Braves could add to roster by Friday

It gets overshadowed by other baseball offseason deadlines, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Friday (Nov. 20) is when teams must have 40-man rosters finalized including those minor leaguers that must be protected from the Rule 5 Draft that’s held on the final day of the Dec. 7-10 Winter Meetings.

(Stay with me during the preamble — I promise this blog should get exciting and memorable quickly. Oh, and remember you can follow us on Twitter @ajcbraves.)

Between Friday and the Rule 5 Draft, teams can add major league free agents to the 40-man, but not players from its minor league system. And so by Friday, most teams will add at least a minor leaguer or two to their 40-man rosters, players they deem too talented to leave unprotected for other teams to pluck for a mere $50,000 price in the major-league phase of the draft.

The Braves currently have seven openings on their 40-man roster, minus  unsigned free agents and a few guys dropped after the season  including pitchers Vladimir Nunez and Buddy Carlyle, who could be re-signed as minor-league free agents.  (Addendum: Nevermind on Buddy, who signed with Nippon Ham Fighters; announcement came out of Japan at about the same time I was posting this blog last night).

Which brings us to the focus of this here blog — left-hander Lee Hyde, a reliever whose stock has risen recently and someone the Braves will presumably add to their 40-man roster by Friday.

 Lee Hyde is finally healthy

Lee Hyde is finally healthy

(Oh, I almost forgot: Who, some of you are asking, must be protected? Glad you asked. Basically, it’s any minor leaguer who has played five years if he signed his first contract at 18 or younger, or four years if he signed at 19 or older. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s it, more or less.)

If you haven’t heard of Hyde, it’s because the Fayetteville, Ga., native and former Georgia Tech (and Fayette County High) star has been hurt since the Braves drafted him. Hurt a lot.

“Hyde has really come on,” GM Frank Wren said of the 2006 fourth-round pick. “We had hoped he would progress a little faster, but injuries kept hindering him. Now he’s starting to take off.”

After missing most of the 2007-2008 seasons recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery followed by shoulder problems probably caused from overcompensating, Hyde stayed healthy (relatively) during 2009 while posting a 2.27 ERA and 1.037 WHIP with 45 strikeouts and 15 walks in 35-2/3 innings with three affiliates.

Most of that was at high-A Myrtle, where he dominated the way a talented 24-year-old should against the mostly younger players at that level, putting up a 1.21 ERA and 0.985 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 22-1/3 innings.

If 35-2/3 innings doesn’t sound like a lot, consider that before this year Hyde had only pitched 61-1/3 innings pitched since the Braves drafted him.

After being promoted to Double-A this year, he had 13 strikeouts in 10-1/3 innings during seven appearances, and Hyde earned an invitation to the Arizona Fall League, where his progress has continued.

“Going into this year my goal was just to stay healthy,” Hyde told me when I was out in Phoenix to see Braves prospects two weeks ago. “I had a pretty good year, and then getting to come out here, it’s a blessing. It’s nice to be healthy and playing baseball again.”

Pitching in the prospect-laden AFL in conditions that favor hitters, he had a 3.27 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP that’s the ninth-lowest in the league through today (Monday), with 12 strikeouts and five walks in 11 innings.

Opponents were batting just .179 against Hyde after a hitless inning Monday in his 12th appearance, and three of the fourth runs he had allowed came during his fourth appearance, including his only homer allowed.

Did we mention Penelope Cruz has a new movie coming out? Called "Nine."

Did we mention Penelope Cruz has a new movie coming out? Called "Nine." I told you this blog would get exciting.

In his other 11 appearances, he had allowed one run, six hits and three walks in 10-1/3 innings.

If he can stay healthy, there’s little doubt Hyde can compete for a spot in the major league bullpen – perhaps as soon as this year. His stuff is that good.

He features a 92-94 mph fastball that’s effective against lefties and righties, along with with an 85-87 mph slider and a knuckle-curveball that could be a highly effective pitch if he can get more consistent with it.

But make no mistake, with Hyde it’s all about staying healthy. If he can do that, he can pitch in the majors.

“So far, so good,” said Braves A-ball (Rome) pitching coach Jim Czajkowski, who’s also the pitching coach for the Peoria Saguaros AFL team that includes Braves pitching prospects Mike Minor, Craig Kimbrel, Jeff Lyman and Hyde, along with first baseman Freddie Freeman and shortstop Brandon Hicks.

“Let’s knock on some wood,” Czajkowski said in Phoenix. “He’s been good here. Since he’s been here he’s done some long-toss that he wasn’t able to do during season, and his miles per hour has actually increased some – he’s been at 93-94 in games. Sometimes he drops down to 91-92, but for about four outings in a row he was right at 93, consistenly. For a lefty…”

For a lefty, that’s strong, folks.

Hyde missed a few weeks this summer after popping some scar tissue in his surgically repaired elbow, not unusual for pitchers after TJ surgery. He was briefly terrified that he’d torn the ligament again.

“I just felt a pop and it scared the crap out of me, to be honest with you,” he said. “I was mad and scared, just mixed emotions. I thought bad things. But when I woke up the next morning it wasn’t really swollen. That’s when I thought maybe it was just scar tissue.”

But he said he still pitched “timid” for much of the season after that, not wanting to push his elbow too much.

He said that being able to rest before the fall league, and to long-toss then and between appearances in Arizona, has refreshed his arm and given him a few extra miles per hour on his fastball.

And when he’s got that knuckle-curve working, he can be extremely tough on hitters. It behaves like an old-school 12-to-6 curveball (so named for the downward movement, from 12 to 6 o’clock), only it comes in harder.

“His knuckle-curve is a hard pitch to command, but when it’s on it’s like a straight 12-6 hard breaking ball,” Coach C said (hey, we’re blogging, I can’t keep looking up spelling of his name). “And it comes out just like a fastball. So it’s a very difficult pitch [to hit].

“Very tough pitch to command, but it’ll definitely be a difference maker. Not a lot of guys in the big leagues have something like that. Most 12-6 curves are slower, he can put velocity behind it.”

Hyde grew up loving the Braves and admiring Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. A year ago, he worked out with Smoltz a lot during the offseason in Alpharetta, and saw first-hand the veteran pitcher’s talent and immense determination (Smoltz was coming back from shoulder surgery at the time).

“Just amazing to see how fast he recovers for as long as he’s been around the game,” Hyde said. “Pretty amazing athlete, too. We shot the basketball around a little bit, too. Just watching him shoot the basketball, and I heard he was a really good golfer….”

