3:08 pm September 21, 2009, by David O'Brien
September 22nd, 20091:15 pm
True…but if BMac’s surgery works, no real reason to doubt he’ll be better next year, right?
I more meant Prado and Escobar, who have both had fantastic years. Heap should be better, I agree.
Anyone that thinks there is no chance of Huson returning does not know the situation very well.
September 22nd, 20091:16 pm
You have to also realize that McCann, Escobar, and Prado will only get better.
How much better? Do you honestly think those three guys could carry a team offensively? They can’t. McCann has to sit 35 games, Escobar is an excellent 2 hitter with pop, and Prado is a fine complementary player, if he can hit over an entire season. But impact offensive players? Huh-uh.
These are the type of guys who make a good offense a very good offense, because they bring plus offense for their positions. But they aren’t offensive centerpieces. Surround a serious banger with Escobar and Chipper on one side and McCann and Laroche on the other, and sprinkle a Prado and a McLouth around. Now, you’ve got offensive depth, you don’t have count on a rookie to make high-quality contributions, and you can actually afford to give Chipper or McCann or whoever a day off without the offense looking like Round Rock’s.
You simply cannot overestimate the impact that a big-time bat will make to this team. Nor can you underestimate the lack thereof to its detriment.
All right Braves fans, here we go down to the wire, 12 games left for us and the Rockies. I said earlier this year that the schedule would favor us in the end(although I was counting on us being 3 games out at the most). Rockies play 3 against the PAdres who gave us fits and I believe have played well as of late and 3 with St. Louis(anything could happen there 0-3 maybe?)then 3 with the Brewers, maybe big Prince will have a hot series, and then they close out with the Dogers in LA (I believe). Surely the Dodgers will be trying to exercise dominance against them in case they meet again. So, here’s hoping for the Braves to go 10-2ish, 9-3 worst case and for the Rockies to go 5-7 or worse! I said a month ago that 92 wins looked like the magic number, but hopefully it will only take 90. Oh yeh, let’s not forget the Giants or the Marlins. No time to rest now for McCann or Chipper or anybody, we need our best players playing from here on out!
September 22nd, 20091:18 pm
For what it is worth, Javy Vazquez is having a great year. It is by far his best year. His career numbers indicate that this might be a sell high situation for the Braves. Hudson is the more proven and decorated pitcher. Given the choice between Tim and Javy, I take Tim. This is especially true when you can trade Javy for consderable value, picking up one or more nice pieces, as well.
I think Wren does what it takes to get a big bat for the outfield. We’re not set even if LaRoche is resigned & Heyward makes the team out of ST. The Braves need a clean up hitter, plain & simple.
I doubt Wren is going to try & ride the Chipper/McCann combo to the playoffs next season. Both will miss quite a bit of playing time for different reasons, but out the line up they will be at least 20% of the time. That’s fine if those two are not counted on so much for the offense, but as the team is constructed they are.
I think Wren will make a serious push for a big bat either by trade or the FA route. He’s not going to count on rookies, Chipper, McCann & a few guys to have career years. He’s smarted than that & proved it over the winter by upgrading the pitching staff. He’ll probably pull something out that none us are even considering. He has options, lots of them.
September 22nd, 20091:22 pm
Unless Wren finds a fifteen million dollar bill while walking down the street, we’re not signing Matt Holliday.
ncscoots….you have Diaz in the starting 8 mix which I can’t see(more of a 4th outfielder) if the Braves get another OF bat. Assuming they do(get whomever) I gotta like the lineup as World Series material. Any team that makes the WS has to have players “not tank” or play to their ability. I don’t think this team needs a huge makeover and with McClouth, Prado, LaRoche, Hanson you have players that weren’t starting to begin 2009 anyway. Throw in Heyward (should make it despite arb2) and a 30-homer LF and there you have it. I think other teams would find that formidable and certainly no less formidable than a Rockies team that made it to the WS a couple years ago.
Marc in Fl….Hudson may very well not come back but I find it hard to imagine in this economy a GM is going to give him that much more per year, if any, coming off TJ surgery. For Hudson it is probably going to come down to number of years in a restructured contract. Will Wren do that? To me that is the bigger question. Vazquez has made a huge statement to Wren and pretty much everyone in baseball this year. If Hudson’s option is not picked up or we are outbid I don’t think it is a huge loss.
September 22nd, 20091:23 pm
Excellent post at 1:16, ncscoots.
September 22nd, 20091:26 pm
dmack: after watching Vazquez have the season he’s had — and it’s been outstanding, in every way — you really think Hudson at a $12 million option in 2010 is better to have than Vazquez making $11.5 million? Or are you looking at it from a bigger picture, assuming Braves can get Hudson to take a multi-year deal with a lower salary and maybe get a big bat in return for trading Vazquez?
