 31st, 2009
1:07 pm

“SI’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter) hears the Red Sox are still in talks for Gonzalez. Buchholz, Lowrie, and Masterson are “in the mix” with the Padres asking for Westmoreland and Anderson.”

How about all five? Bring that Red Sox machine-like farm system down, Towers.

Baba O'Riley

July 31st, 2009
1:07 pm

How about a Tommy Hanson fastball in Fookie’s ribs?

stamper

July 31st, 2009
1:08 pm

based on everything we have seen so far this year… lows and highs… if you were the Atlanta GM, would you try to resign Garret Anderson?

cphizzle

July 31st, 2009
1:08 pm

heck yes put McGriff in the hall hands down no question

Lou Vales

July 31st, 2009
1:09 pm

Marc from Florida, NOBODY should care and they would not if garbage like Clemens and others quit lying about it. When something means nothing don’t lie about having done it. Right?

Baba O'Riley

July 31st, 2009
1:09 pm

Marc- Freeman for Gonzalez is overpaying??? Most absurd comment of the day.

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:10 pm

stamper – THAT is a good question, for it depends on whether or not I think Schafer is still the real deal or not and how soon Heyward comes up.

Andy K.

July 31st, 2009
1:10 pm

stamper, idk, depends on where Schafer is at going into sext year…I say if he’s ready, Put McLouth in LF, Schafer in CF, and platoon Diaz and Church in RF until Heyward is ready.

richbrave

July 31st, 2009
1:10 pm

richbrave

July 31st, 2009
1:01 pm
DOWN ON THE FARM:

LUIS de LUNA continues to sparkle like the glinting diamonds on the waters of the CARIBBEAN. Now 59 innings into the DSL, he is dominating with a 1.07 ERA and 0.68 WHIP. A shining 8-1 record is enhanced by his 59-29 IP to H ratio, and the fact that he has 56 SO’s and only 11 BB. With almost a SO per inning, he’s looking good. He’s started 10 games so far, all on the road, and is lasting roughly six innings, excellente’. His results are 0.66 ERA in 41 IP, 16 H allowed, 3 ER, 8 BB, 35 SO, and a 1.16 GO/AO. He’s being used in home games as middle relief where in 5 G, he’s allowed 13 H in 18 IP, 3 BB and 21 SO’s.

DAP

July 31st, 2009
1:11 pm

Marc from FL, $12mil PEr for soriano? wow. i dont think i would do that…and i dont think it will take that. thats pretty steep.

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:13 pm

Didn’t Fuentes sign for $11 with the Angels? I’ll have to look at when him and Cordero signed for recently, I $12 is a liberal estimate though.

Baba O'Riley

July 31st, 2009
1:14 pm

Adrian Gonzalez is only 27 years old.

cphizzle

July 31st, 2009
1:14 pm

with any luck at all we will not have church on the team next year better yet trade that dude today

NORRIS

July 31st, 2009
1:15 pm

mlb trade rumors site is getting busy. teams are wheeling and dealing. Of course that is everybody except us. zzzzzzz

braves4ever

July 31st, 2009
1:16 pm

richbrave, refresh me on this kid Luis De Luna, is he in AA?

BravesFanChris24

July 31st, 2009
1:16 pm

Shaun

“Some are piling on Wren for not making moves at the deadline. But he made a couple of significant moves already. The McLouth trade was one of the biggest of the season. I would argue that Wren deserves more credit for making moves early rather than waiting until there is two months of the season left. Kind of silly to say that Wren isn’t doing anything because the McLouth trade didn’t happen on or around July 31.”

That’s not the point. I think what some of us are meaning is that right now, there’s not enough to actually make it to the post season this year.

Yes the McLouth trade was huge and a good thing, he should be commended for. As well as rebuilding the starting rotation and trading Francoeur.

Those all have been done and it has helped for sure. However, even with the offense hitting better and scoring runs, there’s still some holes that won’t let us compete this year. I know the argument would be “wait til next year, 2009 is just a rebuilding/retooling year”, but honestly, you’d want to compete THIS year as well and they can with a minor move here or there by today’s deadline or an August deal, but today more specifically.

