Would you really trade Jurrjens?

While it’s still a little early for many trade rumors of substance to start percolating, there is one Brave whose name is occasionally mentioned on this blog as a potential trade piece, one that to me seems not just highly improbable but almost outlandish.

Jair Jurrjens.

Yes, there are some denizens, presumably of sound mind and in a sober state, who advocate trading a 23-year-old elite starting pitcher who is not even eligible for arbitration until the 2011 season. A pitcher who won 13 games as a rookie, then improved significantly in 2009 during his second full season in the majors.

Jurrjens is a budding ace, not trade piece

Jurrjens is a budding ace, not trade piece

That’s not even taking into account that he’s extremely bright, has an impeccable reputation as a teammate and a hard worker, and he’s a kid who never complained while getting brutal run support for most of a season in which he could easily have won 18-20 games instead of 14. Beyond all that, he’s just too talented to trade right now.

He went 14-10 with a staff-best 2.60 ERA, and in his last 20 starts he was 9-5 with a 2.42 ERA. In four of those 20 games, he got a loss or no decision while allowing two earned runs or fewer in seven innings or more. In that 20-game stretch, he also got consecutive losses in games when he allowed three earned runs in seven innings and three earned runs in eight innings.

Let me preface the rest of this by saying, if I’m wrong I’ll gladly admit it later. That said, I can’t see how the Braves would seriously consider trading Jurrjens this winter. And I don’t believe they have, or will, seriously consider it. Not after making it clear the past two years that they’re building around starting pitching.

Again, if it happens, or even if a credibly sourced rumor crops up, something that seems to have some substance, I’ll admit I was wrong.

So why do I bring it up now? Because before long we’re going to be sifting through reports and rumors about this pitcher or that being shopped, and I’ve already read Jurrjens name mentioned here by several of our regulars. And while things are still relatively slow right now, figured I’d just try to express why it makes no sense.

His name pops up here as a trade possibility, presumably because some believe that the Braves’ pitching surplus and the fact that Jurrjens is a Scott Boras client (probably more the latter) means the Braves should fill their power-hitting need by trading any one of their best starters not named Tommy Hanson, including Jurrjens since they eventually won’t be able to afford him.

No, no, no.

The untouchable is just seven months younger than Jurrjens

The untouchable is just seven months younger than Jurrjens

That’s no reason to trade Jurrjens. That’s a reason, possibly, to trade Javier Vazquez, who is making $11.5 million next season and, with another season comparable to the one he had in 2008 – he was 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA, and also should have won 18-20 games with decent run support – might command a multi-year contract with a salary of at least $13-15 million per season a year from now. At age 34. (See: Derek Lowe, who got a four-year, $60 million deal a year ago, at age 35 and after having only one season in his previous six that was as impressive as two of the last three seasons by Vazquez.)

To repeat: Jurrjens is 23. Just seven months older than Hanson. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until after next season. And even if the Braves aren’t able or don’t try to sign him to a multi-year contract – you might have heard, Boras drives a hard bargain – they still can afford to keep him at least a couple of seasons of arbitration before trading him.

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So that’s three more seasons out of a pitcher that, as last season wore on, showed how special he is. We’re talking No. 1 or No. 2 starter good. Between him and Hanson, I believe the Braves have two of the best five under-24 starters in the majors. You don’t trade either one of them until you feel like you have to.

You build around those guys, who could potentially form the best 1-2 combo in the NL by 2011. And if you keep Tim Hudson, whom the Braves are believed to be close to signing to a three-year extension with a fourth-year option, imagine that trio atop your rotation. The back two spots could be filled by Kenshin Kawakami or Lowe (I think one of them will eventually be traded) and lefty Mike Minor, last year’s first-round draft choice.  Or Kris Medlen, or someone else.

But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves. For now, I just wanted to focus on Jurrjens, since everyone has heard enough about how good Hanson can be and has seen for themselves enough of Hudson and of the high percentage of pitchers who come back strong from the now-routine Tommy John surgery he had in August 2008.

Is Huddy, 34, going to be as good as he was in his late 20s? Maybe not, but he’s an unusually well-conditioned pitcher driven to return to elite status, and he wants to be with the Braves and to be part of what he believes is the positive movement of the franchise and its young standouts. He’ll continue to help those young pitchers, as he already has.

Vazquez will, too, which is another reason the Braves are so reluctant to trade him after his stellar 2009 season. Having Vazquez back along with Jurrjens, Hanson, Hudson and whoever else would assure the Braves again have one of, if not the, best rotations in the National League.

But trading Vazquez one year away from free agency is at least understandable, if the Braves could get a big bat in such a deal. Trading Jurrjens? That’s just not something that makes sense, barring some unexpectedly overwhelming offer that another team might make, something involving a equally young, affordable, big-time power hitter who’s just entering his prime.

Even then, there’s a reason that successful teams so rarely trade young, budding-ace starting pitchers. You win games with great starters. And Jurrjens and Hanson both have legitimate potential to be great starting pitchers.

Which brings me back to Jurrjens’ 2009 season. With all the deserved attention paid to Vazquez’s terrific season and Hanson’s rookie-of-the-year bid and the Braves’ late push for a playoff berth and Chipper Jones‘ struggles and Bobby Cox’s retirement decision and everything else, Jurrjens’ performance sometimes got overshadowed.

Can you imagine if Jurrjens did what he did last season for, say, the Phillies? With that run support (and not even taking into account his uncanny performances at Citizens Bank Park, where he has a 1.30 ERA in four starts). Or better, yet, the hoopla he’d receive if he pitched for the Yankees? I mean, Joba Chamberlain is 12-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 43 career starts, but from the attention he’s accorded, you’d think he was one of the most accomplished young pitchers in baseball.

Jurrjens is 30-21 with a 3.21 ERA in 72 starts for Braves and Tigers, and getting better all the time.