If you’re seeing it in the latter view, I understand you wanting Huddy more than Vazquez in 2010. But just strictly from a performance standpoint, when’s the last time Hudson had an overall season as good as Vazquez is having this year?
September 22nd, 20091:27 pm
Whatever happened to Scott Thorman?
The obvious answer is to trade for Milton Bradley. The Cubs will gladly eat his contract, and he can be the big bat the Braves need.
September 22nd, 20091:28 pm
ncscoots, agree with your 1:16, too. I’d like to believe McCann has a bit of upside if he gets that LASIK tweak, but he should sit at least 35 games to remain fresh offensively and defensively.
Yunel has also shown every indication of being a very good offensive SS but not another Hanley.
September 22nd, 20091:29 pm
But just strictly from a performance standpoint, when’s the last time Hudson had an overall season as good as Vazquez is having this year?
Well, LOL, you could actually say the same thing about Vazquez, too!
September 22nd, 20091:30 pm
Assuming we pick up Huddy, here’s the contracts we’re losing this year:
LaRoche – $4M (when you take away what the Red Sox are paying)
Infante – $2.26M
Norton – $.8M (geeeze…)
Soriano – $6.1M
Gonzalez – $3.45M
That’s $16.61M. As much as some of you hate Gonzo and Soriano, the bullpen is in terrible shape without them. We also need a first baseman. Whether or not we resign any of these guys, a lot of that $16M is going to the bullpen and first base. Barring a big trade, I don’t think we’re getting a huge bat this offseason.
dmack…you are taking a huge gamble trading your #1 2009 guy for a guy coming off TJ and hope he makes you forget the #1 guy. It all starts with pitching no matter how much timber you need in the lineup. I don’t see Wren rolling those dice at all.
What I do see is a KK trade for a bat and pick up Hudson’s option as a #3-4 type starter. Think about this, what if the Braves trade Vazquez and then Hudson develops arm issues in 2010 related to post-TJ surgery? Thus we have neither pitcher. Again, don’t see Wren allowing that scenario to raise it’s head no matter how far-fetched it may seem.
September 22nd, 20091:31 pm
And that of course is assuming that payroll is neither increased or decreased. And it’s not accounting for pay raises, etc.
Ron in Mobile
September 22nd, 20091:32 pm
Milton Bradleys attitude problem added to our clubhouse thats filled with the likes of country boys like Bobby, Chipper and Mac.
Awesome idea for a reality show…really bad idea for a ballclub.
I really like Vazquez, but his career numbers indicate that he could regress next year. Huddy has been a better pitcher than Javy for the last 8 years overall. If they can only have one, I’d choose Huddy. However, their best chance to make th eplayoffs next season id to keep both.
September 22nd, 20091:35 pm
Jeffrey d – Infante is signed for 2010 at $2.25MM. (He has a $2.5MM option or $250K buyout for 2011). And I believe Atlanta is paying about $3MM, or a little less, for LaRoche.
September 22nd, 20091:37 pm
But I’m pretty sure KJ and Church will be gone, so that’s what, $5MM saved?? (I keep forgetting Church is even on the team at this point.)
September 22nd, 20091:38 pm
DOB….you would have to go back to Hudson’s old days with the A’s when he and Zito were lighting it up.
Good point….while Hudson can sure help us if all goes well, he wasn’t exactly Cy Young material prior to the surgery. All the more fuel to the fire that the Braves don’t pick up his 12 mil option to have him as the #3-4 starter when you have KK at 7 million throwing well this year. Maybe the Braves will spend money for a LF bat in FA and keep the rotation the same. Decisions, decisions.
“What I do see is a KK trade for a bat and pick up Hudson’s option as a #3-4 type starter. Think about this, what if the Braves trade Vazquez and then Hudson develops arm issues in 2010 related to post-TJ surgery? Thus we have neither pitcher. Again, don’t see Wren allowing that scenario to raise it’s head no matter how far-fetched it may seem.” – Rock On….
Great point. That’s actually why I think the Braves keep all 6 starters, since you never know when one will go down. I doubt any “big” bat will be acquired, but I do think LaRoche is resigned.
September 22nd, 20091:39 pm
Hudson has said he would be open to a multi year deal. I think Hudson is going to only get better, and be in top shape by the beginning of next year.
I think Wren will be cognizant of the fact that this is by far the best year Vazquez has had in a long time, maybe ever. If you can trade him to pick up a bat, you need to sell high on him. Then, you can take some of that money and sign Huddy to an extension.
I think the chances of Javy duplicating this season, next year, is not very good. My money is that Hudson will be the better pitcher next year. That said, I would rather trade Kawakami than get rid of either.
