12:05 am November 17, 2009, by David O'Brien
Zane Smith's dentist
November 17th, 20092:09 pm
After the acquisitions of Nate and Rochey in ‘09, we played as well as anybody in the league. And that was with Chipper sucking, Garret Anderson in left field and Church splitting time in RF.
IMO, 3 mid-level signings give you a pretty darn good team. Mike Cameron can be had on a one year deal for around $7MM, still plays stellar CF defense, and will give you 20-25 HR’s and 70-80 RBI. Then you can shift Nate and his brand new contact lenses to LF where he’ll be playing upon Schafer’s arrival in ‘11 anyway. Re-sign Rochey and pencil in another 25+/- HR’s and 80-90 RBI. Re-sign Gonzo, who will now be 2 years removed from TJ.
Add that to the best starting rotation in the National League, and maybe in either league, and you have a team to compete with anyone in the NL.
Also, JHey is like gravy; he can only make us better when he arrives, whether in April or in June.
Plus, we still have a surplus starter to trade… ammo to fill the gaps.
And we won’t have Greg Norton.
November 17th, 20092:13 pm
white trashedi know i will get hammered for suggesting this cause his average aint the best but i think it could be a good fit
phillips is a pretty good player…its not his average thats a problem. he doesnt get on base enough. we have a better 2nd baseman in prado and id rather upgrade 1st base than down grade 1st and 2nd. phillips is also over paid. i do like him because he plays great defense and has pretty good power, but his cost plus the fact that we have a 2nd baseman who is a better hitter…lets just get a first baseman and hang onto prado.
Eric from MO
November 17th, 20092:14 pm
New cars how confident are you that Heyward is ready now and we will not be in the same situation that we were last year. If Heyward had tore up the AFL I would agree with you but he wasnt able too. And he still hasnt played much above A ball. He was on a hot streak. He is still going to be good, but Im not sure that he wasnt just riding one hell of a hot streak. So yeah I hope they get a little insurance in OF. Unless they think Schafer is that insurance. So I dont see Willingham as the replacement of Diaz, I see him as insurance. Plus I already stated I dont think the Braves will get him, because they wont give up much for insurance.
civilized white trash
but isnt phillips bat far about average with power for a second baseman plust the cat can run it would make sense that it would be wash whether the power was coming from first or second base
It’s not a crazy thought to think Freeman/Medlen & another prospect or two could net us Gonzalez. This isn’t Tex part 2 here, this guy would be around for awhile & for cheap. On the flip side, I would understand why the Braves wouldn’t want to make that kind of trade, though hopefully Wren is looking into this guy & what it would take to bring him in. I know I’d be.
I read on baseball america that DeVall had arthroscopic elbow surgery and will be ready for spring training
November 17th, 20092:15 pm
plus his salary aint terrilble
November 17th, 20092:16 pm
“However, the long term downside is 3 years from now when Atlanta is AGAIN looking for a 1st baseman, and Schafer/Freeman have developed into studs for San Diego. ”
I’m generally first in line to say “protect the farm” and hated the trade you reference. There hasn’t been much from these two players in particular that indicates they will be helping the major league team in the next three years, though. Gonzalez, on the other hand, would be Andres Galarraga II. We trade for him, we sign him long term and we watch him slug .500+ through 2015.
“Have we learned nothing from the Teixeria trade?”
Yes, we’ve learned to target John Boggs’ clients rather than Scott Boras’.
November 17th, 20092:17 pm
Dawg, you wrote: 25 homeruns a year is 25 homeruns a year. That 25 HR’s would be the highest of any Brave.
At Adam’s lowest point, he is better than Kotchman. I don’t know of a better option than Adam. Freeman may or may not ever be equal to Adam
I have no argument with any of that. LaRoche is a far, far superior player. I was asked whether I thought he would be a better first-half player with Braves, and I answered by saying I have no reason to believe he would. That’s all.
As for “average Double-A player,” if the Braves thought Freeman was only that, they wouldn’t be projecting him to be their future first baseman and an impact guy, and BA wouldn’t rank him as the second-best prospect in the organization. Braves are in business of winning, yes, but if you choose to ignore all that’s going on the business, all the quotes from GMs including Wren about how you have to develop some players from within your organization and rely on them to be impact guys for low salaries for several years, then you’re choosing to live in the past, when the Braves had one of the highest three payrolls in the business and could just plug needs with free agents.
November 17th, 20092:18 pm
Anyone, thoughts on Derek Lowe for Chris Young (as a backup OF)? Would the Diamondbacks do this deal?
P. W. Hjort
Bravofan (November 17, 2009 12:03 PM EST) I think the Braves need to sign Yuni to a long term deal right now
First of all, his name is Yunel. Yuni is Yuniesky Betancourt, who should never be confused with Yunel Escobar. Secondly, it’s probably not the time after coming off a year where he hit really well with RISP (something that the gods had more to do with than he did). He’s not arbitration-eligible for another year, so it’s not like the Braves have to get something done now. Third, Yunel Escobar is represented by Adam Katz, whose practice (Reich & Katz) was acquired by the Wasserman Media Group, the agency that employs Arn Tellem and Paul Kinzer (the man who represents Rafael Furcal), in 2006. The Braves have vowed to never work with them again (though I do question their sincerity and their commitment to actually never working with WMG).
his salary is a mere $425,000. take a look at the salaries of some Braves players on this list http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/team/atlanta-braves/salary
Around $400,000 is what most players make their first 3 (and sometimes 4) years in the big leagues. Then they’re arbitration-eligible for 3 (or sometimes 4) years. For detailed contract information (beyond just 1-year salary) use http://www.mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/
Gone Viral your 2:02 post would be another Tex trade. I bet your one who complains about the Tex trade too.
November 17th, 20092:19 pm
This may have already been thrown out there but what about Vazquez or Lowe for Lee. The Cubs need pitching and we need a right handed bat. A ground ball pitcher like Lowe could be what the Cubs need in a place like Wrigley.