He made $450,000 in 2009 and ranked third in the NL in ERA (2.60), behind Chris Carpenter (2.24) and Tim Lincecum (2.48) and ahead of Adam Wainwright (2.63). Carpenter, Lincecum and Wainwright, in some order, are likely to be the top three Cy Young Award vote-getters.

Jurrjens held hitters to a .192 average with runners in scoring position, one of only eight major league qualifiers with sub-.200 marks in that category. His .203 average allowed with runners on base was tied with Clayton Kershaw for fifth in the NL, relievers included (two ahread of him were relievers Carlos Marmol and Renyel Pinto).

When I asked Chipper near the end of the season about how important it was to keep Vazquez for next season, his response reflected not just how he and other players viewed Vazquez’s value to the team, but also plenty about Jurrjens.

Chipper said of the importance of keeping Vazquez: “It’s the most important part. And the reason I say that is because, not only has he gone out and done what he’s done, but he has helped J.J. tremendously. You’re starting to see J.J. not only add and subtract to his fastball, but you’re starting to see him add and subtract to his slider, his changeup — when you hear guys on other teams say, ‘That’s the guy I fear most in your starting five,’ that tells you he’s continuing to progress. And you’re seeing it here at the end of the season; he’s been virtually unhittable his last four or five starts.”

He was right, only it wasn’t just four or five starts. Jurrjens was 5-2 with a 1.76 ERA in his last 10 starts, all of them quality starts. He pitched seven or more innings in nine of those final 10 starts, and allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of 10.

“That’s the influence of a Javier Vazquez,” Jones said. “They’ve got similar velocity. They might have a little bit different repertoire, but they pitch with their fastball, they use their changeup as an out pitch, and they throw in the slider and the curveball just to give the hitter one more thing to think about.

“And when you talk about adding and subtracting, you’re talking about something that a 30-year-old pitcher who’s been in the league 10 years does. J.J.’s starting to grasp that at 23.”

That’s not a guy you trade, unless and until you believe you have no other choice.

An update: Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt (her on left) was fired by her husband, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, after they separated. Last week she filed for divorce.

An update: Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt (her on left) was fired by her husband, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, after they separated. Last week she filed for divorce.

♣ About the World Series: I looked at ESPN.com’s World Series predictions, and was a little stunned to see 21 of their 23 picked the Yankees over the Phillies. Come on, folks, 21 of 23 of you are picking the Yankees? That includes “Boog” Sciambi, who’s taking the Yankees in six.

Well, I say 21 of 23 of them are wrong. I’m taking the Phillies in seven games.

As great as C.C. Sabathia has been, Cliff Lee has been his equal so far in this postseason. Each manager has said he might use his ace for three starts in a seven-game series. (And Charlie Manuel’s a better manager than Joe Girardi, by the way.)

A.J. Burnett is in his first postseason, and got rocked in his last ALCS start. I like Pedro Martinez against A.J. in Game 2.

And as mediocre-to-bad as erstwhile Phillies ace Cole Hamels has been this season, I still believe he’ll come up with a good start when the series shifts to Philly for Game 3. Andy Pettitte surpassed John Smoltz with his 16th postseason win Sunday, but I think the Phillies are going to score at least a few runs against him at Citizens Bank Park.

Beyond the pitching matchups, I just like Philly’s scrappy, power-laden lineup, which has hit bombs almost equally at home and on the road this season, unlike the Yankees, who’ve hit a lot more at home.

If the Phillies can split the first two games in the Bronx, they’ll win two of three at Philly and go back to New York with a 3-2 lead.

Ryan Howard’s huge disparity between righties and lefties (he hit .319 with a 1.086 OPS against righties, .207 with a .653 OPS vs. lefties) doesn’t bode well for the Philly man-mountain slugger against Sabathia, Pettitte and the Yankees’ lefty relievers or Mariano Rivera and his devastating cutter.  (I heard a remarkable stat the other day – Howard only had one homer against a lefty in more than 100 at-bats in Philly’s home ballpark this season; I haven’t been able to verify.)

But even if Howard has a mediocre series (and I’m not convinced he will), the rest of the Phillies are more than capable of carrying the offense.

Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins … we all are quite familiar with their work. The Phillies have the swaggering veterans, like the Red Sox did a while back, to withstand everything the Yankees can throw their way in a postseason series.

And the Phillies have the home crowd to match or surpass the Yankees for noise and nastiness.

The Phillies are 18-5 with a 3.06 ERA and 33 homers in postseason games the past two years, including 11-1 with a 2.67 ERA at home.

I’m taking the Phillies to become the first to repeat as World Series champions in a decade, and the first NL team to do it since Cincy’s Big Red Machine more than three decades ago.

So let us know what you’re thinking about this Series. Gotta do it now, before it starts. (Although feel free to keep commenting about it after it gets underway, of course.)

james 2

“HOLIDAY” by James McMurtry

The in-laws are waiting the games have begun

The cell phone keeps ringing “don’t answer it hon”

The whole thing’s arranged just to aggravate Dad

And it’s amateur day on the old super slab

The kids are strapped down like a half load of pipe

All safe in their car seats they fuss and they gripe

Well you can’t hardly blame ‘em it must be a bitch

Counting the crosses off down in the ditch

This one’s got flowers, this one’s got a wreath

This one’s got a name painted down underneath

Was the road all iced up, were they going too fast

Here’s five in a circle left from the last holiday

Holiday

There’s a three-trailer rig just a throwin’ up spray

Not legal to run on this kind of a day

But god damn the smokies and the four wheelers too

Stay offa my bumpers or the same goes for you

There’ll be none for him

He that wants it the most

As he hauls it on out to the Oregon coast

No turkey no gravy no Zinfandel wine

You just stay over right and we’ll get along fine

He’s missing the football, missing the fun

He’d play with the grandkids but he’s off on a run

And some hat’s on the radio singing his song

But it don’t make a damn

He’s in for a long holiday

Holiday

Now granny she’s yelling

She’s ready to eat

She’s havin’ conniptions

‘Cause they won’t take their seats

But she’s got ‘em all gathered now under one roof

With her camcorder loaded

She’s gonna get proof

But do you have to wear that

Well I just don’t see why

Please pass the potatoes

Aw eat s#!% and die

Did you hear about Ellen, she’s leaving, you know

How ‘bout those Packers, think it’ll snow?