September 22nd, 20091:40 pm
Roger that, Piedmont, and most everybody here knows I have a big man-crush on Escobar, LOL. So, it’s not as if I’m ripping the guy (or McCann or Prado, either. OK, maybe Prado a little, LOL.).
September 22nd, 20091:45 pm
When Milton wasn’t throwing live balls into the stands, taking himself out of the lineup, badmouthing the club to the media, bashing water coolers and getting in Pinella’s face he was a class act. I mean he did hit 13 homers. Just beacuse we paid him over 2 million per homer doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a fine addition to the braves, royals or pirates.
You guys can trust me I’ve recently signed Zambrano, Dempster and replaced Mark Derosa with Aaron Miles. I’m a baseball expert!!!
September 22nd, 20091:49 pm
Been a while, and I know I’m late to this but this line caught my eye:
“If only they’d had him all season, what might it have meant for the lineup”
I have enjoyed watching LaRoche do his two month sprint, as he always does, but this hasn’t clouded my perception of his entire season. He still spends the first 3 to 4 months .252/.326/.447.
This year alone Kotchman hit .282/.354/.409 as a Brave.
If LaRoche some how learned to stretch his second half numbers (.302/.365/.554) across an entire season, then he’d be a good pick up. Then he’d be out of the Braves price range…
At any rate I’m impressed with the rebound this team made. 90 losses last season. This season they’re looking at 85+ wins.
Now to free up money… Trade Lowe and keep Javy, Hanson, Jurrjens, Hudson and Kawakami.
The Love Child of Dale Murphy and Johnny Cash
September 22nd, 20091:52 pm
I very much agree with dmack2007’s point. Vazquez has been more of a number three starter throughout his career. No question, he has been great this year. However, Wren could sell a number three starter and get a number one return. I think the Braves are in a no lose situation here. I also think the more “extreme” contributors to this blog should spend the winter readying themselves for somewhat of a correction in Vazquez’s performance should the Braves decide to keep him.
September 22nd, 20091:54 pm
RC….well not sure about 6 starters. Gotta think they will find someone to man a #5 start should an injury occur. Medlen or someone of his ilk can pop in and perform.
Again I would like Hudson but not at the expense of Vazquez. If we did keep all six KK would probably hit the pen and at 7+ million that is probably not what the Braves want. Assuming that we are still trying for that big bat that is for LF. If the Braves start to see they aren’t going to get a big bat in trade then they may well let Hudson walk and go the FA route. Lots of scenarios. Wren has made a lot of good decisions and perhaps the best decisions are the trades he didn’t make. Remember Peavy?….more fuel to the fire Wren won’t let Vazquez go and insert Hudson.
What if we sign Huddy to extension to lower is salary for next year, and trade Vazquez for Derrick Lee if we can’t sign LaRoche. Lee and Vazquez will be in the last year of their contracts.
September 22nd, 20091:55 pm
TennesseePaul, if only it were that easy.
Unless Wren finds a fifteen million dollar bill while walking down the street
I found one of those one time. It was fake. Dammit.
September 22nd, 20091:57 pm
jeffery d, the braves are paying laroche what they were paying kotchman, so its only about $2.8mil off the books.
infante is signed for next season, but you forgot to subtract anderson’s salary. if the braves cut church and kelly, as they should, the total coming off the books with out trading a starter is closer to $21.4mil. here is an earlier post from me that is actually closer to what guys are making:
without losing one starting pitcher, we would have $2.8mil from kotchman coming off, $2.8 from ryan church, $2.8 from kelly, $2.5 from anderson, $.8 from norton, $3.4mil from gonzalez, $6.3 from soriano.
so we actually have a little more flexibility than you think, if church and kelly are cut.
September 22nd, 20092:00 pm
“Hudson has said he would be open to a multi year deal. I think Hudson is going to only get better, and be in top shape by the beginning of next year.”
My only problem with keeping Hudson is that he is so much like Lowe to me. They are both sinkerball pitchers who depend on contact and defense so much. We have already seen from both him and Lowe what can happen if that sinker is not sinking. Javy is a strikout pitcher who may have finally found a nice home in Atlanta and in this spacious ballpark. Hope braves can find a way to keep both but if I had to have my pick between the two I would want Vazquez. In a perfect world though I would rather keep Hudson over Lowe but I doubt we will be able to trade Lowe’s contract. Thats why it looks like it will come down to either Vazquez or Hudson. If Hudson reworks his deal for a multi year contract than him, but if its strictly based on next year I want Javy or Hudson.
TennesseePaul…yep 99% of this blog would concur but most of us are resigned to the fact that ain’t happening.