November 17th, 20092:20 pm
I really get amused when a lot of these sports fans say “Let’s trade Jo-Jo for Adrian Gonzales’ and other nonsensical statements. Yep, all those other teams will simply make the trade w/o any thought! That being said, is there any REASONABLE or REMOTE possibility for a trade for Prince Fielder (have not been on the blogs much lately)? He is an rbi machine.
November 17th, 20092:21 pm
TnBrian your only talking half a season longer. If the Braves had kept Tex he would of been here for 1.5 seasons. Adrian would be here for 2. It is the Tex trade all over again.
November 17th, 20092:22 pm
If Freeman is so thought of around baseball than it’d be a good time to package him in a deal for maybe the best hitting/fielding 1st baseman in the league, Gonzalez. Heck, Freeman’s value might be the highest it’ll ever be right now.
November 17th, 20092:23 pm
TnBrian: You might be right. Gonzalez is outstanding. But it’ll take a lot more than Freeman to get him.
And Eric is right: You almost certainly are going to have Gonzalez for two years only, before he bolts for a $20-mill-a-year deal with the Yankees or whoever. And if Freeman develops into the player the Braves believe he will be, you’re giving up probably at least five or six years of his production, plus whatever other prospects you trade to the Padres for Gonzalez (and there will be others involved, believe me).
November 17th, 20092:24 pm
Eric from MO, Gonzalez doesn’t have Boras as an agent either, & Chipper big time dollars should be winding to an end by the time Gonzalez’ contract is up. They could make it work.
November 17th, 20092:25 pm
P’Cola the Cubs could get a much better package than Lowe, a waaay overpaid pitcher after this past year, or Vazquez a FA after this year who was known to give up a lot of homeruns in hitters stadiums. So the Cubs will not do it. Im all for it but it wont happen.
November 17th, 20092:26 pm
This may have already been thrown out there but what about Vazquez or Lowe for Lee. The Cubs need pitching and we need a right handed bat. A ground ball pitcher like Lowe could be what the Cubs need in a place like Wrigley. P’cola Brave
It’s been discussed a few times. I’d say this trade would be much more likely to include Vazquez than Lowe, since each player (Vazquez and Lee) is in the last year of his contract and they make relatively close to the same amount of money. However, it’s all speculation at this point.
November 17th, 20092:28 pm
TNBrian I agree with you on that. By the time its time to lock up Gonzalez, Chipper will be coming off the books. I think a package headed by Freeman and Medlen or Schaefer would be a good start. Don’t know how good he is but maybe the Hicks kid or Blanco. We don’t really have room for Blanco.
“Gone Viral your 2:02 post would be another Tex trade.”
You say Tex; I say Fred McGriff.
Tex was just biding his time waiting for free agency. Gonzalez would be given a Get Out of Jail Free card…just like McGriff was. San Diego only won 61 games in 93.
To a larger point, we blew it with the Teixeira trade, but we can’t live in fear of that as we move forward. It’s lazy lateral thinking to believe that any deal for a potent bat has to work out the same way.
Joe from Wampsville
November 17th, 20092:29 pm
I read in a recent story that you said that the Braves will draft either 17 or 18? Every other site I have seen has them drafting at 20. Could you fill me in on why the Braves will be drafting a little bit higher then expected? Thanks
“I personally would feel MUCH better with the later option, simply because the starting pitcher usually has much more impact on a game than the 1st baseman.” RC
Then why is everybody so freaked out about finding a big bat? We already have the best 1-5 (actually, currently 1-6) pitching staff in all of baseball. If the pitching makes more impact, why didn’t we win more last year, and why doesn’t Wren just stand pat with what we have?
Oh yeah. That’s right. It’s because when you have 4 guys with excellent ERA’s and quality starts, but no offense to back them up, you STILL don’t win games at the pace you should.
There is no doubt that Vazquez is better than Medlen (currently, and probably forever). There is no denying that without solid pitching a team isn’t going anywhere. But there is also no denying that with no run-support, good pitchers are going to be “tough luck” losers.
For this team, as currently constructed (no RH pop, no legit cleanup hitter, a declining 3-hole HOF player, and arguably the teams best hitter batting out of position and sitting 25+ games a year), an impact bat probably affects the outcome of the other 128 that Vazquez doesn’t start, more than having Vazquez in those 34 games does.
It’s up for debate, but the argument on either side is a good one. Either can be made, and can be made convincingly, imo.
Case in point, even with Vazquez’s stellar, Cy Young vote worthy 2009 season, the Braves merely went 18-14 in his starts. Talk about “tough luck”, huh?
Say Medlen takes those starts, and the Braves go 12-20 in thos starts (obviously he’d be the 5th starter and likely wouldn’t get 34 starts, but we’ll keep it even to Vazquez for the sake of arguing)?
What about the other 128 starts where KK, JJJ, Hanson and Hudson pitch? That’s STILL 4 pretty damn solid pitchers out of 5 in a rotation, and now you can add a slugger to the meat of the order to help EVERY NIGHT?
I just don’t see the logic in everybody thinking we NEED to keep Vazquez. Add to that, if Vaz is dumped, Lowe would still be here, so it likely wouldn’t be Medlen.
Now… if we had no other viable “ace” options, or guys that could carry the load, or stop a losing streak, then yeah. Vazquez is neccesary. But on this CURRENT 25 man roster, he’s not needed. He’s a luxury.
If Wren can find a way to trade Lowe, keep Vazquez and find a 2nd tier impact bat, the team will be better. But if Wren can land a pure stud cleanup hitter for Vazquez, he needs to make that deal…. quickly.
If we’re talking about Medlen being the pitcher (say if Vaz AND Lowe are both traded), then it opens another can of worms, because Medlen while possibly productive in the team win department, won’t provide the innings of either of those guys (Lowe or Vaz), and thus would tax the bullpen, so that has to factor in.
But at the same time, if we had bigger leads, the other starters wouldn’t need to be PH for so early in games, thus SAVING the bullpen.