And the minute it’s over they’ll scatter like quail

Off down the freeway in the teeth of a gale

Silent and shattered And numb to the core

They count themselves lucky

They got through one more holiday

Holiday

The highway patrolman

He stands in the rain

He just lets it run down to soften the stain

Of the blood on his pant leg

From working that wreck

And he won’t forget it

In time for the next holiday

Departing Chicago at 9:52

In clean desert camo all baggy and loose

Sits an Iowa Guardsman alone by the gate

The place sure looked different, in 1968

When he traveled with mom, first time on a plane

To visit some kin, he’s forgotten their names

But he remembers the soldiers, still in their teens

In their spit polished boots and their pressed army greens

With the creases so sharp, and their faces so smooth

But their eyes looked so heavy, he wondered how they could move

Now he’s got that same look, like his insides are black

He’s in his mid forties and he has to go back

And he can’t even smoke while he waits for his plane

The uniform’s different, but the mission remains

To do like they tell you, don’t make a fuss

Why’s not an issue, so don’t think too much

You just do what you have to, shut up and drive

If you come apart later, well at least you’re alive

You can get you some help, you can deal with it then

And life will be better, ‘til it happens again

‘Cause there’s something inside us that won’t let us be

It stalks through our days ‘til it’s too dark to see

And it’s damn near as deadly as Texans on ice

Lord don’t they beat all

Y’all have a nice holiday

2,392 comments Add your comment

CB

October 28th, 2009
5:07 pm

uno,dos,tres ?

P-Town Brave

October 28th, 2009
5:07 pm

Short of getting Ryan Braun, no, we shouldn’t trade JJ

DAP-

I’m not saying I’m 100% against obtaining Swisher, but just some things I noticed.

Also, the small sample size proves why they couldn’t bring him in to bat cleanup…

There have been way too many “if” scenarios already in the last couple years, and the Braves truly need an already established impact bat that has already batted and hit comfortably in the cleanup spot. Or at least thats my opinion.

cricket

October 28th, 2009
5:10 pm

I know people can justify any far fetched idea, but trading JJJ is the dumbest trade idea ever.

Rufus

October 28th, 2009
5:12 pm

No way the Braves can, or will, trade JJ. Just doesn’t make sense. Javier I could understand as you’ve got a glut of starting pitching, he’s coming off his strongest year, and his market value may never be higher. The starting rotation will be shorter one guy in the spring but it’s not going to be JJ.

Random (as MFIKY)

October 28th, 2009
5:12 pm

Rhrhr — Mess YOU up.

:mad:

cricket

October 28th, 2009
5:12 pm

Short of getting Ryan Braun, no, we shouldn’t trade JJ

Short of getting King Albert, no, we shouldn’t trade JJ

Random

October 28th, 2009
5:13 pm

(That was better — I was in a hurry before.)

;-)

Scorby Jones

October 28th, 2009
5:17 pm

is the World Series on the radio?

McFann Ô

October 28th, 2009
5:17 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! And I totally agree with you about JJ…no way the Braves trade him. And if they did, well…think that would qualify them to lose a LOT of int’rest from this fann.

Lew

Good point…and s’pose confidence comes with more experience. I…sorta trust what I’m doing…

Sometimes you have to do a piece over ten or twelve times to get what you want.

True. Though I’ve never drawn a piece that many times. I have done a couple pieces twice, and the second one ALWAYS comes out better…Like the Fox I drew for cabravesfan–the original (the one I showed to her and others on here) came out WAY too orange-yellow. So obviously I made some changes in the one I drew for her, and it came out much better–more orange-brown, the way a Fox should be.

Random

October 28th, 2009
5:19 pm

Wayne in Utah (October 28th, 2009 4:50 pm): “rotation, not staff….”

Well, they do go well together, if you sit and think on it.

;-)

<i<(Not necessarily in that order.)

David O'Brien

October 28th, 2009
5:20 pm

Doc Holiday, you made a comment on the other blog, which I meant to address in today’s new blog, but forgot to. So I’ll do it here.

You joked: Braves have created their own manager of the year award to make sure bobby gets an award at the end of 2010…….

I know you were kidding, but still thought I’d point something out. The Braves won’t have to worry about Cox getting nice stuff or an award next year — he’ll get parting gifts at each of his final stops in cities the Braves visit, and then it’s a safe bet he’ll have a nice presentation in Cooperstown soon after.

Consider this, from Rule 6 regarding election of managers or umpires to the Baseball Hall of Fame:

6. Eligible Candidates:

A. Eligible candidates must be selected from Baseball Managers and Umpires who have been retired from organized Baseball as Managers or Umpires for at least five (5) years prior to the election. If the candidate is 65 years old at the time of retirement, the waiting period is reduced to six (6) months. If the candidate reaches the age of 65 during the five-year waiting period, the candidate becomes eligible six months after the candidate’s 65th birthday.

(Cox is 68.)

Mike S

October 28th, 2009
5:22 pm

I agree with P-town the only way I would consider trading JJ is for at least Ryan Braun.I like Derek Lowe but with the Braves payroll situation I think that $15 Million could be put to a better use.

Jim

October 28th, 2009
5:22 pm

Dave:

Would you please comment on the notion of signing Laroche to a 3 or 4 year deal at “market,” but with no “no trade” clause and letting chips fall where they may re Freeman. While FF has shown plenty of promise, my sense is that he’s no earlier than a mid-11 arrival in the Bigs. Laroche can add a lot of value between now and then, and would likely be the starting 1B of ‘10 and ‘11. Given the type of player he is, he’s unluikely to lose any trade value for seasons he’s 34 and 35 years old.