(They have that in common – Hyde plays golf regularly and beat Kimbrel last week on a Phoenix course to win a dinner bet at Benihana’s.)

Hyde’s had to deal with serious arm problems that stalled his development early, but said it’s made him even more determined to reach his potential.

“It’s given me a whole new appreciation for the game,” he said. “When you play it for so long — I’ve been playing it since I was 4 — I don’t want to say you take it for granted, but it’s kind of like you’re playing day-in and day-out, and sometimes you’re like, I kind of want to go home today.

“But I had a whole new appreciation for the game this year, and it just made the season so much more enjoyable for me.”

He thinks overcoming adversity early on might end up being a blessing in disguise.

“It definitely could be,” Hyde said.

♣ Braves interest in Willingham? Braves GM Frank Wren is staying tight-lipped this winter on any and all free-agent pursuits and rumors, which figure to be rampant given the common knowledge that the Braves are looking for a power hitter and are expected to trade one of their high-profile veteran pitchers, Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez (not necessarily to get that hitter, but perhaps).

Nats' Willingham makes some sense for Braves

Nats' Willingham makes some sense for Braves

Anyway, one of the latest rumors was a FOXSports.com report that the Braves are interested in Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham, who had 24 homers and a career-best .863 OPS last season.

He makes plenty of sense for the Braves, especially given that he’ll probably make less than $5 million in arbitration next season and is right-handed, not to mention an Alabama native who has an an impressive .840 career OPS and more than 20 homers in three of his four full seasons.

But there are drawbacks, beginning with the 30-year-old’s poor defense and back problems (he’s not played more than 144 games in a season, and only 235 games in the past two seasons).

Most importantly, there’s the asking price. Or at least that was a serious drawback when teams called about Willingham at the trade deadline, and the Nationals wanted too much young talent in return to find any team willing (get it, willing? OK, late.)

Still, you’re talking about a guy who has posted OBPs of .356, .364 (twice) and .367 in his four full seasons. He’s a quality hitter with a .265 career average and .881 OPS against lefties, and .264 with an .827 OPS against lefties.

Just not so much against the Braves. Or did you see my stats last night? Willingham has been awful against the Braves, with a .213 average, three homers and .637 OPS in 197 at-bats, his second-worst OPS against any NL team.

Hell, if he’s traded to him his OPS might rise 20 points.

Then again, at Turner Field he’s hit .134 with one homer and a .419 OPS in 30 games (97 at-bats), his worst OPS at any of the 24 ballparks in which he’s played. So maybe not.

♣ Schafer meets Nixon — shopping: OK, you probably saw here last week that we noted how Jordan Schafer’s surgically repaired wrist is healing ahead of schedule, according to Wren, who said the cast initially wasn’t expected to come off until mid- to late-December but was coming off a few weeks early.

schaferOTISsmallest

Schafer and Nixon, random meeting at furniture store

The Braves say they don’t want to put any pressure on him or have him put any more on himself.  He isn’t playing any winter ball, and Wren said it’s likely he’ll start the season at Triple-A Gwinnett.

But I did this note because I have a photo of Schafer taken this week at an Atlanta furniture store, Huff’s Furniture, where the young center fielder supposedly just randomly ran into an old Braves center fielder, Otis Nixon. We got the photo from a relative of store owner Jim Huff, who was  in the photo with his grandson Peyton  (I had to crop them out to make it fit).

Reds in the red? How’d you like to be the Cincinnati Reds, one of the many teams that’s talking about trimming payroll.

They were only at $73.5 million last season, and might have to go somewhere close to $65 mill, according to Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer John Fay, who points out that they already have have $59.25 million committed to six players for 2010: Aaron Harang ($12.5 million), Francisco Cordero ($12 million), Scott Rolen ($11 million), Bronson Arroyo ($11 million), Brandon Phillips ($6.75 million), Willy Taveras ($4 million) and Arthur Rhodes ($2 million).

That means if they kept all those guys and paid every other player on the roster the minimum $400,000 salary, they’d still be over $66 million. Yikes.

Which means someone or multiple someones is going to have to be traded, if they really intend to trim that much payroll. Which has to chap the behinds of Reds fans, who saw promise in a team that went 27-13 in its final 40 games.

And it’s not just teams like the Reds who plan to cut payroll. The list includes Detroit, St. Louis, Toronto and others, and the trend had powerful agent Scott Boras telling reporters at the GM meetings that some teams seem only concerned with paying off debts and making profits, rather than competing.

White Sox GM Kenny Williams – yes, I’m going to that well one more time — said: “Listen, there’s no unlimited funds for anybody in this game – seemingly. [Then he paused, smiled.] I shouldn’t say that. For 99 percent of the teams there aren’t unlimited funds. And there certainly aren’t any [blueprints for success]. the Yankees won this year, but they’ve been at it for a long time trying to get it back.

“There’s not recipe for success in this thing. There’s no manual for how to get it done. Sometimes the big free agents – I know those are the ones that get your headlines. It’s not always the ones who push you over the top.”

Braves executives have said several times that their payroll is expected to be at or slightly above last year’s level, which was about $92-95 million depending who was counting what and when.

I asked Wren last week if he agreed with Williams’ statement about “99 percent” of teams not having unlimited funds [Williams meant everyone but the Yankees, which would actually make it 96.7 percent of baseball's 30 teams].

“I think it’s the vast majority,” Wren said. “I don’t know if it’s 99 percent, but I think the vast majority are dealing with revenues that are different than they were a couple of years ago. So we’re all to a certain extent dealing with it.

“We’ve been fortunate in Atlanta that we’ve been able to kind of hold the line on our payroll. We had growth last year and hopefully, I think we’re going to be in the same area we were in last year, so that’s a positive. It lets us kind of maintain the trek we’re on right now.”

♣ Diversions: OK, let’s wrap this up and post it. Going to what should be a great show Tuesday night at Variety Playhouse here in Atlanta, featuring Justin Townes Earle and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. (Already had tix before I realized KU-Memphis was on ESPN … arrgh. It’ll be a post-midnight viewing of the basketball game, from tip-off to last second. Also planning to go see  Patterson Hood on Saturday at a small club (Andrews Upstairs) in Buckhead. This sure  is a good time to not have night games to cover, lot of good concerts and basketball — man I’m glad hoops season is here).

Oh, before I forget: How funny has Curb Your Enthusiasm been lately? Hilarious episodes the past two weeks, the Black Swan episode and, well, Sunday night’s (if you saw it, you know why I can’t comment here).