To many moving parts to determine flat out which is the better formula. But all I know is that until we added McLouth, dumped Jeff and KF for Church/Diaz and Prado, and traded for LaRoche, we didn’t have enough offense.
From the second Hanson came up, we had PLENTY of pitching, and still do. I tell you what. Quite simply, keeping Vazquez and a rebound year from Chipper does the trick.
But who out there expects Chipper to be closer to the 2008 version or closer to last year’s? I think he’ll meet it in the middle. So we need another bat.
I’ll stick to my guns here. Trade Lowe, saving money. Sign Gonzo. Sign (offer) LaRoche a 2 year deal, sign a guy like Cameron (or somebody of that level – RH preferably), and extend Vazquez. Eventually call up Heyward. If Freeman is ready in 2011, trade LaRoche with one year left on his deal.
We were one of the better teams in baseball after June 28th. Having Hudson all year, Hanson all year, KK in his second year and LaRoche all year, Prado starting at 2B and Heyward on the way makes us as formidable if not more than the team that began to win on June 28, 2009.
Baby steps. Balance. Leave payroll flexibility for the deadline in 2010, and for the off-season next year. It’s really pretty simple, and I think too many are over-thinking it.
November 17th, 20092:31 pm
Freeman/Medlen/Schafer & a decent prospect for AG. I would do that in a heartbeat since McLouth should stick around awhile longer, Hanson & JJ are better than Medlen. No way would I throw in one of the two young pitchers mentioned above, Hanson/JJ, though.
November 17th, 20092:33 pm
Gone Viral (November 17, 2009 2:02 PM EST) “Atlanta won’t part with Jason Heyward, but a package built around Freddie Freeman and/or Jordan Schafer should get it done.”
If those two guys plus a couple of arms could get us Adrian Gonzalez, there is no short term downside to that trade. Please let him be on to something. Please.
I would be very reluctant to include Schafer in a trade for anyone. Though Adrian Gonzalez is one of the best presumably available contracts on the trade market this Winter, I’d still be very reluctant to include Schafer. Freeman I wouldn’t mind trading so long as the organization is willing to commit to Adrian Gonzalez at 1B long-term. However, I’m not sure how useful Freeman is to the Padres, considering the fact that Kyle Blanks is set to become the every-day 1B when/if Adrian Gonzalez departs, and Blanks is under team control for 6 more years (and probably better than Freeman).
To get a guy like Adrian Gonzalez, you pretty much have to put together an incredible package, and I’m not sure the Braves and Padres match up well. If the organization is willing to part with an incredible package (something I doubt they’re willing to do), I’d prefer they try to get Billy Butler from Kansas City first.
(….I know he’s probably not “available”, but anyone can be had for a price….)
“Who would trade Medlin, Schafer, Sammons and Prado for Gonzalez?”
This trade I make enthusiastically given our team needs. We’re dealing from positions where we have depth or can fill easily enough in free agency, much cheaper than we can buy a 1b cleanup hitter. There’s no diamonds in the rough here that we could be drastically undervaluing. We know what each of these 4 players is like as all are ML ready today. While i’d certainly try to lock up Gonzalez long term, he’s worth that package. Then you sign a defense first 2nd baseman to replace prado, some RP’s and we’re in business for the next 2 years. Padres should prefer this package too as it’s 4 players for their ML roster this year.
“Freeman + Schaefer + more”
Now we’re giving up an elite prospect. This is where you have to be extremely careful not to mortgage your future. I can only do this trade if we’re committing to sign Gonzalez as part of the deal. No two year rental. I do prefer Gonzalez to Freeman, as I’ve seen Gonzalez be a ML stud wheras Freeman is just a possible stud. So in this case, if the + more is something reasonable (say Sammons and JoJo or Hyde or something similar) and Gonzalez is willing to sign, I’d do this as well.
Greinke wins the Cy Young, three votes away from unanimous. King Felix got two first place votes, finishing second overall. Verlander got the other first place vote and finished third.
November 17th, 20092:36 pm
N8 – You asked about Prison Break. Season 1 is drastically better than seasons 2 through 4. After season 1, the show wasn’t as well planned out and ventures into more “24″ territory, but not as good.
I disagree about the acting though. I think the majority of actors on prison break are extremely high class. It was the part of the show I most appreciated.
Nova Scotia Steve
November 17th, 20092:38 pm
Willingham would be a great addition and if we can re-sign Laroache…that would be really really good news
I’m not saying Braves don’t need a bat. I just think that LaRoche IS a big bat, although not as big as those others you named. Casey Kotchman didn’t own a bat.
Tex was just biding his time waiting for free agency. Gonzalez would be given a Get Out of Jail Free card…just like McGriff was. San Diego only won 61 games in 93.
Tex also played for a terrible team in Texas, you could say he got a “Get Out of Jail Free” card too. Fact is, McGriff was traded for in a different time, when prospects were not valued nearly as much, and the Braves were consistently among the largest payrolls in baseball. To say that your proposed Gonzalez trade isn’t the same as the Teixeria trade is simply ignorant. That’s not to say this couldn’t turn out better….it very well could. But the parameters being discussed going into a proposed deal are almost EXACTLY the same.
November 17th, 20092:39 pm
I really like Billy Butler as well , I proposed a JJ for Butler and Moustakas a while back. What do you think?
November 17th, 20092:41 pm
white trashi but isnt phillips bat far about average with power for a second baseman plust the cat can run it would make sense that it would be wash whether the power was coming from first or second
youre basically saying you can have a 1st baseman type hitter at 2nd and a 2nd baseman like hitter at first, since it even out. i agree with that i guess. phillips has some power but he doesnt hit like a 1st baseman. prado had a higher OBP and slg% than phillips this past season.
so what im saying is prado has shown to be a better hitter than phillips, so there is no reason to move prado to make room for phillips’ bat. it would overall be a down grade over resigning laroche or maybe another 1st baseman.
plus, phillips is over paid. he is owed $17.75 mil over the next two years. $6.75mil in ‘10 isnt bad but $11mil in 2011? and the team option in 2012 is $12mil! im not sure what the buyout is but you can add that to what he is guaranteed making it a bad contract. you can resign laroche for less than that. i love his defense and speed but he isnt good enough for his contract.