Another thought what if we trade away a pitcher for a big bat and he has a mediocre year in LF? Gotta be careful what you wish for which brings me back to pitching. It all starts with pitching…always has, always will.
September 22nd, 20092:01 pm
I don’t like the Braves, but I HATE Atlanta!
September 22nd, 20092:03 pm
ncscoots….you have Diaz in the starting 8 mix which I can’t see(more of a 4th outfielder) if the Braves get another OF bat. Assuming they do(get whomever) I gotta like the lineup as World Series material.
Bro, it wasn’t I who had him in the starting 8, but the poster to whom I was replying. The whole gist of that was the point that the Braves didn’t need changes in the OF. Might need to read a little closer, eh?
White Blood Cells
September 22nd, 20092:04 pm
Your 1:57 post may be to simple for people to understand.
I think the Braves don’t want to get into a situation where they have to rely on someone like Medlen or Reyes to fill the #5 starter role in case of an injury. Not having a solid starter for the #5 spot is part of what potentially has cost this team a postseason spot this year. Also, Kawakami’s contract does include provisions in it for if he was made a reliever, telling me that the Braves considered that a possiblity from the start, and would not be against using him in that role. I agree that $6.667 million is a lot of a non-closer in your bullpen, but I don’t think it’s a lot to insure that you won’t have to face another Jo-Jo Reyes start in 2010.
September 22nd, 20092:06 pm
You only forgot to mention the 10.25 million comming off when Sor/Gon duo are gone.
September 22nd, 20092:07 pm
I forgot to mention the 3 million comming off for Bobby.
It all starts with pitching…always has, always will.
This year, it ends with it, too…short of October.
You’re worried that a bat “might not” live up to his billing, or that Hudson “might not” totally recover from TJ, but, you’re convinced that Vazquez can repeat this year? I confess, I missed the logic somewhere.
September 22nd, 20092:08 pm
Why go for a guy like Derek Lee? Yeah, you’re right, we’d really hate to have a bonafide clean up hitter for a couple of years until Freeman is ready for prime time, and especially one that would meet the right handed power bat the Braves have craved. You’re right, we should probably just settle for trying to sign Roachy for 2 more years, especially if you think he’s going to become more consistent. No reason for us just to think a little bit and see if there isn’t some other scenario we could come up with that might be a little better.
September 22nd, 20092:10 pm
Unless Reid Gorecki is a lot better than I think he is, I don’t see the Braves getting rid of Church. He and McLouth are the only OF who could legitimately play any of the three positions for more than a few games. With Schafer’s uncertainty, Church is a decent insurance policy.
September 22nd, 20092:12 pm
“Not having a solid starter for the #5 spot is part of what potentially has cost this team a postseason spot this years here.”
That’s a new one on me. Whatever the team’s woes have been, you can’t lay it on the 5th starter!
Had Shafer been healthy, it would be a different story.
September 22nd, 20092:13 pm
When does the Arizona Fall League start?
September 22nd, 20092:14 pm
RC – I don’t get your comment about the #5 pitcher. Vazquez, JJ and Hanson have been superb. KK’s been pretty dang solid. Lowe’s been our least effective pitcher, and he’s still at least league average.
The offense is what sunk them.
white blood cells, You only forgot to mention the 10.25 million comming off when Sor/Gon duo are gone.
hm…nope, i didnt.
And if Heyward’s not ready for the majors when the team breaks camp, Church could be the opening day RF.
September 22nd, 20092:15 pm
Oh, did I mention Misch has nothing? Yikes.
September 22nd, 20092:16 pm
ncscoots….Going on what I saw this year, yeah, I am convinced Vazquez can repeat his performance next year. Put it another way, I am a lot more convinced on Vazquez repeating than I am on Hudson coming in and doing the same thing. As for the bat, well, you have to improve the lineup to get to the big stage. Just hope all the pieces fit and players perform. There is a lot of “might” in just about every move.
And BTW for the record I don’t even know if the Cubs would be open to trading Derek Lee, or interested in Vazquez. (Although it they saw the way he blew away the Cardinals a week or so ago they might be).
I’m just thinking about possibilities, which I’m sure any GM does.
September 22nd, 20092:17 pm
sportsmandh, you wanted to add prospects to that deal. Why would the Braves have to do that in your trade scenario? Because Lee is more valuable than Vazquez moving forward? I disagree. That’s all I am saying.
September 22nd, 20092:19 pm
8, 22, 20, 34. Those are Derrek Lee’s HR totals over the past 4 years, playing in a homer-friendly ballpark. Oh, and he’s making $13 million next year.
32, 21, 25, 25. Those are Adam LaRoche’s HR totals over the past 4 years, playing mostly in Pittsburgh with a terrible offense around him (the 32 came in his last year in ATL). He can probably be signed for around $7-8 million a year for 2-3 years. Basically a little over half of Lee’s annual salary.