Hudson/Infante would be like nice additions, but don’t be fooled, they aren’t sure things at this moment. If they were, they’d be coming in a little too late.

I don’t really think anyone is piling on Wren and forgetting what he has done, it’s just that while he has done a lot and it has worked, there’s more that needs to be added to have a better shot at competing this year, when Braves still can.

I’m not saying mortgaging the future or anything, but if a deal can occur that won’t give up the farm and it helps, why not go for it? Instead of standing pat and not do anything and then if we’re out this season, there’s no reason to complain, since nothing was really done, to help further the chances. That’s not shunning or forgetting what he has done early in the season or in the off season.

Packerman

July 31st, 2009
1:16 pm

The Fish are looking into acquiring Nick Johnson. Might we be interested in Jorge Cantu? A three-way, intra-divisional, deal could happen. Not sure if we have any interest at all in Cantu, but I like his power potential, and he has to be affordable if he’s on Florida’s roster, right? He can play first or third by the way. Not a terrible investment if the price is right.

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:17 pm

Thanks cphizzle, I forgot to add earlier that Church is off the payroll too, so we got some money coming up to lock up young talent.

Nova Scotia Steve

July 31st, 2009
1:19 pm

Hey Mixxo!

This is kind of funny I had to stop watching the game around the 5th inning…so I went home and was watching the game through gameday on my phone.

I was shaving when B-Mac hit that homer…

Enough said! 8O

Heath

July 31st, 2009
1:19 pm

Heyward could very well be in the OF on opening day next year. That said, there will be a lot of decisions to be made about the following OFs:

-Diaz
-GA
-Church

I say Diaz is the only one that is guaranteed a spot, and for only one reason–he’s a RH bat. So, if Heyward is indeed ready on opening, it might be hard to offer GA another one-year contract (which they would have to do before ST). I could, however, see the Braves with GA, McLouth, and Heyward in the OF with Diaz and Schafer on the Bench. I think the guy that is most likely to be the odd man out is Church. I bet they offer him a contract and trade him instead of releasing him.

Marc from FL

July 31st, 2009
1:20 pm

My comment didn’t post, but go to baseballreference.com and compare Adrian Gonzalez and Adam Laroche, Laroche is having a down year right now, but point being Freeman will easily be as good and most likely be better both defensively and offensively than these guys.

BravesFanChris24

July 31st, 2009
1:20 pm

Twins acquire Orlando Cabrera

Glass Half Full

July 31st, 2009
1:21 pm

Church is arb eligible

Efrim

July 31st, 2009
1:22 pm

All depends on how the relief market shapes up. I could see Soriano getting a contract similar to Fuentes. Given that K-Rod got three years and 36 million, I can’t imagine any teams willing to go to more than three years for Soriano with his injury history. What will be interesting is whether or not the Braves offer him arbitration so that they can at least receive two high draft picks for him if he departs via free agency. He is making a little over 6 million, so I would assume his arb. number could climb above 8 million. Would the Braves be willing to pay him that much for one season? We’ll see.

McFann ;Ô;

July 31st, 2009
1:22 pm

Mixxo BMAC showed me something last night…….”leader-style.”

Looks like we have our own “Varitek” …..finally.

Yeah! He’s the mann!

Nova Scotia Steve

You missed it? How sad…

Shaun

July 31st, 2009
1:24 pm

That’s not the point. I think what some of us are meaning is that right now, there’s not enough to actually make it to the post season this year.

How is there not enough? Not saying the Braves are guaranteed to make it but the roster as currently constructed is good enough. Braves are probably more talented than any team with a shot at the NL Wild Card.

I’m not saying mortgaging the future or anything, but if a deal can occur that won’t give up the farm and it helps, why not go for it?

I agree but how do you know such a deal can occur? I think if such a deal could occur, Wren would do it. I think it’s clear that Wren is not shy about making some bold moves.

DP

July 31st, 2009
1:24 pm

The Braves don’t have the budget to spend $12 million a year on a one inning closer and despite being lights out this year, Soriano doesn’t have the history of durability to justify a 4 year deal. I’d be shocked if the Braves offer him more than $8 million a year on a 2 or 3 year deal.