Thanks.

rammerjammer

October 28th, 2009
5:23 pm

If Frank deals Lowe and that contract, you think he’ll look to extend Vazquez through, say, 2012?

Benjamin

October 28th, 2009
5:24 pm

Short answer: no way in the world would I deal Jair Jurrjens. Not without getting a young franchise player signed to a multi-year deal in return, and even then, I would be hesitant.

He and Tommy Hanson are the future of this team, along with Heyward and Schafer.

P-Town Brave

October 28th, 2009
5:25 pm

From MLBTR:

Trade Market: First Basemen

Prince Fielder, Brewers. On October 7th, Brewers GM replied, “I don’t see that happening” when asked about trading Fielder or Ryan Braun (Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporting). What’s more, SI’s Jon Heyman expects the Brewers to attempt to lock Fielder up this winter. Fielder is already under team control through 2011, and there is no reason to expect him to be shopped (the Brewers have other trade chips with which they can acquire pitching).
Adrian Gonzalez, Padres. Like Fielder, most Gonzalez trade rumors have been speculative. And Jed Hoyer knowing Theo Epstein doesn’t really increase the chances of a trade to Boston. The Padres have a small payroll, but Gonzalez will only earn $10.25MM over the next two seasons. Hoyer even said long-term discussions are “on the docket.” On the other hand, there were summer trade talks with the Mariners, Red Sox, and Dodgers under old GM Kevin Towers. Towers believes “it’s just a matter of when” the Padres trade Gonzalez.
Adam Dunn, Nationals. We haven’t heard anything about Dunn being available, but it’d be reasonable for GM Mike Rizzo to listen. The Nats have Dunn signed for next year at $12MM.
Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays. Currently, the Blue Jays have no plans to move Adam Lind to first base (says MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian). If they change their mind, Overbay and his $7MM salary could theoretically be shopped.
Jorge Cantu, Marlins. Here’s a guy who’s actually likely to be available this winter. The thinking is that the Marlins would prefer not to give Cantu an arbitration raise on his $3.5MM salary. Cantu traded some power for OBP this year.
James Loney, Dodgers. More speculation…the Dodgers could consider trading Loney and his .399 SLG if they’d prefer more power at first base. Loney’s salary is set to take a jump through arbitration this year.
Ryan Garko, Giants. Garko is a non-tender candidate for the Giants, so it figures they’ll try to trade him first. At the least, Garko handles lefties well.
Casey Kotchman, Red Sox. Kotchman was an odd acquisition by the Red Sox, as they don’t have much of a spot for him. He’s similar to Loney but the asking price might be lower.
Andy Marte, Indians. Marte’s future with the Tribe is in doubt after a .232/.293/.400 performance in the bigs. He did slug .593 at Triple A this year.
Mike Jacobs, Royals. Like Garko, a non-tender candidate. Jacobs spent most of the season as a DH.

Seems to me like what I mentioned about a couple weeks ago, Cantu would seem like the perfect fit IF the Braves could get the Marlins to bite w/o giving up too much.

Maybe Fredi is partial to some of our retreads or never were’s like the Royals are?

candler willis

October 28th, 2009
5:27 pm

Really,is that even a question??NO,you dont trade a young ace like that that is dumb question..No matter waht you get you dont unless its hanley ramirez or something..You have a chance to build a awsome 1-2 punch that you need to build a winning team.The dumb thing the braves did was not trading for mark texiara.People always say the braves never make big splashes i condon wren for that wonderful idea..But kawakimi that was a bad idea you dont pay a 39 year old that much money come on think about it so way to go wren messed that one up.Now ur stuck with too many pitchers that are OLD…GO Braves…

David O'Brien

October 28th, 2009
5:27 pm

Have you seen the latest ugliness in the McCourts-in-court saga?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4601465

P. W. Hjort

October 28th, 2009
5:29 pm

trading a 23-year-old elite starting pitcher

I don’t advocate trading him, but there are a few red flags in his performance. Basically, his results this year were a whole lot better than 2008’s without him getting, fundamentally, any better. Some people explain it as good luck, some people say it’s “poise” or “mound presence” or whatever. I don’t know what it is, but I think both sides have good points.

Anyway, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call him an “elite starting pitcher”. His K’s aren’t there, his BB’s are a bit high, and his GB% declined in 2009. He ain’t gonna be able to sustain a 79.4 LOB%, either. Plenty of things point to regression for Jurrjens in 2010 and several hit-luck based metrics suggest he’s a fairly good bit worse than his 2009 ERA. I hope they’re wrong, and I’m not saying they are right, just playing devil’s advocate.

Furthermore, I’ve made this point before, but fans always seem to see what they want to see in their young players. Everything positive is good and there’s an excuse for everything negative. Not saying they’re right, but are there any heralded analysts or front office personnel that don’t have connections to the organization calling Jurrjens an ace? I think we’re all guilty of seeing what we want to see and overestimating his potential/upside.

Beyond all that, he’s just too talented to trade right now.

What if you’re getting something equally talented, or more talented, with just as favorable of a contractual situation, or more favorable? I mean, you don’t just dismiss the idea out of principle. If a trade emerged involving Jurrjens that made the team better now and in the future, Wren would be insane not to do it. And that’s not just with Jurrjens, everyone. If a deal makes sense it makes sense. Is your team going to be better now after this deal? Is your team going to be better in the future after this deal? If the answer is “yes” to both of those questions, you make the deal. And it isn’t inconceivable that such a deal could surface involving Jurrjens.

However, it’s rather unlikely. Which is why I think this:

That said, I can’t see how the Braves would seriously consider trading Jurrjens this winter. And I don’t believe they have, or will, seriously consider it.