We’re loving this Sunrise/Sunset album by band The Duchess & The Duke (here’s a link to one of their cuts) and also Scott Miller & the Commonwealth’s live album Reconstruction, recorded a few years ago. I’m admittedly late to Miller’s bandwagon, and don’t know how I missed him this long. This guy’s the rootsy real deal. Terrific songwriter.

And speaking of great songwriters, he’s one by Conor Oberst off the Monsters of Folk album (last week at the Tabernacle, that alt-rock supergroup put on one of the best shows I’ve seen in a few years). This song might be my favorite from a self-titled album that’s got a bunch of great ones to choose from.

Monsters of Folk (Oberst is on right)

Monsters of Folk (Oberst is on right)

“AHEAD OF THE CURVE” by Conor Oberst

Another perfect day

They keep piling up

I got happiness that I can maintain

Some beginner’s luck

*

I had shoes to fill

Walking barefoot now

Can’t tell north from south

But no split hair’s gonna get me down, no

*

I’m stayin’ above the flat line

And I’m ahead of the curve

Take a piece of the sunshine with me

On a red-eye flight to another world

*

It isn’t any trouble

If you wanna come with me

I know it’s out the question, honey

But I sure could use the company

And a place to be

*

Now the sky is pink

Rooftop swimming pool

I’m not carefree, no

I’m free to care

I just never do

*

All the bags are checked

And the reasons why

Yesterday lingers on

That’s the piece you keep when we say goodbye

*

You can get what you want now

Knock it out of the park

Bury it by the river

Easy, there’s a search party

But it’s getting dark

*

I won’t hold you to nothing

I wanna make that plain

Prob’ly end up a stranger and crazy

But I’m still hoping there’s another way

And a place to stay

*

What a scene has got you sentimental

When the knot comes, when the knot comes loose

All the things you’ve put upon your mantle

What a shame, what a shame

It’s old news

*

I’m staying above the flat line

I’m ahead of the curve

Take a piece of the sunshine with me on a all night drive to another world

*

You can get what you want now

Knock it out of the park

Prob’ly end up a drifter and lonely

But I’m still hoping for a change of heart

And a place, a place, a place to start

2,693 comments Add your comment

Mitchie-san

November 17th, 2009
12:06 am

Thanks DOB. You Da Kine, Bruddah.

Chris

November 17th, 2009
12:11 am

thanks for the new blog DOB.

toga party

November 17th, 2009
12:11 am

Thanks for the new blog, DOB. I appreciate the refresher on the Rule-5 stuff. I can never remember the criteria for who needs to be protected or when.

Can’t wait to see the Schafer / Nixon pic.

Goldenglove002

November 17th, 2009
12:12 am

Derek Lowe for Connor Jackson. Dbacks want SP, and are said to be willing to add payroll. Keeps them under their salary from past year. Opens 10 mil for the Braves and gives us someone who can play 1B/LF/C.

Don’t look at his stats from last year as an idea of what we would be getting. He had Valley Fever so his numbers took a big hit. Doing pretty well in Winter Leagues

bbspell22

November 17th, 2009
12:19 am

Upper 80s slider from the left side is impressive, hope the guy can stay healthy. If the Braves go after Willingham, could that mean arb offer to LaRoche by saving money on the OF bat? I like Willingham….just not his back.

bbspell22

November 17th, 2009
12:21 am

Golden

Theres a guy on ESPN blog saying the same thing about Jackson-Lowe swap…weird.

brian

November 17th, 2009
12:23 am

thanks DOB – great reward for staying up late to do some work on the computer.

Reading the above blog it makes it more baffling that the Reds traded for Rolen and his contract. Did they trade him thinking they could “flip” him to another team? Taking on a big contract of a player past his prime with injury trouble is not typically the move I would expect from a cost conscious team

bbspell22

November 17th, 2009
12:23 am

sorry I meant Message board not blog…12am thinking.

Goldenglove002

November 17th, 2009
12:25 am

A writer’s blog or fan message boards? It’s not me, I promise you that. I think I was the first on MLBtraderumors to bring up the idea, which seems to be where a lot of the guys who blog rumors tend to go

Goldenglove002

November 17th, 2009
12:26 am

Well that answers my question quickly, lol

brian

November 17th, 2009
12:30 am

kind of a teaser in the headlines. When I read Braves may add to roster by Friday my first thought is that there is a trade in the works.

bbspell22

November 17th, 2009
12:30 am

good stuff on MLBTR. Thats prob where the guy over there got the idea…not a lot of originality over at the ESPN board.

Klaus

November 17th, 2009
12:33 am

Here is what Sheehan over at BP had to say about his pick for NL Manager of the Year: Apparently he is not a fan of our position players.

National League
1. Bobby Cox
2. Tony La Russa
3. Jim Tracy
The Braves had an astonishingly weak collection of position players, yet they won 86 games and were probably one of the five best teams in baseball on the day the season ended. Cox played the hand he was dealt. Given the success of Jurrjens, Vazquez, the relievers, it’s worth asking if all of the credit we long gave Leo Mazzone shouldn’t be at least in part shared by Cox. Cox squeezed a lot of value from his position players, and while some people felt he overworked his top three relievers, he did get an awful lot of value from them. Similarly, La Russa leveraged the best player in baseball and four other contributors to a division title, with a comparable question of how to divide credit between the manager and pitching coach. Tracy presided over four months of great baseball and made some lineup decisions that helped it along. He gets docked here for the partial season and for regular-season—not postseason—tactical missteps. Like the Yankees under Girardi, the Rockies sometimes won games in spite of their skipper.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
12:45 am

Don’t know how I did it, but I figured out how to use the PhotoShop editing feature, at least well enough to make the photo fit. It’s there now.

northbeach Scott

November 17th, 2009
12:49 am

I know that a lot of fans are upset with Hanson not winning the NL ROY. While he had a great year, Coughlin and Happ were a bit better. Nevertheless, I would much rather have Tommy than either of those two for the future. Much rather have a WS championship in a few years with Tommy than a ROY that will just push Hanson’s price up later in his career.

This is my favorite time of the year as a fan, as Wren works through the nuiances of putting together the roster for ST. He has his work cut out for him to balance the realities of the new economy with the Braves needing a few key pieces to take them to the next level.

Would love to have Willingham, but I would not want to pay too much for him. Hope to see Mike Gonzalez back next year. Looking forward to seeing our kids in ST this year.