November 17th, 20092:44 pm
“I would be very reluctant to include Schafer in a trade for anyone.”
I think that’s valid to an extent. A lot of the decision making here would come down to the Braves scouts who know his swing best making a determination on whether his performance this year better reflects his skill set or if the wrist injury mattered. I’m not usually a fan of trading big time prospects like him and Freeman in the same deal, but Gonzalez is the rare #1 overall pick who has (eventually) lived up to his billing, albeit two teams later. The way he has hit in that ballpark on that team blows me away. Am I crazy about shipping Schafer away after one (half) season of struggles? No. But the guy we’d be getting is about as good as it gets in the majors right now.
November 17th, 20092:45 pm
Let’s trade JO JO REYES, BROOKS CONRAD, resign GREG NORTON and put him in the trade as well, do a sign and trade with CORKY MILLER all to the PADRES for Adrian Gonzales. Hell, throw Mark Lemke in the deal and the Padres won’t be able to refuse.
November 17th, 20092:46 pm
What if the Braves can’t trade one of our starting pitchers? Or that the offers they get aren’t worth it? Then one of our starters will have to move to the pen. Lowe, and even Hanson, has been mentioned as a possible closers, but neither one’s a good choice for different reasons.
What about Vazquez as a closer? His stuff translates nicely there and he’s a workhorse type pitcher who could do it. I know people will sneer at it but one great Brave’s pitcher was able to do it.
November 17th, 20092:48 pm
I wouldnt part with Hanson or JJ for nothing right now. That is your future rotation. If we add Laroche maybe Willingham, Nady, or Derosa then we will be fine. Enough bats to hit 15-25 HR a year. Our pitching will keep us in games.
November 17th, 20092:49 pm
I like Wagner to close with all the big LH bats in our division
i think freeman will turn out to be alot like billy butler, based on what i know about him.
November 17th, 20092:50 pm
DOB or anyone who may know
Why did Prado quit tapping his bat on his shoulder towards the end of the year. He use to have a large pine tar mark on his shoulder but the last few weeks he quit doing it. Just wondering why??
November 17th, 20092:51 pm
ugaaccountant, thanks for the quick insight on Prison Break. While I haven’t been completely grabbed by it, I’m “invested” in it, and more than likely will see it through. My interest level will determine how long it takes me to catch up with the series.
For example, I fired through the first 3 seasons of Heroes in about 2 months. Couldn’t stop watching once I started. Prison Break hasn’t made me want to sacrifice sleep to stay up late watching yet. We’ll see….
RC I agree with you. While I would probably be one of the first guys to jump all over LaRoche’s slow start next year. He’s better than Kotchman. Both with the glove and even his “slow start stick”. He’ll always be more of a power threat than Kotchman was/is.
As I stated at the end of my last essay, I think the safest bet for now and the future, is to keep and extend Vazquez, and sign to mid-level/2nd tier guys for 1B and LF, and roll with it. While re-signing one of Gonzo or Soriano (or somebody else that can do the same job).
No sense breaking the bank on guys that we’re going to want to try and trade in a year or two anyhow (like Lowe last off-season).
I expect the Phillies to improve (Halliday?) as well, so I don’t want Wren to sit on his hands this winter. But over-reacting with moves to improve a team that already played really good ball from the end of June on, would be silly.
If each position is “upgraded” offensively from the start of last season, with our pitching, it would be enough.
1B: LaRoche over Kotchman is an improvement.
2B: Prado over KJ is an improvement
3B: Chipper can’t possibly be much worse. Slight rebound is an improvement.
SS: I still think Escobar has more room to grow. But status quo here would be acceptable.
LF: Loaf did an adequate job, once he heated up. But adding a RH bat to balance the lineup, with a little more pop and some improved defense (Cameron) would do wonders to the everyday output (offense and defense) in LF.
CF: McLouth is better than Schafer was early last year, and if McLouth is healthy, he should be better than McLouth was last year. LOL
RF: Church (or another LH platoon partner)/Diaz is better than Jeff. End of discussion.
C: McCann turned it on late. I think having a true cleanup hitter, allows him to relax in the 5-hole and do his thing. Not really worried about Mac unless he is forced to bat cleanup.
Like I said. It isn’t going to take much to make this offense better than it was in April and May, and equal to (and even a bit better) than it was from June 28th on (or July 31st on – after we got LaRoche).
Add to that, it ALL can be done while keeping Vazquez, and probably still saving some money on the overall salary from last year.
But the key is Wren leaving wiggle room (financially and trading chips available) for the deadline. Maybe Vazquez helps solidify our rotation for 3 months, and brings us a HUGE bat at the deadline. Or a closer if Gonzo is re-signed and injured?
Add to that, somewhere in 2010 Heyward will contribute.
November 17th, 20092:52 pm
The biggest difference in the Tex trade as compared with a trade involving several of Schaefer/Freeman/Medlen/Prado/Sammons/JoJo is that in the Tex trade we gave away several very young pieces that could potentially develop into all-stars. Only Freeman fits into that category, and he’s the centerpiece of this deal, not the throw in like Feliz was or even the second piece like Andrus was.
Any deal we make in the future, we need to not have throw-in pitchers from our single A or rookie teams.
I fully trust that the Braves scouts know what they have on their hands in Medlen and Schaefer. At their age and having seen what they can do in the majors, we should have a good read on their value. I fully admit they are valuable, but both are behind established major leaguers and thus can be used in the right trade.
P.W.H. – I like your idea of getting Butler at the right price. Just because I argued the other day that he’s not a 40+ homer guy doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a very useful piece for the Braves.
Willingham would be a perfect addition to our team. I just don’t know what Washington would want in return….
November 17th, 20092:53 pm
“What about Vazquez as a closer?”