Lee is 34, LaRoche is 30. And you don’t have to trade any prospects for LaRoche, while you’d be parting with at least a couple of mid-level guys for Lee.
Those are the reasons to “settle” for LaRoche over Lee.
Piedmont – It depends on whether or not they sign an OFer or call up Heyward (or Schafer). Church will be gone for the same reason Kelly will be – too expensive for a backup. Infante can back up CF, and Diaz should be 4th OF.
Of course, if Church could revert to his 2008 pre-concussion form (.900+ OPS)…but I don’t think he will.
The more I think about it, the more reasonable Paul Konerko sounds (if the Braves can’t make a deal with LaRoche, that is).
just saying lets trade for derek lee doesnt make it possible. lee has a full no trade clause, is the best hitter on his team this year, and is under contract for just one more season. he wont be an easy guy to trade for.
piedmontUnless Reid Gorecki is a lot better than I think he is, I don’t see the Braves getting rid of Church. He and McLouth are the only OF who could legitimately play any of the three positions for more than a few games.
unless the braves signed a center fielder, like cameron, who is a much better player than church. problem solved.
September 22nd, 20092:20 pm
Sorry, my bad.
Hanson wasn’t called up until midway through the season. The Braves were basically giving up the games that their #5 guy started during the time that Hanson was in the minors.
TnBrian(Vazquez ace 2010)
September 22nd, 20092:21 pm
You look at how sh*tty Lowe has been most of the season and I bet that makes Wren more hesitant to deal Vazquez. No way do I trust Hudson after that kind of surgery. He’s proved so far in his starts this year that he’s still not a K pitcher and if that sinker is flat, he’s pretty much garbage. His slider also looks flat and stale.
How far we have fallen when your game story is buried on p.2 next to the box scores. The AJC no longer believes.
September 22nd, 20092:22 pm
Efrim I more meant Prado and Escobar, who have both had fantastic years. Heap should be better, I agree.
monty No time to rest now for McCann…
Ye-ep…that’s why Bobby took him out of a game we were already gonna win last night. Makes total sense…But that doesn’t mean I hafta like it.
With Schafer’s uncertainty, Church is a decent insurance policy.
I agree, Piedmont. The Braves don’t normally carry 5 OF, but, I wonder if they might not do so in 2010? Forgo a PH specialist, maybe? Heck, if they have three everyday OF, I’d just as soon carry Church as Diaz, except for being LH, maybe.
September 22nd, 20092:23 pm
Anyone else picturing RC at the end of that 2:19 post doing the Joe Pesci walk with his hands palms up down by his sides and that sh*t eating grin on at the prosecutor in My Cousin Vinny after slam dunking the case?
September 22nd, 20092:24 pm
I don’t have GA returning. So my OF would be Diaz, McLouth and Church, with Schafer and Heyward as possibilities, depending on how they do in the spring. Infante is just an emergency OF in my mind (so is Prado, for that matter). Maybe they find someone cheaper than Church in a trade or get lucky at the end of spring training in the FA market. But you can sign Church for less than $3 million in the winter, and if Heyward and Schafer are awesome in the spring, you could probably move Church to another club.
Folks, here’s another idea for an OF. How about Bobby Abreu?
Piedmont Blues I’d like to believe McCann has a bit of upside if he gets that LASIK tweak…
Yeah… It’s gotta work first, I s’pose…
September 22nd, 20092:25 pm
The AJC no longer believes. (White Blood Cells)
The AJC believes in sales. You can do the math from there.
just saying lets trade for derek lee doesnt make it possible. lee has a full no trade clause, is the best hitter on his team this year, and is under contract for just one more season. he wont be an easy guy to trade for.
I wonder if other fans on other blogs are saying this about Vazquez.
Team X’s blog:
just saying lets trade for Javier Vazquez doesnt make it possible. Vazquez has a full no trade clause to the NL/AL West, is the best pitcher on his team this year, and is under contract for just one more season. he wont be an easy guy to trade for.
September 22nd, 20092:26 pm
Pitching matchup for tonight looks good, but how ’bout tomorrow’s?
Hard as it is for me to believe, there may be a bidding war for Cameron. He may offer the least risk of any CF available in the FA market. I can’t see the Braves getting involved with that.
September 22nd, 20092:27 pm
I know, and I still subscribe. Whyyyyyy!
September 22nd, 20092:28 pm
RC….yep, everyone forgets the importance of April during a 6-month season. Another reason I think you will see the Braves start Heyward in RF to open the 2010 season. Barring injury or a poor ST of course.