Is exactly right. It’s not that team’s couldn’t give up something that makes it worth trading Jurrjens, it’s that they most likely won’t. It would involve trading a similar type of impact player, like a Matt Kemp or a Dustin Pedroia or something of the sort. And teams usually don’t swap core pieces. Doing so largely results in no net gain.

Don B

October 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

And I thought Pedro Martinez was going to pitch the second game for the Phillies. Who is the new guy Gomez????????

Wayne in Utah (WWRFD)

October 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

Pitchers careers are a bit more precarious than that of position players. That being said, when you have someone as talented as Jurrjens, it is hard to think about dealing him.

I have been one who has mentioned dealing him for a big bat in the past. Would I after the “scolding” I just received? For a handful of positional players, yes. Without going over all the players in the majors, I would deal him for Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun or Eva Longoria, I think.

But then again, having those dual aces for the next 10 years is mighty tempting.

To be honest, I doubt you would ever get another team to give you enough to truly be willing to deal Jurrjens.

If I remember correctly, when I first proposed dealing Jair, it was back in mid summer, before he closed out the season with a bang.

Hopefully, he will not have any career endangering injuries that would make us wish he were dealt.

I do believe that it will be interesting, the closer he gets to his free agency years.

Are we going to discuss Escobar on the next blog???

:lol:

P. W. Hjort

October 28th, 2009
5:34 pm

Interesting exercise:

If you had to trade one of the below, which do you trade?

Jair Jurrjens
Yunel Escobar

Art Vandelay

October 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

I’m just glad I wasn’t around when the “trade JJ” comments that moved DOB to write this piece were originally posted. That might be the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. Under no circumstances, even a deal including Ryan Braun, should the Braves listen to offers for him.

AdirondackDave

October 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

Couldn’t agree more DOB, Jurrjens is as valuable as Hanson and that is saying a ton. Even if the Braves were offered a young outfielder or first baseman, say an Adrian Gonzalez or similar (if there are any) I’m not sure I would make that deal for JJ. A team with outstanding pitching and mediocre offense seems more likely to contend to me than the reverse. FW worked wonders last winter with pitching. Now with a surplus starter, a surplus infielder, and some prospect chips, no reason to think he can’t, or at least make a big-time effort, to do the same with the offense this winter. This could be a very strong club in ‘10, with or without a full season with Heyward. I’m looking forward to it.

gadawgs

October 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

David O'Brien

October 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Don B: Good catch. Pedro Gomez is one of only two of 23 ESPN guys who picked the Phillies, and he was also a baseball writer at the Miami Herald when I was at the Sun-Sentinel, before he went to ESPN. Anyway, that’s what was lodged sideways in my brain when I typed that.

P. W. Hjort

October 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Freeman just doubled. 3-4 on the day.

Jason

October 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Pedro Gomez in game 2? Great blog DOB, glad to have a little Braves talk during the World Series. Trade JJ? Uh, no, no and no.

Vinings Jim

October 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

DOB – great blog – of course, you do it the day I’m trying to pack and am about 5 days behind where I should be, but at least I could read it while eating….

Einstein

October 28th, 2009
5:40 pm

Excellent article DOB, but don’t you mean Pedro Martinez rather than Pedro Gomez against A J Burnett in game two? I like Pedro, too.

Wayne in Utah (WWRFD)

October 28th, 2009
5:41 pm

Art

I haven’t seen your name here before, but then again, my visits have been more sporadic the past 2-3 months. I am glad you weren’t here when I mentioned trading him in the past either. I bet you would have said something that would have hurt my tender feelings.

:lol:

Wayne in Utah (WWRFD)

October 28th, 2009
5:47 pm

TRADE JURRJENS!!! I can’t believe anybody would be that stupid! What an idiot! It’s a crime shame that folks that would make such suggestions are allowed to exist on a blog where nothing real stated really counts anyway. (unless of course, if you are Paul Dense, who FW gets most of his inspiration from)

:evil:

BossLady

October 28th, 2009
5:52 pm

I don’t think any GM would trade a pitcher before his time when he can win games like JJJ. I would think it would be difficult to bring a top hitter in here when there is just not a “scrappy urgency” to win that the Braves do not have in the clubhouse. The last set of games with the Marlins and Nationals reflected their “laid back” attitude toward winning. The Phillies would not give up in game until the last out of the game. Seemed to me the Braves gave in around the 7th and never tried to show back up. I watched about 120 games at home and at Turner.
When we had a lead it was a winner ONLY if we kept the lead, but when the lead was gone it was gone for good in that game. Some players should be traded just for that reason regardless of their skills. The attitude towards the game and winning is just as important as skills.

Mixxo

October 28th, 2009
5:54 pm

Trade JJ?

Absolutely not.

Wayne in Utah (WWRFD)

October 28th, 2009
5:54 pm

BossLady

Name names.

Wayne in Utah (WWRFD)

October 28th, 2009
5:55 pm

Enter your comments here

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
5:56 pm

Oops….fat fingers

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
5:57 pm

I’ve proposed trading him – but for either Braun or maybe Fielder can’t recall which. Highly unlikely the mutual interest and salary needs would match up, but in theory I would trade him for an MVP bat.

I believe the “luck metrics” P.W.H. was discussing. That is one of the reasons I liked getting Vasquez is because he was so “unlucky” in the past.

Joe Schmoe

October 28th, 2009
5:59 pm

P. W. Hjort

October 28th, 2009
5:34 pm
Interesting exercise:

If you had to trade one of the below, which do you trade?

Jair Jurrjens
Yunel Escobar

Ughh I trade neither of them. LOL, I dunnon. I think Escobar is just as valuable to this young team as is Jurrjens.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:00 pm

Good Blog DOB

I have mentioned trading JJ, but i was just throwing an idea out there, i do not support the idea unless we get overwelmed.
Were all gonna be dissapointed about who our new Cleanup hitter will be. All the early reports i’ve seen the Braves most likely LF candidates are Nady, J.Fox, Willingham, The Braves simply wont pay for offense, but they’ll open up the checkbook to pitchers all the time. This team is one big bat from being so dangerous with the best starting pitching in place already…. Sign a closer , sign Rochy and Add the righthanded bat, Playoff bound we are….