What?! No, just no. Vazquez was one of the best starters in baseball. He can throw 8 or 9 innings at a time on a regular basis…. that’s not easy to find. Comparing his arm and Smoltz’s is silly.
bravito199 (November 19 2009 2:39 PM EST) I proposed a JJ for Butler and Moustakas a while back. What do you think?
Not nearly enough. And forget acquiring Moustakas. Him and Hosmer are the two most important things in the Royals organization right now.
Something like: Nate McLouth, one of (Jair Jurrjens/Kris Medlen), Freddie Freeman, Barbaro Canizares, one of (Cole Rohrbough/Brett DeVall), and one of (Edgar Osuna/Dimaster Delgado) for Billy Butler and Joakim Soria could make some sense.
Fixes closer and 1B (along with fixing the RH power problem). Go with Church in center until Schafer is ready, Diaz in right until Heyward is ready, acquire a real LF, and sign a few set-up men and be done with it. AND have plenty of payroll flexibility to acquire help mid-season or spend on the draft/international market.
All probably a dream, but I dare to dream.
November 17th, 20092:55 pm
6-4-3 – is that you Bradley? You keep your dumb ideas to yourself you here! Don’t bring that crap on this blog you have your own blog to muse idiotically.
Neight I think having a true cleanup hitter, allows him to relax in the 5-hole and do his thing.
I agree. Just look at 2006…
November 17th, 20092:56 pm
“But the parameters being discussed going into a proposed deal are almost EXACTLY the same.”
No. Tex saw us trade the top catching prospect in the game, the best defensive shortstop in the minors, (arguably) our best pitching prospect and low ball minor leaguer who had the best stuff in our system. Then, we turned around and threw in another former first round pick to seal the deal because Matt Harrison unfortunately developed tendinitis right as the deal went down. This deal does not involve our best pitching prospect, Tommy Hanson, or our best hitting prospect, Jason Heyward. The primary players it does involve have much more question marks because one had a disappointing performance at AA (admittedly in only 150 at bats) and the other has wrist issues. Neither of them would have been the best *or* second best player in the Tex trade. So, your fears are unfounded.
Of course, I understand living in fear of making another Teixeira deal but anyone who has followed the Braves during the cable tv era (or read Scouts Honor) knows that the organization views prospects in two ways. The first is as the future of the organization. The second is as trade bait. That latter aspect isn’t going away simply because we made one bad deal. If you think the McGriff trade is ancient history (a premise I find silly), then substitute in the Tim Hudson one instead. Charles Thomas went from being a guy Bobby Cox didn’t even know to an anchor piece of a deal to acquire one of the winningest pitchers in the majors in a span of months. The other prospect, Dan Meyer, never became the player he was supposed to be with Oakland, although he has come on recently as a reliever with the Marlins. They got nothing out of the deal and we got an anchor member of our rotation.
From just a little research trough the ‘05 and ‘04 drafts, I think the following would be left unprotected and able to be drafted away in the Rule 5 draft if they are not in the end placed on the 40 man. Tyler Bullock, JC Holt, Van Pope, Derrick Arnold and the biggest two possibilities, Jon Mark Owings and Matt Young. Haven’t had enough time to look through foriegn signed players.
November 17th, 20092:58 pm
Good analysis. I especially like the idea of bringing in Cameron, although I’d prefer he play CF and McLouth move to LF in that particular situation. I also think the Braves would be well served by looking for low-cost, high upside guys for the left field spot, especially since Heyward should be ready at some point in 2010. To me a guy like Xaiver Nady makes a lot of sense, since he’d be relatively cheap, and has a HUGE upside. Loaf was a good example of low-risk, low-upside….with our current OF depth, I’d prefer to see the Braves take a shot with a high-risk, high-upside guy this time around.
November 17th, 20093:02 pm
I think Cabrera is the way to go. Only if they can get rid of Lowe’s contract. He’s right handed with power and young. He made a mistake but he’s worth taking a gamble. He’s the type of player that will get the Braves back in the hunt. You have to give up something to get a player of his caliber. I had rather have him than Gonzales. Gonzales would be gone in two years.
November 17th, 20093:04 pm
Definitely makes some sense. Other than my statement about not trading single A pitchers due to not getting enough value for them, I love this deal with Medlen and Rohrbough. I hate it with JJ and Devall.
If JJ were in, a piece or two would have to come out. JJ for Butler straight up could be argued as too much given performance to date for JJ compared with Butler’s higher “ceiling”. Plus, I’m not sure the exact service times and how it affects super 2 and ultimately free agency, but isn’t Butler half a season further along?
November 17th, 20093:06 pm
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM is usually brilliant comedy, but this season has truly been special, given that Larry David’s using his current project to bring a fresh new ‘Seinfeld’ to audiences who wanted a new episode to fix that horrid ending they conjured up.
And Sunday night was OVER THE TOP funny.
November 17th, 20093:08 pm
Bill M. – Cabrera is a stud, but he’s an “all-in” move due to his salary. His salary would be 21% of our payroll, a number that was discussed on the last blog as “very unlikely to win a world series”.
His talent speaks for itself, but that excessive drinking thing on a playoff game night is highly troubling. That’s the reason he’s on the market in the first place and is going to scare most teams away.
“I especially like the idea of bringing in Cameron, although I’d prefer he play CF and McLouth move to LF in that particular situation.” RC
Totally agree. Meant to put that in there (and have stated it in the past when discussing Cameron). Just forgot. But yeah, he’s better defensively in CF than McLouth is, imo.
I would be temporarily “happy” with any of Cameron, Nady (if healthy), Swisher, and to an extent, even DeRosa.
Only problem is with all of those guys, NONE of them are legit cleanup hitters. I’m not a guy that thinks the cleanup hitter has to be a 40-50 HR guy. It’s just not the case. I think a Bobby Cox managed team is better served with a big thumper in the cleanup spot.