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
12:52 am

Nice article Dave. Appreciate the info on Hyde. Interesting story, let’s hope he can stay healthy. It’s dang sure fun to see these young guys realize their dreams and have a measure of success at the major league level.

Willingham sounds interesting, but hopefully we will not have to mortgage the farm for a guy like him.

I suspect it will be hard for us to get through the winter without dealing “My Little Pony” Medlen, but I would sure love to see us be able to hang onto him.

To be honest, there are quite a few warm bodies out there that could be helpful: Cruz, Rivera, CJackson, Willinghan, CRoss, Swisher, Hart, etc. Probably have missed a few.

I would love to see Adam back at first, but I just don’t know if that’s going to happen. I would think we would offer him arbitration. It just sounds like to me that they are high enough on Freeman to not waste too much on a future first baseman.

Lots of guys on here are thinking blockbuster, but I am thinking 3-4 smaller deals, with one potential 20+ HR guy mixed in.

Thanks again…

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
12:56 am

Didya expect anybody to pay any attention to the Nixon/Schafer picture after passing PC along the way?

Jim

November 17th, 2009
12:57 am

Another nice blog.

I really like the thought of adding Willingham, I just think you hit the nail on the head by bringing up the Nationals asking price at the trade deadline. The Nationals are going to want some good, young talent for him, and I don’t think he’s worth too much in the way of prospects. If the Braves could pick him up for a low-mid-level prospect or two it might be worth it as a secondary target.

http://www.fanhuddle.com/atlantabraves

tdmorgan

November 17th, 2009
1:00 am

DOB, have you heard any news on when they think Kimbrel could be up? I would hate for another Joey Devine style early call-up

Coach (2011 or Bust)

November 17th, 2009
1:05 am

Time to end my long sabbatical and add to the trade rumor buzz.

Vazquez or Lowe? No question, Lowe is far more likely to rebound in 2010 while Javy could regress or not. Selling high on Vazquez seems logical but I still hate trading starting pitching.

I’m going way outside the box with this one so hang on to your britches ladies. Vazquez to the Phillies for a package of prospects headed by Michael Taylor and Kyle Drabek. Why this trade? Well for one thing their mediocre starters were finally exposed in the World Series. Cliff Lee was it, winning both starts against the Yankees. The Phillies need more pitching and they have the young talent to burn. Michael Taylor is buried in the Phillies depth charts and Drabek is their top pitching prospect.

I this trade proposal makes anybody cringe, well don’t. It’s an awesome trade because both teams improve. Atlanta gets a big time outfield prospect in Taylor while maintaining their pitching depth and the Phillies starting pitching improves. It’s a win win deal.

Redstick19

November 17th, 2009
1:06 am

He’s a quality hitter with a .265 career average and .881 OPS against lefties, and .264 with an .827 OPS against lefties – DOB

Sounds like Willingham would be a great platoon player against lefties, eh? Just funning ya DOB- but you might wanna clarify which stat is againt righties… Great blog, I learned something new about that process. Thanks.

Redstick19

November 17th, 2009
1:10 am

Coach- never improve the pitching staff of a division rival. N.E.V.E.R.! Besides, we got Schafer and Hayward- how many more OF prospects we need, and where would he play in a year or two?

tdmorgan

November 17th, 2009
1:14 am

Coach, I don’t think your trade proposal will work because the Phils wouldn’t even include Drabek in the the deal for Cliff Lee, we might be able to get Taylor and a mid-level prospect. The Phils are getting to the point that they are going to have to figure out which guys to keep because of the big contracts they already have and the ones coming to Rollins, Utley, Howard, Lee, Hamels, Lidge, Werth, and Victorino. They’ll need Drabek and Taylor and probably won’t be willing to trade them. They might trade Werth who would be an amazing pick up. He’s great defensively and has a ton of power. He is probably one of the most underrated players in the NL.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
1:15 am

Didya expect anybody to pay any attention to the Nixon/Schafer picture after passing PC along the way

she needs to marry Sghafer, her ears are almost as big as his. They could maybe teach their children to fly all on their own. ;)

nolie

November 17th, 2009
1:15 am

nolie

November 17th, 2009
1:20 am

Coach- never improve the pitching staff of a division rival. N.E.V.E.R.! Besides, we got Schafer and Hayward- how many more OF prospects we need, and where would he play in a year or t

plus they will not trade a pitcher like Vazquez for nothing but prospects, whether to the Phils or not, it just ain’t gonna happen. They are not gonna give him up without getting immediate help back in return. This isn’t some trading deadline dump.
But hey , it came from coach so what can we expect? His sabbatical obviously didn’t improve his intelligence or his baseball knowledge nearly enough if at all. ;)

bravesgirlnc

November 17th, 2009
1:31 am

I for one would much rather look at a picture of Schafer than Cruz. Just me though I am sure. :)

Coach (2011 or Bust)

November 17th, 2009
1:38 am

And I’ll add Luis Durango. He’s what Chone Figgins was eight years ago. Remember Kimera Bartee? Me neither but he was the bag of balls the Angels used to steal Figgins from the Colorado Rockies back in 2001. Why Durango? Because the Braves are quit simply the slowest team in the big leagues, period, and it’s embarrassing.

Hiawatha Terrell Wade

November 17th, 2009
1:44 am

Fixes in Willingham section:

He’s a quality hitter with a .265 career average and .881 OPS against lefties, and .264 with an .827 OPS against lefties (righties).

Hell, if he’s traded to him (them) his OPS might rise 20 points.

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
1:49 am

Nixon wasn’t working at that furniture store was he?

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
1:51 am

Nice blog DOB. And that was a pleasant surprise seeing Ms. Cruz when scrolling down for the first time.

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
1:55 am

Gotta disagree with Sheehan on Cox being manager of the year. LaRussa had no pitching going into the season, wasn’t supposed to compete with the Cubs, didn’t have a 2nd baseman he was comfortable with, etc… And Tracy did a great job with that Rockies club.

Cox’s moves I think were a little bit forced upon him by the front office. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s the impression I got as the season went along. All in all, Wren did a great job getting Cox the players he needed, and should probably get executive of the year (I think there’s an award for that right?).