The Yankees will probably offer him 4 years $36 million to be a setup guy unless they’ve sworn off hard throwing ex-Braves relievers after their disastrous multi-year deals for Steve Karsay and Kyle Farnsworth.

N8

July 31st, 2009
1:26 pm

Flange1, Thanks. Appreciate it.

“Plus, as I mentioned on the last blog, the current Braves team is clearly better than the Braves team from the first few months of the season.” Shaun

Agree with your point in general, and especially with the portion I posted above. That being said, the Phillies are obviously better as well, with the addition of Cliff Lee, and the Giants improved themselves as well.

I’m not against us “going for it” this year. I just think with Wren’s stance on standing pat, and with the teams we’re chasing improving their clubs, that our chances of catching them have been seriously reduced. We played excellent ball in recent weeks and still are 8 back in the division and 4 in the wild card.

On June 30th, we were 4 back in the division, and 4 back in the wild card. On May 31st, we were 7 back in the division and 4 back in the wild card.

My point, is that after an incrdibly hot stretch of baseball, we really haven’t gained any ground. Add in the Phillies getting Lee and the Giants adding Sanchez, we are REALLY going to have to pour it on to gain ground.

While I like our club, and think we’ll play ball at a higher winning percentage in the second half, compared to the first half, I don’t like our chances of catching and passing all the teams we need to catch and pass to win the WC, and barring sweeping the Phillies for the rest of the year, don’t like our chances of catching or passing them, either.

Since 2002, here are the win totals for NL Wild Card winner: 95, 91, 92, 89, 88, 90, 90

So, let’s assume that the Wild Card winner only wins 88 games this year (best case scenario for us). We have 52 wins right now, with 60 games to go. To reach that bare minimum of 88 wins, we would need to go 36-24 the remainder of the season.

I’m not sure this team has it in them to play 12 games over .500 for the next 60 games. It would also require the Giants (who are 10 games over .500) to go 22-38, the Rockies (who are 8 games over .500) to go 23-37, the Cardinals (who are 7 games over .500), to go 22-35, and the Marlins (who are 4 games over .500), to go 25-35.

That’s what those teams have to ALL do to reach exactly 88 wins. Assuming that 88 wins is the “magic number” for the wild card, and there is no reason to believe that it won’t have to be at least that much, sine in 7 years, it’s never been less than that.

Like I said. The odds are not in our favor. Once again, our June killed dug a hole and essentially killed our chances.

Since we can’t assume that all of those teams will fail that badly, (if any – since we just lost 2 of 3 to the Marlins, failing to move past them one at a time), the Braves need to go on a 1993/post acquiring McGriff type of run to just play better than all of them.

With the pace that the Giants are on (with the Rockies and Cards not far behind), I think it’s going to take 92+ wins to win the Wild Card.

Which means that the Braves will need to go 40-20 in the last 60 to overtake all of them.

Let me know if you think THAT is going to happen withour Wren making a move or two in the next 2.5 hours.

GoBraves123

July 31st, 2009
1:26 pm

twins get orlando cabrera

DAP

July 31st, 2009
1:28 pm

marc from fl, fuentes got $17.5 mil for two years. thats 8mil this season $9.5 mil next season.

soriano might get $12mil, i dont know…but id dont think hed get that much AND 4 years…

Andrew in P-tang

July 31st, 2009
1:30 pm

braves wont make a move…lets call up heyward

True Blue

July 31st, 2009
1:30 pm

5 bucks says there will be more dodger fans than braves fans tonight!
Go Dodgers!

cphizzle

July 31st, 2009
1:32 pm

what are the chances KJ ends the day as a brave?

True Blue

July 31st, 2009
1:33 pm

We just got Halladay!

Packerman

July 31st, 2009
1:33 pm

Yesterday we would have had to go 37-24 to get to 88 wins. Now its only 36-24! That’s only .600 ball! Holy crap, this is doable! lol

Winning 88 games isn’t going to be easy for this team, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Might as well take last night’s win and make it the start of something.

The Truth

July 31st, 2009
1:33 pm

Franklin Wren is not going to offer Soriano arbitration. He should do what I say:

TRADE SORIANO

TRADE GONZO

TRADE VASQUEZ

Get back prospects that can help in 2010 and beyond.