But teams can win and score runs with a good hitter batting cleanup. Especially if Chipper rebounds. Cleanup hitter simply needs to be productive with RISP to facilitate runs being scored.
That’s where a guy like Dye comes in. But everybody says his defense is on the decline. So I don’t like that. I’ve even thought about Sheffield. But damn. That’s two guys in their late 30’s manning the 3 and 4 spots of your order. Yikes.
Maybe the best bet, is for a guy like DeRosa with some versatility and Schafer to platoon in LF (with Schafer actually playing CF on the nights he plays), and Church (if retained) and Diaz platooning in RF.
I know Bobby won’t want 5 OF (McLouth, Schafer, Diaz, Church and whoever is signed to be the RH platoon partner in LF), but if it were DeRosa, he technically wouldn’t be an OF, he could be that uber-utility guy, with the majority of his playing time coming in LF, and he could fill in wherever on his days off if Bobby wanted his bat in there and rest for other guys.
Everybody keeps saying that Diaz and guys like DeRosa aren’t everyday players. Well, why not utilize and maximize their abilities to the fullest with a full fledged platoon. I know it doesn’t help create stability in the lineup, but if it creates production, who cares?
Obviously Heyward has to factor in somewhere.
Too many options, and still too many days before December 1st, when we might start to see the picture being painted a little more clearly. So speculate away everybody….. I’m going to.
November 17th, 20093:09 pm
McFann Ô, If the unthinkable happened and we traded McCann, would you still hang around here? Or do you find yourself a new blog? I’m just wondering how big of a “McFann” you are. I should add, it’d be a sad day if we lost either of you.
November 17th, 20093:10 pm
JJ for Butler? Huh?
You can easily get Billy Butler’s production on the open market for a reasonable price. As a matter of fact, Adam LaRoche will give you very close to Butler’s production for just under $10 million a year (probably).
You cannot easily get JJ’s production on the open market. The only person on the market that I’d even call comparable is Lackey, and you are crazy if you think he’s going to sign for less than $10 million a year.
Based on those facts, how in the world are JJ and Butler even comparable in a trade???
November 17th, 20093:13 pm
But teams can win and score runs with a good hitter batting cleanup. Especially if Chipper rebounds. Cleanup hitter simply needs to be productive with RISP to facilitate runs being scored. – N8
I’d even take it a step further and say that getting a good hitter to bat cleanup would HELP Chipper rebound. To me it’s not a coincidence that the year he won a batting title he had Mark Teixeria batting behind him for most of the season.
Good pitching is much more valuable than good hitting.So JJ is of equal or better value than Butler and I think the Royals are comitted to Alex Gordon if not we can get him instead of Moustakas
November 17th, 20093:15 pm
Great. Dwayne Bowe has been suspended for 4 games for PED’s.
Too bad he doesn’t play for the Vikings. The state would back him up and he could play through it.
Who likes the idea of sending Vazquez and Jurrjens to the Sox for Konerko, Flowers and Lillibridge
November 17th, 20093:16 pm
While I am a big DeRosa fan, and think he could be an asset to the Braves, my guess is that he will get much more attractive offers from other teams that are in greater need of a true “utility” player. The Braves are very fortunate to have 2 of those players in Omar Infante and Martin Prado (although Prado will likely be the starting 2b going forward).
November 17th, 20093:17 pm
N8 and RC:
Thanks for restating my 2:09 post…
November 17th, 20093:23 pm
Zane Smith’s dentist,
No problem. And if you think you are the first to bring up those points, please refer back to the past month and a half on the blog. We are all repeating ourselves and each other at this point, but until a move happens what else do we have to do?
November 17th, 20093:24 pm
Good writeup N8.
The thing I hate is that Phillies still have 3 batters better than our best and their starting rotation while not as good as the Braves is arguably just as good in the playoffs.
November 17th, 20093:25 pm
Zane Smith’s dentist, your post kind of got “lost” as the last one of the previous page, so I hadn’t read it until you posted the thank you.
Totally agree with you. 100 percent. From June 28th on, it wasn’t broken. So why fix it.
The only 3 things that are questions:
1) Will LaRoche’s slow start hinder the season? (hard for him to be worse than Kotchman was, right?)
2) Will Hudson hold up and give us AT LEAST what Lowe gave us. If he does, than he’s a steal for 6 million less than Lowe was going to cost.
3) Who bats cleanup? I like Cameron (I don’t think the Braves do). But I’m not sure I like him batting cleanup. In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t.
Everybody keeps talking about protecting Chipper. I said it last year, I’ll say ask it again. Is it time for Chipper to man up and offer to bat cleanup, so HE can protect an Escobar or a McLouth in the 3-hole?
Something to think about imo.
But yeah, it appears you and I are on the same page. Congratulations, I’m Sorry.
Braves fans overvalue prospects more than any other fan base. It’s unreal. Some of you are still crying about the Tex trade. The only piece they miss from that trade is Feliz. Andrus is a nice player, but where was he going to play on this team?? Forget Harrison and Salty is average at best. Now people are saying they wouldn’t want to trade for A.Gonzalez?? Really?? So let me get this straight, the Braves aren’t going to spend big free agent dollars and they shouldn’t trade any good prospects. How exactly are they going to improve then?? Unfortunately for the Braves, the only way to get significantly better is to trade some of these young guys.
November 17th, 20093:26 pm
RC, maybe the threat of Teixeira helped Chipper, but his actual production didn’t.
Chipper hit over .400 in April and May. Tex hit below .275. It looks like Teixeira heating up in July hurt Chipper, since Chipper’s worst month was July. And in September, after Tex was gone, Chipper hit over .400 again. Granted, Chipper didn’t hit for much power the last few months, but outside of April he really didn’t at all.
Damn, looking back on that season made me really appreciate it again. .537 OBP in May? .561 in September? 3 months with an OPS well over 1.100? That’s one for the history books, I say…
.Carlos Delgado?!?! HELL to the NO (BraveCat)
wasn’t my idea, I was responding to another post.