One thing Sheehan did say that I agree with, was that the Braves finished the year as one of the top 5 teams in baseball. They were, and regardless if we make any improvements for next season, we should be pretty good.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
1:59 am

I am gonna have some huge fun here if Coxy wins MOY. Starting with Coach and working down the list :)
Just the fact he’s mentioned in the top three is delightful whether I think he should be or not. I luv it.

ccrider

November 17th, 2009
2:04 am

Wayne in Utah; I think there is a way to hold on to Medlen. The Braves need to focus on getting Lowe’s contract traded. If that is done and assuming Laroche opts for a multi year contract,thus eliminating him from the Braves they need to keep their prospects and go for depth in the field and bullpen.
Sign a Mike Cameron, Carlos Delgado and Troy Glaus. Cameron(who hits lefties great) in CF to start, McLouth in LF and Diaz in RF, with the 4th Outfielder Schafer if fully recovered and Matt Young as 5th OF(until Heyward comes up in June)When Heyward arrives he takes over RF, Cameron and Schafer platoon in CF and McLouth and Diaz platoons in LF.
Delgado plays 1B and Chipper 3B with Glaus giving both lots of rest, which would result in less dropoff when each are out of the lineup. All 3 players should cost about what Lowe was making.
The bullpen would consist of a resigned Gonzalez, Moylan, Medlen, O’Flaherty, Hyde(?) and 2 from a group consisting of JJ Putz, Kiko Calero, Brendan Donnelly,B. Lyon, F. Rodney, Chan Ho Park.

All of this would result in having more of a margin for error. If, one of the outfielders struggle or are injured that can sit until they work their problems out. The 1B/3B trio, the same story. I think it would give us a better more consistent offense with the platoons and backups in case of injuries.

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
2:05 am

Coach

Good to hear from ya. I really don’t think we can afford to play footsies with the team primary team standing between us and the division championship. Do you?

I like Lowe for a bat, or for prospects. I wouldn’t mind seeing us offer him to the Angels for Juan Rivera or for Brandon Wood (taking a chance here, I know). OR, we could talk to the Mariners about him for Gutierrez.

I sure wouldn’t mind getting a good right handed prospect, to go with all these lefty prospects we already have.

Bedtime folks…

nolie

November 17th, 2009
2:10 am

Sign a Mike Cameron, Carlos Delgado and Troy Glaus

wow you would be putting a huge part of the teams in the hans of some questionable performers in both Glaus and Delgado. not sure they would be willing to do that to such an extent. Might work great, but it’s kindy riskt for my taste.

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
2:13 am

cc

Some good ideas for sure. Have you thought if Denver non tenders Garret Atkins, he might be somebody to look at signing. Dude had a bad year last year, but before that he was very good. Might be worth a shot.

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
2:14 am

nolie

Yeah, I kinda got a buzz from the MOY rumors!

ChiTownBravesFan

November 17th, 2009
2:16 am

We already have Josh Willingham, his name is Matt Diaz. Resigning Hudson was a big mistake in my opinion…he has underachieved in Atlanta. Other teams know that we have six starters so I don’t see us getting equal value for any starter. I think it’s time for Chipper to move over to first base. I think a good fit would be Chone Figgins at 3B. We haven’t had a true leadoff hitter since Mr. Furcal departed. I love McClouth, but he’s not a leadoff hitter. Let Heyward start the season on the big league roster and let’s see what happens.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
2:29 am

(Wayne)

the trouble with Atkins is that he is not all that good a hitter away from Coors. His platoon splits are ok, but he is a .735 OPs hitter away from Coors. That’s close to 100 points less than Prado hit last year for instance.I’ve never really been a fan of his

N8

November 17th, 2009
2:31 am

I know this will not sit well, but I think the guys giving Cox so much credit, are underestimating how fantastic our pitching was all year.

Add to that, his decision to stick with KJ, play Jeff everyday and overuse guys like Bennett and Boyer early in the year, are what set us back in the early months.

That being said, in the end, he did a pretty damn good job in working with what he had to work with. It’s not all (or any) of Cox’s fault that Wren went into the year with a rookie in CF, and poor players in RF and 2B, and a guy who needed April and May to be used as spring training in LF.

Not to mention Cox can’t be blamed for Chipper’s struggles (though he could be blamed for locking him into the 3-hole).

Overall, Cox did a nice job. Hard as it is for me to mention that. But one still has to wonder how the first couple of months would have panned out with somebody else pulling the strings in April/May that wouldn’t be such a “player’s manager” and given those guys a shorter leash.

Maybe we lose 20 more games. Maybe we win 5 more. Guess we’ll find out in 2011, huh?

As for Coach’s suggestion? Since I think we’ll have enough to win the division in 2010, and even if we gave Philly Lowe or Vazquez, I think we’d still have enough to compete with them and probably win the WC, I’d be OK trading in division if we got Drabek and a power hitting prospect in return.

But don’t count on it. Like tdmorgan said, the Phils didn’t give Drabek up for Cliff Lee, why would they for either of those guys? And as nolie stated, you do have to think twice (or even 4 or 5 times) about helping a division rival out with their pitching. Best served to give up those guys to a non division rival, and preferably to an AL team.

But, I’m not as deadset on receiving ML ready studs for either of those guys. With Lowe it’s about payroll relief. With Vazquez it’s about getting any real value back. If that’s a ML ready OF or 1B, great. If its an uber-prospect, fine by me.

Either way, if Wren is able to shed (and he certainly will) either of their salaries from our books, he should be able to sign or trade for an OF and or a 1B that can improve our offense.

With JJJ, Hanson, and Minor (and maybe even Medlen in the 5th spot), our YOUNG pitching seems to be in place. KK will help for two more years. Hudson for three. Hell, trade Lowe and extend Vazquez and our rotation should be solid if not spectacular for the next half decade or so.

Our team has a real chance to be great in 2010. Been saying it for months. But the reality is that with our young pitching (and vets like Hudson and maybe Vazquez) on board for the next 3 years, Chippers contract eventually coming off the books and guys like Heyward, Schafer, Freeman, Escobar, McCann and even Prado & Minor hitting their strides, 2011 and 2012 have a chance to be REALLY special, with the payroll flexibility that will eventually come in those 2 or 3 years where there really won’t be any overpaid, high priced guys on the roster. Then some big names in their prime could be added.

Anything can happen, like major injuries in between now and then. But the way I see the similarities building, the 2011-2012 campaigns have the makings of the 1991-1992 Braves. Solid young core of Escobar, Prado & McCann (think Gant, Justice and Blauser), with the solid young and entering their prime pitching of JJJ, Hanson and maybe Minor (Glavine, Smoltz and Avery), with a veteran like Hudson leading by example (think Leibrandt), and certainly a steady stream of really young studs to move forward with like Heyward, Schafer and Freeman (think Chipper, Javy and Klesko), the makings of another dominant, consistently competitive team are all there at our disposal. Then you can add a big-time free agent (think Maddux) and maybe a trade (think McGriff), and roll with it.