DP

July 31st, 2009
1:33 pm

N8, you’re way off on the calculations of what the other wild card contenders would have to do for the Braves to pass them with 88 wins. 88 wins is 14 games over .500. If the Giants are 10 games over .500 now, they would be at 88 by playing 4 games over .500 the rest of the way. If they go 22-38 they would be 6 games under .500, 78 wins instead of 88.

Not to say that passing that many teams from 4 games back with 60 to go isn’t a big task, because it is. One bad week all but knocks the Braves out of the wild card with that many teams in front because everybody can’t lose at the same time.

stamper

July 31st, 2009
1:35 pm

n8…i could be wrong, but i think your math is off..

braves4ever

July 31st, 2009
1:35 pm

One big reason the Braves are Not going to make a move is Heyward, Why go out and bring in a trade that will only be a temp 1-2 year guy when if they make no moves but bring up Heyward in Sept there is room for him to get real playing time, a trade blocks him for a year or two. Its a no-brainer fill the ranks from within. Give the kid a chance to show what he can do in Sept ,we lose nothing,and have a lot to gain.

jeffrey d

July 31st, 2009
1:35 pm

5 bucks says there will be more dodger fans than braves fans tonight!
Go Dodgers!
True Blue

Is there some sort of code that opposing fans who visit for a series to talk smack have to have rhyming names?

N8

July 31st, 2009
1:35 pm

I’m not sure this team has it in them to play 12 games over .500 for the next 60 games. It would also require the Giants (who are 10 games over .500) to go 22-38, the Rockies (who are 8 games over .500) to go 23-37, the Cardinals (who are 7 games over .500), to go 22-35, and the Marlins (who are 4 games over .500), to go 25-35.

Sorry. I was “10 off” on all of the records for the Giants, Rockies, Cards and Marlins. Should have used a calculator.

The Giants would need to go 32-28, the Rockies would need to go 33-27, 32-25, and the Marlins 35-25.

Not sure what the hell I was thinking. Either way, it would require all of the teams ahead of us to play worse than they have, and for us to play far above it.

Sorry for the bad math. But the point remains the same. And that’s assuming that the “goal” for all of those teams is 88 wins. The Giants are currently on pace for 89 wins.

flange1

July 31st, 2009
1:36 pm

Unless the Braves are blown away, I think the odds of KJ being a Brave until the end of this season are very good….

DAP

July 31st, 2009
1:38 pm

marc from FLcompare Adrian Gonzalez and Adam Laroche, Laroche is having a down year right now, but point being Freeman will easily be as good and most likely be better both defensively and offensively than these guys.

im guessing you are talking about minor league numbers…even so, i dont see how you can predict freeman will be as good as laroche or gonzalez. both had better number than freddie freeman does.

oh, and they both spent 6 years in the minors. are we gonna have to wait 3 more years for freeman to be ready?

also, just throwing this out there, you know who else had better numbers in the minors than freeman? scott thorman. im just saying. prospect are just prospects.

N8

July 31st, 2009
1:38 pm

Wow. I’m taking a break. I copied and pasted the first paragraph of my previous post in the “box” so I wouldn’t have to scroll up to see it. Then I hit submit comment before deleting it.

But yeah, as my previous post stated, I was way off mathematically. The number of “wins” for those totals to be correct, was 78 wins.

So, if you think 78 wins will win the wild card, then feel free to use the numbers from the first post.

Shaun

July 31st, 2009
1:39 pm

Agree with your point in general, and especially with the portion I posted above. That being said, the Phillies are obviously better as well, with the addition of Cliff Lee, and the Giants improved themselves as well.

The Phillies definitely improved but the Braves aren’t trying to catch the Phillies. The Phillies probably have the division won already.

The Giants didn’t improve that much. I still say they fall short of the Braves’ talent even with their moves. Garko is an average firstbaseman at best and Sanchez is not a great player.

By the way, I agree with your overall point I think. While we disagree on the Braves’ chances, I agree that Wren shouldn’t give up too much talent to improve this year’s team (that doesn’t need improving when they already have a decent shot at the Wild Card).