Joe Schmoe

October 28th, 2009
6:01 pm

Escobar is just as valuable to this team as Jurrjens in my opinion.

njbraves

October 28th, 2009
6:01 pm

No way the Braves trade JJ, it doesn’t make any sense. They need all the top tier, low pay scale players they can get. What they need to do is get Lowe out of town as soon as humanly possible, and put that $45 million to better use.

Duke

October 28th, 2009
6:01 pm

Quality blog DOB. Well said. Phillies in 6, already made the bet on betus

C from Marietta

October 28th, 2009
6:02 pm

If the Braves trade JJ. I am done with them and I have been a life long fan. However, if they do something that stupid. It’s over.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:03 pm

Joe Schmoe

Your correct on that, considering SS is thin in the minors on talent, he is a great player and is cheap

abwright

October 28th, 2009
6:04 pm

DOB, thanks for the new blog. and, well said! I hope JJ stays with the Bravos for a good long time. I really enjoy watching him pitch.

Lew, from the previous blog, … I agree with everything you said regarding the near future for the rotation. I would love to see JJ, Hanson, Hudson, Vazquez, Kawakami for the next two years.

However, if Vazquez and the Braves cannot reach an extension, would you rather have JJ, Hanson, Hudson, Lowe, Kawakami for the next two years OR JJ, Hanson, Hudson, Vazquez, Kawakami for 2010 and a mystery starter for 2011?

The only way I would trade Vazquez instead of Lowe is if V. is only available for next year. Then, I would say, get the best deal while his stock is uber-high. Good thing I’m not the GM nor does the GM listen to me!

nolie

October 28th, 2009
6:05 pm

Dude, batting average? Why? (PW)

oh I don’t know, maybe cause a hit is always worth more than a walk? Walks are great, hits are greater. Get somebody who can do both. It doesn’t have to be an either/or condition. I’ll take a 280/380 guy over a 250/390 guy-most everything else being relatively equal- every day and so would most GMs

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:05 pm

They eventaully will prolly trade em. In the coming years. They wont give no one top dollar (Except Lowe) Boris will be dying to get him on the open market.

All I'm Saying Is...

October 28th, 2009
6:06 pm

Because of how they conduct themselves mentally and physically, Hanson and Jurrjens are the future of the Braves pitching staff. Keep them both and, in fact, sign them to long term extensions prior to the expiration of their arbitration eligibility.

LET’S GO BRAVES!

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:07 pm

C from Marietta

I said the same thing about Lillibridge, but I came back…..

:lol:

DHD

October 28th, 2009
6:08 pm

Hell no!!!!! Keep all of the pitchers. you NEVER have enough. Somebody always goes down. See the Boston Red Sox.

Lew

October 28th, 2009
6:08 pm

abwright-He is coming off of arguably his best season. He likes Bobby Cox and playing in Atlanta is closer to his home in Puerto Rico than he’s ever been. He’s obviously comfortable pitching in a pitcher’s park for the first time in his career. I would be willing to bet he’d sign an extension.

Lew

October 28th, 2009
6:08 pm

DHD-Then which one do you not pitch?

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:09 pm

JUst think of the talent we would have now if we never traded for Tex…….. Might have been a fair trade for us if we would have just signed the MVP caliber player…… We let a gold glove switch hitting mvp caliber 1stbaseman just walk away, it kills me thinking about that trade what if???? lol

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:09 pm

abwright

If I were the GM, we would be called the Pirates-South!

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
6:09 pm

On the last blog, several of us were discussing getting a Houston OF. I say we trick em, Frank Wren style. Start out discussing something reasonable like Lowe for Lee. Then offer to downgrade to either Pence or Bourne!

I am only 90% kidding, because I feel like he sort of did this getting McLouth and Vasquez.

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:12 pm

Lew

If not for the salary issues with Lowe, I think I would keep all 6 pitchers until the middle of the spring. But, I understand the salary constraints we have too, so I fully expect FW to deal Lowe in the first month after the WS is over. Even if he gets less than we think he should, as doing otherwise is going to hamper his other moves.

Would you go for a Lowe for Willingham or Lowe for Fox trade?

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:12 pm

Carlos Lee has a no trade clause, but i dont see why he wouldnt waive that to come to Atlanta which is way ahead when it comes to contending.
Lowe wouldnt be enough to land him anyways, Lee does have a big contract but he does produce but still bit overpaid but they’d never do it.
Hopefully Wren has some tricks and surprises this offseason cause i just dont see a real legit cleanup guy coming to Atlanta.

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
6:13 pm

VA Brave Fan – The money would have basically worked to sign Tex and forego signing Lowe, if we had went with one of our rookies instead of Lowe. Now 1 year later we’re basically trying to undo that decision by getting a cleanup hitter and trading Lowe.

If only Wren had seen it that way to begin with. Although in fairness, our fanbase had basically conceded on ever signing Tex and was begging for more pitching focus.

abwright

October 28th, 2009
6:14 pm

Lew, I agree (and hope) that V. signs an extension. But, I’m a bird-in-hand kinda guy. Til it’s done, I hedge.

Wayne, it’s a good thing you’re not the GM, either!

Later, ya’ll. I’m heading home.

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:16 pm

ugaaccountant

One of the main reasons for dealing Lowe for a bat is to get rid his salary load. The Astros, I believe, would not be interested in picking up our large salary, then giving us one of their affordable players.

Some folks were saying Lee for Lowe, which I sort of understand, from a salary standpoint, BUT, I really don’t think we want him in our outfield, plus it does nothing to help us sign LaRoche or a reliever.

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

ugaaccountant

Did you really think we had a prayer of signing Tex as a FA? When he wouldn’t extend, I had no illusion he would sign with us. He was gone 2 years ago.