November 17th, 20093:27 pm
Mike Cameron, Dan Uggla, and Josh Willingham…..great.
Two years from now,Adrian Gonzalez could become a free agent.What kind of contract would you say he could get if he continues current production? 20-25mil per year for 6 years? Many of you would make a trade for him and give up your top line prospects for two years but would not trade for Miguel Cabrera who you would have under contract for 6yrs under a similar contract. He would answer many of our offensive needs and solidify this team. It can be done and it should be done if Braves want to take a chance.
I know it isn’t original, but I think it bears repeating. I believe Mike Cameron will be a bargain for someone, and I don’t think the mythical elusive big righty bopper that we all want is in existence this offseason, at least not within Liberty’s reach. Even at age 37, I think Cameron is in the top of the 2nd tier, which is certainly where Liberty will be shopping. And his contract dollars and length would line up nicely with the team direction.
At least that’s my opinion, good or not…
November 17th, 20093:28 pm
Its great looking forward to whoever we get or move up, either way its with joy we win, just think no more outfield loafing,no more dead bats off the bench, and more pop off the regular bats to start this season vs the start of last season. So I feel much better already. This team is much better just today after finishing the season,without any moves.no way Wren can screw
November 17th, 20093:33 pm
You can easily get Billy Butler’s production on the open market for a reasonable price. As a matter of fact, Adam LaRoche will give you very close to Butler’s production for just under $10 million a year (probably).
Billy Butler is 23 years old, under team control for 4 more years (at league minimum in 2010 then arbitration-eligible 2011-2014. Four years of discounted salary), and has all the potential in the world.
Adam LaRoche is 29 years old, has a career .834 OPS, and will demand market-rate for the rest of his career.
Sure, Adam LaRoche buys you Billy Butler’s 2009 production, but Butler’s 2010 and 2011 and 2012 production? Nah. Adam LaRoche doesn’t get you close to there. Billy Butler’s OPS is going to be in the .950-1.000 range during his peak years, maybe even higher. He hasn’t shown it in MLB yet, obviously, because he’s 23 years old, but he’s still viewed as a premier bat around the league.
Good points i think phillips 2010 salary managable but 2011 not so much. i really like the fact that he hits for power and has speed thats why i think installing him and moving prado could work out well.
now with that being said i am a huge roachy fan and hope he comes back, but from what i have gathered that doesnt seem all that likely, so i thought this other option could work
also if we can get gonzalez then end of discussion no doubt he is the far better comodity at this point
Hmm…I don’t think I could find myself a new blog if BMac got traded. I think once I woke up I’d come back here. I’d still be “McFann”…and you guys would be getting AB by AB updates of BMac. (But FW wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without looking over his shoulder. )
I’d still watch him with his new team like a hawk. I’ll always be a “McFann”…especially if he left for reasons beyond his control. If he left on his own accord for more money (which I doubt he would do), I’d be pretty dang miffed…and very disappointed, too.
I should add, it’d be a sad day if we lost either of you.
Thanks. It’d be a very sad day if we ever lost BMac.
November 17th, 20093:34 pm
njbraves, I think A. Gonzales is going to cost a lot. There are no BIG bats out there this year. There is no Arod, Howard or Pujols available. While Bay and Holliday are great the aren’t HOF’ers. Gonzales is by far the best player being mentioned in rumors. And when supply is low, demand is high. I’m affraid we’d have to give up a package that in past years could have landed players of Arod, Howard or Pujols’ level to get this guy.
November 17th, 20093:36 pm
Daslied, you wrote: RC, maybe the threat of Teixeira helped Chipper, but his actual production didn’t.
No disagreement from me. But I think the threat of Tex was a huge factor in Chipper’s success that season.
November 17th, 20093:41 pm
CB, the difference between Gonzalez and Cabrera has nothing to do with baseball, really.
RC, I’d agree with the threat angle. But Chipper was outstanding late in the year with who, Infante, behind him?
November 17th, 20093:44 pm
PWHBilly Butler is 23 years old, under team control for 4 more years (at league minimum in 2010 then arbitration-eligible 2011-2014. Four years of discounted salary), and has all the potential in the world.
you ignore the part of the response to you that matters. the poster asserted that the production jurjens provides cannot be found anywhere on the open market, which i believe is correct. laroche can match what butler will do despite being more expensive. no one you can go get will match what jurjens will do. jurjens will also be under team control for the same amount of time butler will be. not to mention a front line starter is harder to find than a good hitting first baseman.
white trashi really like the fact that he hits for power
remember to consider that prado hit for more power than phillips in 2009. .447slg% for phillips vs. a .464 slg% for prado. prado is valuable to us right now as a 2nd baseman.
November 17th, 20093:46 pm
September production while not in a playoff race should be taken with a huge grain of salt. I recall KJ was quite studly September of 08 as well.
SIGN DYE SIGN ANDRUW JONES SIGN BILLY WAGNER GET NICK JOHNSON TO PLAY FIRST BASE
Yeh, it’s frightening to realize just how good that Phillie lineup is. They are beter than us a 1B, 2B,(SS maybe a tossup). We have them at 3B if CHipper is Chipper and at catcher, they have us in RF and LF with a possible tossup in CF. We have better 1-5 starting pitching. And hopefully off the bench if Norton is truly gone. Bullpen-I don’t know. Hopefully the sum of our parts beats their all-star team over the course of the season.
DOB looks like you really did master PhotoShop, cropping Eminem into that photo with Nixon. Oh…wait.
Frank Robinson (Rockmart)
November 17th, 20093:49 pm
November 17th, 20093:51 pm
DAP – Butler has a fair number of scouts who have said he’s a future 40+ homer guy, with .300 avg. Laroche was sort of similar to him in 09, but still wasn’t as good. Butler is a tier up from Laroche or Konerko or Loney today, and has a high ceiling.
Jurrjens has never had that kind of praise by scouts, and had unsustainable “luck”, specifically a low BABIP and high % of stranded runners. He’s good, but he’s not supposed to be this good. We shall see if he can sustain those “luck” factors. I’ll be quite happy with JJ if he maintains an ERA under 3.5.