KillerHohn

July 31st, 2009
1:39 pm

That’s what Atlanta should do. For no good reason, trade Gonzalez, Soriano and Vazquez. It doesn’t matter what they get back, just trade them.

TnBrian

July 31st, 2009
1:39 pm

True Blue = loser. You got steroid Manny, a drunk,lying midget as your SS, a catcher who has Screech hair, and they still haven’t won anything in 20 years.

CB

July 31st, 2009
1:40 pm

The Braves could do what many teams do, go young with a lot of the payroll being directed at starting pitching. This would mean an outfield of McLouth,Heyward and Schafer with a fourth outfielder who is a right handed bat,the infield would remain the same. Under this scenario one of Lowe or KK would have to go, leaving the team to use most of the rest of budget for arbitration raises and bullpen.

NORRIS

July 31st, 2009
1:40 pm

the braves need to call up Heyward NOW! DFA norton.

BravesFanChris24

July 31st, 2009
1:43 pm

Shaun

“How is there not enough? Not saying the Braves are guaranteed to make it but the roster as currently constructed is good enough. Braves are probably more talented than any team with a shot at the NL Wild Card.”

There’s offensive talent don’t get me wrong and you’re right the talent could be better than some other teams in the race, but even during the recent hot streak of the offense it has been hit and miss in crucial situations. That is a product of not having enough consistency. Regardless of the hot streak and even that they are hitting better, there’s still some inconsistency.

A consistent bat would help. As much as I would like an A-Gon or someone else of that ilk, if Braves can get a bat of the ilk of Willingham which would come cheaper, both money and prospect package wise, then the deal should be made. I know Willingham isn’t exactly the best model of consistency due to injuries, but more often than not, he’s on when he’s healthy. I’m not saying go for him only, but if a bat of the same ilk (cheap money and prospect package to get him) can be had, why not go for it?

Then there’s the bullpen. A product of fatigue from over usage. With or without Tim Hudson, bullpen needs help period. Because if nothing is done to help the bullpen, might as well call it a season, which would be clearly absurd when Braves are still in the race and could compete this year.

I’m not saying a HUGE thing should be done trade wise, but standing pat and going with what’s here, it seems like a clear sign of waiving the white flag, even though Braves are still in the thick of things.

If Hudson and Infante can help to the point where it puts Braves over the edge and can somehow be that push into the post season, I’ll gladly accept a nice plate of crow.

However, being realistic here, I’m not holding my breath. If nothing is done, then I’m more sure that there won’t be any crow eating into my future.

The other point, you do have a point there.

Mixxo

July 31st, 2009
1:44 pm

Nova Scotia Steve & McFann ;Ô;,/strong>

It wasn’t necessarily the HR he hit, although that was fantastic, but moreso the after-game comments of his with a sincere “sense of purpose” tone behind them. I’ve seen flashes of this from him throughout the year, but last night was a bit more urgent and animated.

Also, a little trivia here, those RBI’s of his in the 10th were his FIRST in his MLB career…..in extra innings. 8O

Packerman

July 31st, 2009
1:44 pm

Not sure why the Braves would have to be “blown away” to deal Kelly. We don’t exactly have a dearth of 2B/utility men in our organization. Infante, Prado, and Conrad can all play 2B, and are all as good or better in the field and with the bat. Kelly for a bullpen arm or a decent prospect should be acceptable.

Mixxo

July 31st, 2009
1:45 pm

Yikes!

Didn’t mean to strong the whole post, but ok. :oops:

:mrgreen:

Rob from SC

July 31st, 2009
1:47 pm

I can live with an outfield of McLouth-Schafer-Heyward to open the season.

Shaun

July 31st, 2009
1:48 pm

N8,

I like the way Baseball Prospectus does their projections. They have projections where they simulate the rest of season 1,000 times and nudge teams’ records towards what they projected teams to do during the preseason.

Currently they give the Braves about a 45 percent chance to make the playoffs. They give the Rockies about a 47 percent chance. The Cubs are at 44 percent. The Giants are at 18 percent. So according to their method, the Braves have about as good a chance as any other Wild Card contender. Also, according to their projections, around 89-90 wins will likely take the Wild Card.

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