Country Boy

October 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

Aren’t you the same “journalist” that whinned all of last off-season for Braves to trade Yunel ( and
others) for pitcher Jake Peavy. 2009 Peavy – only 16 games pitched and 3 months disabled list.
Yunel – 141 games and .300 avg.

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
6:20 pm

I know the astros don’t want to pick up a 15 mil pitcher, but I actually am pretty confident Wren will be able to sell him to someone and get a good player in return.

I’m asking for too much in Pence or Bourne, but I expect him to surprise us and get someone better than Fox or Willingham types.

I think Lowe still commands a #2 starter trade value and his contract isn’t that bad in that rotation spot.

Warren Haynes for President

October 28th, 2009
6:22 pm

I can’t imagine trading JJ. I am in the “horde starting pitchers” camp. A really solid starting 5 like the Braves could/should have next season is golden in a 162 game schedule. It generally prevents losing streaks or bad June 2006 style meltdowns and you are always in a postion to start an extended winning streak.

tr

October 28th, 2009
6:23 pm

Sure, trade JJ for Pujols if the Cards pick up Big Al’s salary for the next ten years!!!

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

Lowe is a good pitcher still, The FA market for Starters is very weak we should have some teams interested in him. But if were not recieveing a simaler contract in return were still gonna have to eat some of his contract… so were not dumping the 15 mil

Warren Haynes for President

October 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

Love the James McMurtry lyrics. Drove to Oxford MS to see him and the Truckers play last Friday. Needless to say, it was awesome.

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

I don’t understand why we chose not to be in the Tex sweepstakes. I never saw enough to convince me Tex didn’t personally want to be here. I refuse to believe a competitive offer wouldn’t have put us in the discussion. However, I don’t believe anything resembling a competitive offer was ever made, not in 07, 08 or as a free agent.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

Pujols should command more that Arod who makes 29.1 million a year…………………………… Pujols is the best player in the game.

taxman kenneth

October 28th, 2009
6:25 pm

The braves are just crazy enough to trade anyone on the team for a rental like they have done in the past. Acquiring Jurrgens was one of the very few good trades they have ever made so getting rid of him would not surprise me at all. The braves gave the farm away for Tex and look where he is tonight, playing first base in the World Series for the money spending Yankees who by the way bought the American League Pennant. They did not win it. The braves have nothing to show for the Tex bum trade so they are capable of making stupid trades and nothing they do would surprise me. They are going to have to do a lot to even compete with the Phillies and that line-up. I am rooting for the phillies to beat the Money crazy yankees in the world series. I would like to see a sweep.

jeffrey d

October 28th, 2009
6:26 pm

Not that I think we should do it, but people mention Jurrjens in a trade 1) because we have a starting pitching surplus, and 2) because he’ll get an enormous return (probably the top hitter that we so desparately need). It’d be like Hamilton for Volquez.

But some people don’t seem to understand that trades need to be equal in value. Which is why everybody wants to get rid of Lowe. Of our 6 pitchers (assuming we re-sign Hudson) Lowe is the least exciting and the oldest and has and will have the biggest contract.

So by the logic of so many people on here… “Hey! I know Lowe sucked last year, and he’s old, and he’s got a big contract, but he’s had a sub-3 ERA before and you should probably give us a good hitter or a nice prospect, please. Thanks! TTYL!”

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:28 pm

We should have signed Tex before he even made it to FA. Give the man a good offer from the start, he didnt want to play in Atl cause we prolly offered a bullcrap contract named Hometown Discount from the start, instead of paying the player on how they produce. Yeah if we would have signed Tex we wouldnt have had the money to spend on pitchers but this organization is great at developing young pitchers and we couldnt have been fine. Tex got a crap 1st offer is why he totally didnt want to be here, we prolly acted like he was Chipper or somthing and offered 13 mil a year, for one of the best players in the game thats an insult.

nolie

October 28th, 2009
6:30 pm

Would I after the “scolding” I just received? For a handful of positional players, yes. (Wayne)

sure, so would I. I agree that pitcher’s careers are chancier and I agree a bit with PW that he might have had a better year than his talent would lead one to expect.
He’s good though, and right now he’s cheap so it would take an excellent offer to tempt me, but like PW said, if it improves the team now and likely in the future-I’m sure it would be considered. It’s just kinda unlikely.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:32 pm

i just dont understand how the Braves will pay 15 mil a year for a 36 y/o pitcher but never do that with bats. Bats play everyday , not every five days. Yes this team could win if they had some speed but they dont. We got good hitters, just no speedsters and sluggers. Got to have one of the other to go along with our great pitching and we’ll be back in the post season.

Kris in NC

October 28th, 2009
6:34 pm

It seems Ken Rosenthal is reporting on FoxSports.com that Tim Hudson is close to signing a 3 yr deal with an option for a 4th yr. That the deal will be done by the end of the week. DOB, can you confirm this? This was from a source that Ken Rosenthal got this information from.

As we all know, the last time Rosenthal used a source about information on Huddy, it turned out to be not to be true and Huddy had to make a statement to refute it.

As for JJ, why in the heck would the Braves even entertain the thought of trading him? I think Frank can sit down and work out a deal with the Agent from you know where to keep him here for long time. If JJ wants to stay in Atlanta, he will let Boras know that. We all think Agents employ the players, it is the players who pay these idiots to get these outrageous contracts ala A-Rod, CC and Tex.

I love Hanson and JJ anchoring this staff for yrs to come. When you got guys like Tommy and JJ, who want to get better, willing to listen to guys like Javy, Lowe and Huddy and ask questions, why trade either of them. The fans would probably hunt Frank Wren down and question his loyalty big time.

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:34 pm

Many of you speak as if you know what Tex was or wasn’t offered. To be honest, I can’t remember what the talk was before the 2008 season began as far as what was or wasn’t offered to him.