September 22nd, 20092:32 pm
RC….yep, everyone forgets the importance of April during a 6-month season. Another reason I think you will see the Braves start Heyward in RF to open the 2010 season. Barring injury or a poor ST of course. (Rock On)
Yet all I hear on here is how Frenchy and Shafer killed the Braves season with their bad starts. Now you want them to possibly rush Heyward like they did Shafer? Point is April is important, maybe too important to rush a guy.
September 22nd, 20092:34 pm
Rock On – BTW, the Mets did the same thing with Murphy. They forced him and screwed him up badly imo.
Put it another way, I am a lot more convinced on Vazquez repeating than I am on Hudson coming in and doing the same thing.
Whereas I’m just as convinced that Hudson will have no worse a 2010 than Vazquez, and that’s the season under discussion. Not the great year that Vazquez is currently having (or the lesser years that he’s had in the past), nor the years in which Hudson received CY Young votes (nor his awful 2006 in Atlanta).
Is it your contention that Tim Hudson will be a lesser pitcher than he was pre-surgery, and, if so, to the extent that he will appreciably underperform Javier Vazquez in 2010? That he will be, oh, a 4.00+ ERA pitcher, and that Vazquez will be sub-3 again? Quantify the differential that you see between the two for 2010.
September 22nd, 20092:35 pm
And because of sentimentalism we’re not getting a middle of the order Bat this offseason(you know the usual Blah Blah Blah we need to sign hudson cause he is/was an ace, hes a nice person and “pitched well since he came Back”)..i dont figure how the Braves need to sign him..pitching is our strength..we will survive without him(check from April to August)..How about we let Huddy walk..sign a friggin Bat with power that this team needs and extend Vazquez who WILL be better than Huddy come next year.
September 22nd, 20092:36 pm
Like your Cash rain song. How about “High Water (For Charley Patton)” on Love and Theft. Dylan even mentions Kansas City.
September 22nd, 20092:37 pm
Efrim just saying lets trade for Javier Vazquez doesnt make it possible. Vazquez has a full no trade clause to the NL/AL West,
they probably arent saying he has a full no trade clause, since he doesnt. they might care about that if they are in the west.
plus its a totally different situation. derek lee is the best hitter on a team with a struggling offense. vazquez is the best pitcher, with several close seconds on a team that is flush with pitching. and yeah, its gonna be tuff for a team to trade for vazquez. they will have to give up alot.
Piedmont – I’d say no to Abreu. He doesn’t solve the power thing, and he’s going to be way too expensive for someone who doesn’t feel the biggest need.
September 22nd, 20092:40 pm
Way to add power and save money is make McCann into a firstbaseman in the offseason and he gets to play 150 games a year instead of 130(can anyone say 30 HR’s?) and at some point the kid will have to get out from behind home IMHO anyway)make Ross your starting catcher(he will hit you 20 HRs, BMac will hit better not having to catch, then you invest the money you were going to pay LaRoche into your cleanup hitter + some extra. Starting OF will be “Cleanup guy”, NAte and Diaz until Heyward gets here.If MAc can make the transition then we are truly set at 1st for awhile and Freeman could be great trade bait if he continues to improve. Whatever money we save moving Mac to 1st we shore up the bullpen with.
Lineup would look like this:
Mclouth- 20 Hr
Prado – 12-15
Clean-up guy- 30+
Diaz/Heyward – 15-20
Ross – 20+
That’s a potent lineup and if we shore up the pen to go with starting pitching. Awesome!
September 22nd, 20092:43 pm
DAP, that’s kind of where I am getting at. A team better be ready to back up the truck of prospects for Vazquez. Or a young hitter or immense value. I know, one year of Vazquez. But his value is very high right now and I think some here continue to underrate his value on the trade market. No reason the Braves should have to add prospects to a deal involving Javy unless is was for an elite hitter.
September 22nd, 20092:46 pm
Just wondering if you have any comments on Gordon Edes of Yahoo sports reporting on Bobby:
“Another situation that bears watching is in Atlanta, where manager Bobby Cox has been hedging about whether he will be back. According to a major league source, the relationship between Cox and GM Frank Wren deteriorated during the spring to the point that Cox packed his bag and climbed into his car to drive home from spring training until dissuaded from doing so by one of his coaches.
Cox was unhappy at the way the John Smoltz(notes) issue had been handled, the source said, and because he had not been kept up to speed on other personnel decisions. The relationship appears to have been patched up, although the parting with Tom Glavine(notes) was another strained episode, and the expectation is that Cox will be back because he’s excited that the Braves have another core of young talent developing. Stay tuned.”