November 17th, 20093:53 pm
You asked about Prison Break. Season 1 is drastically better than seasons 2 through 4. After season 1, the show wasn’t as well planned out and ventures into more “24″ territory, but not as good. (Uga Acc)
I agree, the first season was pretty decent-though a bit over rated IMO- and the best of any of them.
November 17th, 20093:55 pm
the next person to say anything about JJ being traded should be banned……AGON will never be a brave…they kyle blanks primed for 1b….they dont need freeman
MattyRoss: I know, right? (about Eminem cropped into photo — funny. Thought same thing myself).
November 17th, 20093:56 pm
The question for the Braves is given their division and the realities of baseball can they win it all w/o a 18-20mm/yr stud slugger (hitting clean up) on the team?
I don’t know.
They have the rotation but it was the offense that was the weakest link this past season. Chipper is a ?. McCann should be normal post laser 2 but he is not going to hit 35 HRs. Prado – which one shows up – starter or bench player?
LF and 1B – one of these spots is going to have a big contract guy standing there at some point.
There are enough question marks on the offense that a sure thing (such that any human can be a sure thing) would be advisable.
I think sooner or later they are going to have to bite the bullet in this regard. Heyward should be a monster but its not guaranteed. FFreeman could be a AS power hitting 1B but its less certain than Heyward’s trajectory. Good kid but sans crystal ball you don’t know.
After those two there is not much if anything in the minors to rely on re: a 4 hole hitter. Chipper will be at best Chipper of 2007 IMHO w/o a legitimate 30-40 hr threat batting behind him.
Chipper has said as much when Tex was here and how he helped Chipper see better pitches to hit.
If they were to trade for AGonzo and then ink him to a 20mm/year in two years it may be just putting off the inevitable – the Braves will have a 20mm/yr player on their payroll.
It’s possible that can tier two there way to another ring but I am not sure that is a viable plan. Realistic given corporate ownership perhaps but viable – so far they haven’t been able to do it with this model.
For those who want to pass on AG and Holliday types – To quote Star Wars …..”we’re taking an awful risk Vader, i hope you are right…”
November 17th, 20093:57 pm
I thought it was Eminem & that comedian from In Living Color, what’s his name, Tommy something…
ot the throw in like Feliz was
Jones was the throwin
SIGN DYE SIGN ANDRUW JONES — DAVBRAVES
Well, now there’s a helluva defensive outfield (Texas barely played Andruw in the field at all last season, used him as a DH)
November 17th, 20093:59 pm
ugaaccountant – So every pitcher Chipper faced in September ‘08 was just throwing straight 85-mph fastballs to him, huh?
November 17th, 20094:00 pm
Ron Roberts: It really was over-the-top hilarious on Sunday (talking about Curb Your Enthusiasm)
November 17th, 20094:01 pm
DAP – “not to mention a front line starter is harder to find than a good hitting first baseman.”
You must not follow the Braves.
November 17th, 20094:05 pm
SAMCRO has a temporarily renewed bond, and asses will be kicked starting tonight, starting with AJ Weston. Can’t wait.
18 Wheels of Love
I don’t mind Wren being overly cautious with Freeman, however, I sure am glad we had Hoss at the hot corner when Andy Marte was coming up. He was as hot a prospect as you could get at the time, often compared with David Wright, and has yet to crack a starting spot on a big league team. Heck he was even outrighted at one time and no one picked him up. But if Wren thinks Freeman is all that, I have to trust him.
But dang, have you seen Freeman run? His gallop makes Sid Bream look like Deion.
November 17th, 20094:07 pm
Some of you have touched on this, but the Braves were a decent offensive team in the second half last year, and that was with an ailing McLouth, a sub-par Chipper and a slightly slumping McCann. I think if they resign LaRoche, they could be as good as they were the 2nd half. It might not be enough to leapfrog the Phils, but it should be good for 90+ wins a shot at the postseason. And with that pitching staff, I wouldn’t bet against them in the postseason.
My point, I don’t think the situation necessitates a blockbuster trade, particularly if it means emptying out the farm system at the upper levels. I hope Wren is smart with this situation. He’s in a good one with pitching to spare and almost every team looking for dependable starters, but he should definitely avoid any major gambles, if only because the status quo is more than most teams will start 2010 with.
November 17th, 20094:08 pm
This is the last of the “you’re vastly overrating Jurrjens and failing to see beyond the ERA in an inadequate sample size” discussion I’m willing to have with you. It’s fairly clear that you’re not only not willing to change your stance, you’re not even willing to consider any of the other side of the argument.
Really, though, Jurrjens production can’t be had on the open market?
2008 NL Qualified xFIP
Rk. Name – xFIP
13. Brett Myers – 4.01
14. Edinson Volquez – 4.02
15. Jair Jurrjens – 4.02
16. Hiroki Kuroda – 4.02
17. Manny Parra – 4.03
2009 NL Qualified xFIP
32. Zach Duke – 4.42
33. Jason Marquis – 4.43
34. Jair Jurrjens – 4.44
35. Barry Zito – 4.46
36. Mike Plefrey – 4.50
2008 MLB Starters tRA+
Rk. Name – tRA+
t-33. Jose Contreras – 117
t-33. Gil Meche – 117
t-35. Jake Peavy – 116
t-35. Wandy Rodriguez – 116
36. Jair Jurrjens – 114
t-37. Ted Lilly – 113
t-37. Shaun Marcum – 113
t-37. Jorge Campillo – 113
t-37. Carlos Zambrano – 113
2009 MLB Starters tRA+
t-25. Tommy Hanson – 119
t-25. Carlos Zambrano – 119
t-27. Max Scherzer – 118
t-27. John Lackey – 118
t-27. Jair Jurrjens – 118
t-27. Jered Weaver – 118
t-31. Roy Oswalt – 117
t-31. Randy Wolf – 117
t-31. Brian Bannister – 117
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