Only difference is, is that this team is not owned by Ted Turner (or another single owner that would take pride in building this thing up), so keeping that core together for a decade will be damn near impossible. The window will be much smaller than the window was in the 90’s.

Damn I wish it was February. LOL!

nolie

November 17th, 2009
2:36 am

We haven’t had a true leadoff hitter since Mr. Furcal departed.Chi

McLouth has as good or better an OBP and a VERY much higher steal success rate than Ferky had, so I just can’t make myself agree with your statement. This team has several more pressing needs than a new leadoff hitter.They should use their available resources to improve those real problems. and exactly how you come up with Willingham and Diaz being the same guy is beyond me too.
If you mean that you prefer Diaz to Willingham, well I might agree with that though Willingham will supply more power which is what everybody seems to want.

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
2:36 am

I just read a Yahoo report about the teams that are drawing serious interest in Lackey. Those teams would be the Mets, Brewers, Angels, Mariners, Red Sox, and soon to be Yankees….so far.

They estimate Lackey will get about $17 million a year (starting bids?). Either way, that will be 5 teams capable and willing to pay Lackey that much money, and Lackey reportedly has stamina issues teams are worried about.

So, in regards to Lowe. Lowe will have less years remaining on his contract than a signed Lackey, for a lesser dollar amount as well, has greater stamina, and the ability to offset his payroll by trading players to the Braves. I think the market is shaping up nicely for a Lowe trade.

ccrider

November 17th, 2009
2:39 am

nolie and Wayne in Utah; nolie, yes all of those players have drawbacks: Cameron doesn’t hit righties very well, thus the platoon, Delgado is 37 and sat out most of last year, but the year before he hit 38 hr’s with 115 rbi: Glaus (who is still just 33 years old) in his last 3 full healthy seasons has averaged 30 hr’s and 104 rbi.
Unfortunately, the Braves are one of those teams that have to take low salary risks and hope to catch a good year out of a player. Last year Garrett Anderson didn’t work out, but basically with Delgado, Glaus and Chipper the Braves would be counting on just 2 of them being healthy at the same time.

Wayne in Utah: I like Garrett Akins Ok, but I like the bigger potential upside of Delgado and Glaus. Plus at his age, Akins is probably looking for a fulltime 3rd base job, which Chipper wouldn’t be too happy about.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
2:46 am

If its an uber-prospect, fine by me. re Javy (N*)

It might be fine with you,it might even be alright with me with the right prospect, but it ain’t gonna be fine with Wren I betcha. He is not gonna give up an effective starter coming off that kinda year, without getting some immediate help in return, by that I mean someone who has at least stuck his toe into MLB waters and shown that he can swim a bit. I can understand that approach a bit with Lowe to provide financial relief, but I ‘ll be surprised if it happens with him either. I can think of a few, just a few, guys I would be tempted to do that route for Lowe though.Just don’t think it’s gonna happen.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
2:52 am

Unfortunately, the Braves are one of those teams that have to take low salary risks and hope to catch a good year out of a player. ccr (one of my alltime favorite bands)

I agree to an extent, I just don’t think they are gonna take three such chances.Too many health/age/rebound issues for all those guys at once, at least IMO. It could work, but it’s pretty risky.Riskier than I think you can base the success of a season on. Good thinking though.I can see them considering one or maybe even two of them.

Thai Cobb

November 17th, 2009
3:02 am

DOB, which Duchess and the Duke album do you like better, the debut, “She’s the Duchess, He’s the Duke,” or the new one, “Sunrise / Sunset”? I think they’re one of the more ridiculously underrated bands going.

tdmorgan

November 17th, 2009
3:11 am

JJ Putz could be an excellent choice as an incentive laden deal to be our closer

ccrider

November 17th, 2009
3:14 am

nolie, who knows what they will do! It could be Rick Ankiel and Xavier Nady, with Ankiel going back to pitching out of the bullpen, trading Lowe, KK and Vazquez and signing Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, resigning Andruw Jones, bringing Mark Lemke and Ron Gant out of retirement.
The Waiting is the Hardest Part, so sayeth Tom Petty

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
4:55 am

Thai Cobb: I’ve got the new one, Sunset/Sunrise. Need to get the debut. You’re right — way underrated band. By the way, they’re playing in-store at Decatur CD on Dec. 16 before show that night at The Earl.

Mitchie-san

November 17th, 2009
5:24 am

Get some rest, DOB.

Kemp,Barkley,Ewing, Malone,Stocton Have No Rings

November 17th, 2009
6:17 am

Dob! Bobby to retire next year. You really need to asure me that there is Zero chance the braves sign Bobby Valintine! I think i would have to become a Nationals fan! Please! Please! Please! Tell me there is no chance Bobby doesnt get a chance to manage the Braves!

Eric In Albany N.Y.

November 17th, 2009
6:18 am

Please No Bobby V!

TK

November 17th, 2009
6:39 am

It would be nice to see Brandon Phillips come over from the Reds. I hope I am wrong but I think Prado will fall back to .250 average. I hope the Braves look at Chase Headley of SD. He is a switch hitter. Can play the OF and is VERY GOOD at 3rd.

Mitchie-san

November 17th, 2009
6:45 am

Ill take Brandon Phillips over Dan Uggla anyday. Why not get ‘em both and play Uggla in the outfield? Could the increased offense outweigh the decreased defense?

Braveheart

November 17th, 2009
6:55 am

TK, of course, Prado could always slip to .250. But if he did, at this point, I don’t think that would be an indicator of a lack of talent or the league catching up to him due to overexposure. I think it would just be one of them hard luck, hitting it right at ‘em things. I think it’s safe to say at this point that Martin is a .300 hitter. He was a .300 hitter in the minors, and now he’s been one in the majors as well. I don’t doubt that he is a .300 hitter. The one thing I wonder about with Martin is whether he really has the kind of power he’s shown in the majors. He had zero power in the minors, but has somehow developed average power in the majors. Gotta wonder how real that is. I don’t wonder too much about it anymore though. I think he’s pretty darn legit.

avocado

November 17th, 2009
7:26 am

Schafer pic: he’s looking like a young Christopher Walken. Looks like very pretty chrome and rosewood behind them, hmmm.

cliff

November 17th, 2009
8:07 am

DOB,

Can you give us a complete list of all Braves players who must either (a) be added to 4 man roster or (b) be subject to Rule 5 draft?