September 22nd, 20092:50 pm
scoots….Hudson wasn’t great pre-surgery and you would have to go back pre-2007 if you want the pitcher you think Hudson might be. Not sure what to tell you man but I have said (many many many times) that I would like both pitchers. Period. Don’t think it will happen per the numerous posts in the past. But if you want me to “quantify the differential” between Vazquez and Hudson for you- perhaps handicap it is more like it- I can easily see Vazquez having a full ERA point less than Hudson next year say 3.00 to 4.00. We don’t know that of course but Wren will have to make decisions of a similar nature about what he thinks the future will hold. I doubt seriously he is going to think about Cy Young votes from years gone by.
September 22nd, 20092:51 pm
I thought Cox was paid to manage. Apparently he also has GM responsibilities. (or not) Again, and it’s not an unreasonable question to ask, who makes the personnel decisions for this team? If Wren must run everything by Bobby, then we does the organization employ Wren?
September 22nd, 20092:53 pm
DAP: “but you forgot to subtract anderson’s salary. if the braves cut church and kelly, as they should, the total coming off the books with out trading a starter is closer to $21.4mil”
This doesn’t include raises to Yunel, McCann, Hanson, Jurrjens, Chipper, McLouth, Prado, Moylan, Omar, Ross, Diaz, and whoever else. Right now that could be around $11 million… Perhaps there is “only” $10 million available which will need to be allocated to replacing/resigning Gonzalez, Soriano, LF, RF, 1B, and bench…
September 22nd, 20092:56 pm
Perhaps Wren can work some magic, but it is hard to imagine spending half as much on the same positions and getting more production from them… unless all our minor leaguers come up and play like hall of famers right out of the gates… sustaining it through October.
I’m coming to the conclusion that a starter will have to be traded, not simply because of over crowding.
September 22nd, 20092:57 pm
Anders…..no where did I say the Braves are to force Heyward into the lineup before he is ready. He is ready now by many many scouts opinions. But again, if he continues his pace during ST it would not be rushing him if he is the best for the job. Those in the know make the decision and I am of the opinion he will make the roster out of ST. We’ll see but I agree with you that if he ain’t ready don’t rush him.
RC – Hanson debuted on June 7th. Before that, there were 8 starts from the 5 spot. Reyes made 5 starts, going 0-2 and the team went 2-1 when he didn’t get a decision. Medlen made 3 starts, going 1-2. Losing 5 of 8 from the 5th spot obviously isn’t great, but this is worse:
Through 6-6, the day before Hanson’s debut, Atlanta scored 3 runs or less in 24 of 54 games, including 7 shutouts. They went 3-21 in those games.
September 22nd, 20092:59 pm
“Again, and it’s not an unreasonable question to ask, who makes the personnel decisions for this team? If Wren must run everything by Bobby, then we does the organization employ Wren?”
No. It isn’t unreasonable to ask. Perhaps unnecessary. Wren makes the personnel decisions based on input from John, Bobby, player development, scouts and his own observations.
September 22nd, 20093:00 pm
Scoots, your 2:34 was perfectly stated. Well done.
On a secondary note, here is what should also be considered. I don’t think that ANYBODY is going to question that Vazquez coming off of a great year will/would bring more in return (be it a top prospect – or a major league ready piece of the puzzle). Then again, perhaps other GM’s out there would give plenty for Tim Hudson and the opportunity to have a year’s worth of time to lock him down long-term?
Until they are BOTH inquired about from other teams, and the DOB states what teams may or may not be offering for each, we’re ALL speculating on the subject.
I think long-term, Hudson’s the better investment. Though I’m open to the possibility that Vazquez is a late bloomer and going to dominate for years to come. But this seems too much like Jaret Wright to me. Sell high.
But ultimately it comes down to this. The team is definitely better off with only one of them, and the 12 million that the other is going to make going to an OF bat, or improving other areas in general. In a perfect world, LM sees an opportunity to have something really special and ups payroll, allowing Wren to keep both and float the odd-man out in the bullpen. But who expects that?
I’m on record as wanting Tim Hudson over Vazquez if Wren HAS TO choose between one of them (assuming that KK isn’t going anywhere – and he shouldn’t be – or Lowe is untradable – and he is, imo). But I’m stating right now, that if Wren were to choose Vazquez over Hudson, and even chose to sign Vazquez long-term, I’m cool with that. Because in the end, either one of them is pretty damn good, and if the money that the other was going to make is spent on getting a real clean-up hitter, the TEAM will be better.
I think both will have good years next year. Unfortunately, with Chipper’s and Lowe’s contracts, we can’t keep them both. Wren’s gotta choose.
I’ve also stated before, that Wren could REALLY gamble, and trade them both. Keeping a rotation of Hanson, JJJ, KK and Lowe, while either adding a low risk/low cost starter (say like Paul Byrd or somebody like him), to round out the rotation, and go for broke on a bat. Especially with Minor waiting in the wings. Perhaps Medlen, given all winter and the spring to prepare for that role (5th starter), could be an option.