For those of you who know Scott Boras, when (besides Carlos Pena and Kenny Rogers) has he NOT taken a big name player to free agency, and when has that player NOT taken the largest offer?

I think those that would say that we weren’t reasonable with Tex are delusional.

Necromancer

October 28th, 2009
6:35 pm

Yep..The Yankees definitely bought the AL Pennant.

Any player who goes over to the Yankees is the equivalent of selling their soul to the devil!

nolie

October 28th, 2009
6:35 pm

I said the same thing about Lillibridge (Wayne)

why? I assured you years ago that Lillibridge would be liliputan. Pay attention :)

DAP

October 28th, 2009
6:35 pm

P-town, the fact he hasnt had many ABs there proves the braves cant put him there? that deosnt make sense. besides, they could just leave mccann batting cleanup and bat swisher somewhere else if they got him. no biggie.

also, cantu is a big step down from laroche. there is no way cantu is a good option for the braves. my opinion on 1st base is they need to resign laroche or get someone better. that means no cantu or konerko.

unrelated, im picking the phillies in 7, they can and will win as long as they win at least one of the first two games.

Necromancer

October 28th, 2009
6:37 pm

Watch out..if JJ becomes a free agent…he’ll sell his soul to the devil,er,Yankees as well.

Remember who his agent is…

Ed Glennon

October 28th, 2009
6:38 pm

I really miss seeing little dribblers hit to the second baseman. So how about trading Jurrjens for Casey Kotchman or maybe a three way trade that brings us Brent Lillibridge back. Trading Jurrjens – are you kidding?

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:38 pm

Boris will just say hey JJ listen to me you gotta wait it out let these guy fight over you we gotta float some rumors that your clse to singing with so and so to get a better offer run this up high as we can. The yankees\mets/redsox would be all over this kid and can eaisly outbid us. Yes its truly the players choice, but money walks bullsh1t talks

Necromancer

October 28th, 2009
6:39 pm

Oh yeah..trading JJ is a STOOOPIIDDD idea!

nolie

October 28th, 2009
6:41 pm

Any player who goes over to the Yankees is the equivalent of selling their soul to the devil! (Necromancer)

We need to sic Dean & Sam on to them
BTW, don’t necromancers do that too?

yall are crazy

October 28th, 2009
6:42 pm

How could any of you people possibly want to trade JJ? He’s our best pitcher! What are you, nuts?

Sam The Man

October 28th, 2009
6:43 pm

KEEP JJ AND VASQUEZ. LET HUDSON WALK AND USE THAT MONEY FOR A YOUNG, BIG BAT.

Steve from OH

October 28th, 2009
6:43 pm

321,000 per month in spousal support? That’s outlandish!

I gotta say, if that report DOB posted is true, giving her co-ownership would be a crime. Now if Frankie screwed up, that’s a different story althogether, isn’t it?

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
6:43 pm

I agree Necromancer. I say now is the time to sit down and offer JJJ a new contract 10 years at DOUBLE his current salary. You distract Boras for me while I get JJJ the paperwork.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:45 pm

I just dont see Hanson AND JJ both of them anchoring the staff for years to come. If they continue improving and hell there already really really good pitchers , there both gonna command the big big bucks that comes with top notch starting pitching, i dont see braves locking both of them up, unless there offered contracts like McCanns and Frenchy offers. Maybe they will, we just wont have much money to spend on other positions. I’m just being realistic, its all about the money

ugaaccountant

October 28th, 2009
6:45 pm

ya’ll are crazy – I would have to say JJJ is now our 3rd best pitcher for 2010 behind Vasquez and Hanson, although 2009 was ridiculously close for all 3.

Steve from OH

October 28th, 2009
6:47 pm

Why would she even need access to 5-star hotels and a corporate jet if she’s getting 300K a month? My Lord, I couldn’t spend all that if I tried…

TS

October 28th, 2009
6:47 pm

If the Braves can trade Derek Lowe’s full contract for even a bowl of rice this offseason I will eat my shirt.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:47 pm

Sam the Man

There inst any young bats to sign. We cant compete for Bay or Holliday. We have to trade for one.

MtnDawg

October 28th, 2009
6:50 pm

DOB, thanks for the best blog in this rag. Absolutely NO WAY should we trade JJ. And dont even think about trading Vasquez, he was the steadiest of all the pitchers this year! If we can shed Loew’s over priced/under performing contract that would be a major win and maybe create some room for the much needed bat. Only question is, who would be so desperate?

KK performed nicely against the tougher opponents but had letdowns against mid level teams, although he did show promise. Sign Huddy if at a discount, but with performance restrictions, and shop for the outfield big bat until the Kid is ready.

DAP

October 28th, 2009
6:51 pm

vabravefanI just dont see Hanson AND JJ both of them anchoring the staff for years to come.

i think they are under team control for 5 and 4 more years, respectivly. that counts as “years to come” in my book.

VaBraveFan

October 28th, 2009
6:52 pm

Lowe for Bradley NOOOO
Lowe for Mathews IDK
there are planty more bad contracts out there but i think Lowe is more valuble than most of them.

Trading Vasquez could land us a true legit Hitter , but he is so important to this staff.

Steve from OH

October 28th, 2009
6:53 pm

I can see JJ and Hanson anchoring the staff for at least the next 4 years, vabravesfan…

And I do think they extend Vazquez once they get Hudson’s extension done and take care of the rest of their offseason business.

McFann Ô

October 28th, 2009
6:54 pm

DAP besides, they could just leave mccann batting cleanup

AAAAAGGH!!

Wayne in Utah (WWJJD)

October 28th, 2009
6:57 pm

Steve

I would dang sure like to try (to spend that much money, that is)!

If I could get that for ONE month, I would be frickin set for life in 5 years!

But then again, if I had that kind of money, it would probably go to my head, and I would have it spent in no time. Yeah, I think the 5 star request is reasonable…..

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