And, on a related note, can you give us a complete list of who (now on 4o man or to be possibly added this week to protect them) must be on 25 man roster by close of spring training or else released (I think Jo Jo Reyes is in this group, but am not sure).

richbrave

November 17th, 2009
8:15 am

And thank you DOB for reminding us once again that the BRAVES will not increase payroll. But it was agreeable to concur that it would be nice if they did. Oh, and JEROME, AZ. That WAS nice, no,si?

richbrave

November 17th, 2009
8:21 am

ChiTownBravesFan:

Well, CHIPPER says he ain’t goin’ to first. My inference is that once he can’t handle the hot corner any longer, he’s done, he’ll retire. Don’t expect to see MR. JONES at 1B anytime soon.

Grammar Teacher

November 17th, 2009
8:23 am

Dave,

Thank you for not referring to Hyde as “dude,” or “hoss,” or one of those other terms you use to talk about players. This was a nice, well written article (despite a few typos, seems that a journalist would know about proofreading). I give you a B+.

Let move back up to #1

November 17th, 2009
8:24 am

I feel that the Braves can do better then a often hurt outfielder who cant hit at Turner Field. I mean really, what good does he do? I would rather just go ahead and see what Heyward can do. I dont want to watch another player sit it out on the bench and waist money and bench seating. I think we are really over that one by now. As fans we deserve better, but these pitchers really deserve better.

richbrave

November 17th, 2009
8:24 am

Cliff:

Type in Braves 40 man roster, and pick the first item when the screen comes up. It will give you the entire 40 man.

Couch Tater

November 17th, 2009
8:28 am

Durn DOB,

Writing about Josh Willingham and Patterson Hood in the same blog had me traveling on a web adventure to the Shoals area of Alabama. I noticed The Decoys (David Hood) will be playing with Patterson 1/15/10 in Athens.
http://www.drivebytruckers.com/tourdates.html

David Patterson and Roger Hawkins interview and some great Shoals Videos linked on this page. Old interviews by Mick & Keith, Plant & Bonham, as well as Steve Cropper, Wilson Pickett. Ah, just click, you’ll see…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9iZkRgQzlw&feature=related

Couch Tater

November 17th, 2009
8:30 am

David Hood…sorry.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
8:33 am

Great read DOB. I love hearing the story behind some of the up-and-comers. I had my eye on Hyde when they drafted him, and wondered if he would ever make it back. I’m glad he’s finally getting to pitch. I mean, seriously, how many lefties throw 93 with breaking pitches from two different angles? I think he and Kimbrel have a definite shot at making the team’s opening day roster in the bullpen. This goes without saying, but those two would be a definite upgrade over Boone Logan and Manny Acosta…even as rookies with a lot to learn?

I hope this year’s version of Hyde’s story will be Cory Rasmus. Have you heard any reports about his progress? I remember hearing he was having some character issues too.

a reader

November 17th, 2009
8:38 am

Good request Cliff. The info on Hyde is nice but a list of potentially exposed players would be more complete and useful.

37YrBravesFan

November 17th, 2009
8:38 am

DOB thanks for the new blog, we’re starving for one. Did I miss your mentioning the other minor leaguers that the Braves will protect as well as Hyde?

Is it the usual suspects?

GO BRAVES!!

Daybed Wagmoe

November 17th, 2009
8:43 am

How about the job that the Hometown Hawks are doing?? They’re off to a very strong start, have won 5 in a row, and they’ve got the best record in the East Conference. How’s about some Atlanta folks go to some games and support the team?

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
8:48 am

I think Willingham would make sense. Unfortunately, this would not be a good trade situation for the Braves because…

1. He doesn’t make that much, so the Nats aren’t desperate to clear his salary
2. The Nats would just assume start the season with him
3. The team is based in the PR capital of the world, and will not likely risk the negative press from a bad trade.

The Nats have all the “hand” in this relationship (any Seinfeld fans know what that reference means). I don’t see a way the Braves could deal for him without giving up too much in the way of prospects.

Steve McP

November 17th, 2009
8:51 am

If the Braves want to acquire anyone in the rule 5 draft do they need to have kept a space on their 40 man roster clear to allow them to do that?

Geoff

November 17th, 2009
9:05 am

Hyde is one of the most down to earth players you will ever meet. I was able to chat with him for over a half and hour during the middle of a doubleheader when the Pelicans were playing at Potomac (near DC) this past summer. His stuff was electric (in a bullpen side session). He was VERY candid about his injury problems and staying healthy b/c he knows that the Braves have invested a great deal of time in him and his abilities. Hyde is def. a young man that the Braves should look to in the immediate future and just as importantly, someone any yound player should look to for advice on staying physically and mentally strong during the hard times.

Jay H.

November 17th, 2009
9:12 am

Returning all 5 starters, plus a few
Others is enough to put KU at preseason #1;
Considering that the leading scorer in the Memphis game was an incoming freshman,
KU looks
Completely dominant.
How many games can they win?
All of them?
Looks possible.
Knock wood.
The pic of Jordan and Nixon looked at first like Emminem and Snoop Dog.

Jay H.

November 17th, 2009
9:13 am

I meant the Hofstra game

ChipChop

November 17th, 2009
9:18 am

I hope Josh Willingham isn’t all that Frank Wren is up to. I don’t think he is reliable enough with the back problems.

ChipChop

November 17th, 2009
9:19 am

Any word on who is replacing Jon Sciambi on the Braves telecasts on Foxsports South?

Couch Tater

November 17th, 2009
9:21 am

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:22 am

TK I hope I am wrong but I think Prado will fall back to .250 average.

fall back to it? prado has never hit .250, ever. not even in the minors. his lowest average was .262 when he appeared in 24 games as a 22 year old. prado is a .300 hitter at this level, i believe.

braveheart when talking about prados power, you have to consider he was just 25 this year. alot of guys dont get the power until they get a little older. he may max out at 10-12 homers, but i think he will continue to hit alot of doubles.

Chief

November 17th, 2009
9:26 am

JEFF FRANCOEUR HAS JUST BEEN TRADED!