By “go for broke”, I mean going after a Jason Bay, Matt Holliday or perhaps a trade that is not yet on the radar.
I trust that by the time 2010 starts, our rotation will STILL be solid, our bullpen will look different, but should still be OK and our lineup will be significantly better.
As a fan, I’ll be disappointed if the team doesn’t have more balance between the offense and pitching going into next year.
One important element Vazquez adds that Hudson doesn’t is strikeouts. And other than Hanson, a rookie, we have no power pitchers. Lots of pitch-to-contact guys, of which Hudson is one. If forced to choose, I’d keep Vazquez.
September 22nd, 20093:02 pm
Rock On……1:22 pm … “… and a 30-homer LF and there you have it.
Based purely on 2009 performance, here are your choices.
7. A Dunn WSH OF 37
9. J Bay BOS OF 36
10. J Werth PHI OF 34
12. N Cruz TEX OF 32
14. A Ethier LAD OF 31
14. R Ibanez PHI OF 31
24. R Braun MIL OF 29
28. M Cuddyer MIN OF 28
30. C Granderson DET OF 27
30. N Swisher NYY OF 27
35. C Lee HOU OF 26
The Twins must be close to needing to unload Cuddyer, and Texas could always use pitching. Maybe Cruz could be had for pitching.
September 22nd, 20093:08 pm
Looking at next year’s LF’er.
Option 1 – MATT HOLLIDAY, 19 million for 3-4 years, 17.5 million 5-7 years. I love this option, but MALONE will probably have to pony up too much to be viable. Still, if we want to play hard-ball with the big boys we need a player in his prime like HOLLIDAY.
Option 2 – JASON BAY, 11.5 million for 3-4 years. 10.0 million for 5-7 years. Less desirable from an average standpoint, but man does he hit in the post-season. Would love to wrest him from the SOX. That town doesn’t deserve a decent team after letting the boys from southy walk.
Option 3 – BOBBY ABREU, 6.5 million for one year, 6.0 million for 2 years, 5.5 million for three years. This option provides the most financial and player personnel flexibility, but age is a big factor.
Anybody else care to ante up in with their personal choices and reasons?
September 22nd, 20093:12 pm
rammerjammer, I agree with you if Chipper and KJ are the starting 3B and 2B going into next year. Not to mention our defensive outfielders. If your rotation is anchored by Lowe, KK, JJJ and Hudson, (with Hanson being the lone strikeout pitcher), your defense better be OUTSTANDING.
So, I suppose that Wren has to factor that in (which I’m sure he is doing), when he decides between the two.
I know that DOB stated that the Braves wouldn’t eat any of Lowe’s money, say 10 million dollars. Because that would boil down to them paying 25 million dollars for this one season. I say, if somebody is willing to take him, if the Braves eat 10 more million, GO FOR IT!
As a fan, I’d rather have 10 million factored in next year (2010), and be out from under the remaining 30 million in 2011 & 2012, if it allows Wren to lock down both Vazquez and Hanson. Then again, didn’t Lowe have a similar type of “career” season last season?
I think Wren needs to weigh all the options, and wait for offers on EVERYBODY to start coming in. Then make the move that makes the most sense for not only 2010, but the long-term future of the franchise. In the end, Lowe, Hudson and Vazquez probably don’t factor in beyond 3 more years, anyhow.
September 22nd, 20093:14 pm
Then why is Bobby packing his bags and ready to quit before the season starts because Smoltz was mistreated and he becomes further alienated when Glavine is cut. Wren was correct about both pitchers and Bobby pouted the first half of 09 causing this team to be 35-40. Everyone now knows and Bobby must go.
September 22nd, 20093:15 pm
September 22nd, 20093:19 pm
I firmly believe Bobby has lost the power to decided when he goes. Wren may not pull the trigger this winter but Bobby being “excited” about young players coming up means diddly to Wren.
In fact I don’t even trust Yahoo sports so the whole article is suspect IMHO.
Bobby likes veterans not young players. I doubt he woudl stay b/c of some kid regardless of what he may become.
If Bobby is not gone this year it will be next year so who really cares (including him) about guys who will come into their own in 2011-12.
I am betting Wren cans Bobby and they make it look like he is retiring.
How can the organization trust Bobby when he was ready to quit on them. Hell, he benched Escobar for quitting while he’s been quitting all year with Norton, Johnson, Francouer not to mention pulling Hanson in Houston and leaving Lowe out there 2 weeks ago in NY.
Milton Bradley, Prince Fielder,?! Like in golf, the silly season starts now. I don’t think I can take it again this year! Just too much, toooo muuch!
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