Don

November 17th, 2009
9:26 am

The last thing that the Braves need to do is to trade pitching for a low BA, low OBA, high K hitter just because he hits 20 to 30 HR. Even the 20 -30 homer hitter with only average BA and OBA is not that valuable. The high BA, OBA home run hitter are not just not available – at least at a price the Braves can afford. The most overrated thing in baseball is the HR, especially a low BA, OBA hitter who hits some home runs. A 20 HR hitter is hitting a HR only about every 30 times at bat or about 1 every 7 or 8 games. Even a 30 HR hitter is hitting a HR only about every 20 times at bat or about every 5 games. In addition, many of these HR come in meaningless situations, games you are winning big or loseing big, and many are with no one on base. More significantly, most of the HR for low BA, low OBA hitters come against the weaker pitchers which automatically means they are not usually in close games or meaningful situations. A high BA, high OBA hitter who makes consistant solid contact would be of much more value to the Braves. But more importantly, the most important improvement that could be made to the Braves offense is not the addition of another hitter – but rather to have a manager who knows how to manage the offense. It is unbelievable that a manager could manage for over 20 years and not understand the absolute necessity for teaching/ emphasizing/ demanding that your hitters work the count, be selective, make the opposing pitcher throw some pitchers. His absolute failure to do this guarantees that we will not have a team with consistant run production.

Gin Blossoms

November 17th, 2009
9:26 am

DOB, you mentioned Lee Hyde who will likely be added to the 40 man roster. Who are some of the players that might be left unprotected that we could potentially lose in the Rule V draft?

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
9:29 am

Nice link Couch Tater. Who likes the idea of sending Vazquez and Jurrjens to the Sox for Konerko, Flowers and Lillibridge?

beekay

November 17th, 2009
9:30 am

Our 10th rated prospect…never heard much about him last year. Anybody like him?
Drafted: Walters State (Tenn.) CC, 2008 (6th round). Signed by: Brian Bridges.
Background: The Braves drafted Milligan three times before signing him for $600,000 in 2008. He originally committed to Austin Peay State to play football, then played two years of baseball at Walters State (Tenn.) CC. A knee injury delayed his pro debut until 2009, when he led the system with a .592 slugging percentage and slugged 13 homers in half a season.

Strengths: Milligan drives the ball to all fields and projects as a potential .280 hitter with 20-25 homers per season. He runs well for a big man, with solid-average speed, and he has a slightly above-average arm and good accuracy and carry on his throws.

Weaknesses: Though he shows some aptitude for working counts, Milligan doesn’t exhibit much patience at the plate and will have to tighten his strike zone against better pitching. He has made strides in left field but still needs to make further improvements to his defense.

The Future: He has enough bat to profile as a regular left fielder in the major leagues, though Cody Johnson is one step ahead of him. Milligan will open 2010 in high Class A but could advance quickly if he continues to produce.

2009 Club (Class) AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB
Danville (R) .439 .500 .756 41 9 18 5 1 2 10 3 7 0
Rome (Lo A) .345 .393 .589 197 28 68 14 2 10 33 12 43 4
Myrtle Beach (Hi A) .167 .200 .333 24 2 4 1 0 1 6 0 8 0

Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
9:32 am

Before anyone jumps on me, I’m joking. I know I conglomerated the Sox/Tigers.

Don

November 17th, 2009
9:37 am

If we are to win the Division, we must not trade away pitching. To win we do not need to trade pitching for offense — we just need a manager who knows how to manage the offense.

sportsmandh

November 17th, 2009
9:39 am

Wonder who on the Braves roster could out run Otis in a sprint right now. Maybe McClouth and Schaeffer? And I bet he could still keep it close.

Mitchie-san

November 17th, 2009
9:43 am

In that article it says “the Padres would be seeking four top-notch prospects at pitcher, center field, catcher and second base for a player of Gonzalez’s caliber.”

Who would trade Medlin, Schafer, Sammons and Prado for Gonzalez?

beekay

November 17th, 2009
9:44 am

Nats are always looking for cheap starting pitching and they have a horrendous bullpen. I’m wondering if we could get Willingham for KK,Boone Logan,JoJo,and 2nd tier prospect

Mitchie-san

November 17th, 2009
9:44 am

Oh yeah… I would.

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:44 am

donThe last thing that the Braves need to do is to trade pitching for a low BA, low OBA, high K hitter just because he hits 20 to 30 HR.

im sure youre not talking about willingham here, because that doesnt really describe him.

by the way, what the braves really need isnt a high BA or even a high OBP guy, but a high slg% guy. that usually means a good number of homers and doubles.

njbraves

November 17th, 2009
9:45 am

Josh Willingham is not the answer. They need a guy who has the potential to go for 30 HR’s or better.

rokstar

November 17th, 2009
9:46 am

Great as usual. I hope Hyde stays healthy and provides the Braves with years of good pitching…..on a musical note, check out the
Six Shot Revival on myspace. They’re a local group with a great classic rock sound…totally original and worth the look.

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:49 am

mitchie -san Who would trade Medlin, Schafer, Sammons and Prado for Gonzalez?

i might do that but we would probably have to give up our top catching prospect instead of sammons.

Rock On......

November 17th, 2009
9:50 am

Coach….guess anything is possible but the Braves trading Vazquez to the detested and division rival Phillies is probably somewhere along the lines of me having a few drinks with Connie Britton (FNL star). Ain’t gonna happen. Imagine Vazquez throwing 10 K’s against us while Howard beats the crap out of us with his bat. You better get big odds in Vegas on Vazquez going to the Phillies regardless of the talent in return.

DOB….I saw a concert while in town at Andrews in Buckhead (my building is right behind Churchills Pub which is across the street from Andrews)and it is a great intimate venue to catch a concert. Stouts Irish Pub next door is pretty solid too. Loved their Jack Daniels wings. Now why can’t I be in town when somebody like Patterson Hood is there. Damn.

aaron

November 17th, 2009
9:53 am

d.lowe for n.swisher

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
9:56 am

dobrien,

“I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning”, are you?

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:57 am

njbraves, not that i think willingham is the answer, but he could definitely hit 30 homers or better. and just curious, why do you think 30 homers is what will do it for the braves? you probably think that dan uggla is a good option even though willingham had a better season offensively than him.

Rock On......

November 17th, 2009
9:58 am

Mitchie-san….I would just as soon sign LaRoche for 3 years. But since you asked, Medlen and Shafer are expendable for certain and I will give you Sammons. I would offer KJ over Prado in your scenario but that probably comes as no surprise.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:00 am

dobrien,

When will the players union start complaining about the arb rule now that economics favor the owners?

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:04 am

dobrien,

Or more to the point, when will Boras complain about the shaft his free agents are starting to get?

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