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?

O.J.

November 17th, 2009
10:04 am

aaron, its been said here many times that the Yanks are not interested in D.Lowe, so you can stop beating that dead horse.

macdwolfpack

November 17th, 2009
10:05 am

dpelfrey, why don’t you just open the roster and let they White Sox take any body and anything they want. That’s way too much for way too little.

BraveCat

November 17th, 2009
10:05 am

Nolie…..Carlos Delgado?!?! HELL to the NO!

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:07 am

Cabrera, Cabrera, Cabrera

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:08 am

Should be every Brave fan’s mantra

macdwolfpack

November 17th, 2009
10:08 am

Dave, thanks for the new blog. Hope you are feeling better this morning

Rock On......

November 17th, 2009
10:08 am

dpelfrey…..I think I read some sarcasim in your 9:29, if not, that is the morning’s comical relief.

Danga

November 17th, 2009
10:11 am

Thanks for the heads up on the show tonight. I would’ve hated to miss those two live.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
10:12 am

Rock On……
I’m with you on the LaRoche thing. I think he is the best option on the table. If we have to sign him for 3 years so be it. There’s a lot of talk about not blocking Freeman’s path by signing a long term contract at first base. Freeman has done nothing in the minors to make me think he is going to be better than LaRoche over next 3 years. Freeman looks good, but he’s also 20 years old… he’s got plenty of time to ripen.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:15 am

sidslidkid,

Love the metaphore, “plenty of time to ripen”.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:17 am

Cabrera is low hanging fruit, and I bet Detroit would knock a few rungs off the ladder.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:20 am

Say, swap Lowe’s salary and give the Braves 5 million a year for 3 years if Freeman and Schafer were included in the deal. They are shopping Granderson and will need a CF.

ncscoots

November 17th, 2009
10:21 am

A high BA, high OBA hitter who makes consistant solid contact would be of much more value to the Braves [than a slugger].

And if the Braves needed such a hitter, you would be correct. Unfortunately, they need a hitter for the fourth spot, and that means a good average, good OBP, AND good slugging. It’s not either-or for this team.

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.

Somebody help Don here, he’s been sucked into the “working the count” mantra. Who’s got links, LOL?

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:25 am

You all see, in 3 years our Hall of Fame 3rd baseman will not be making 14 million a year from the Braves.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:27 am

It solves 1st base, and right handed power for the next 6 years.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:29 am

He’s 26 and his best friend is Martin Prado for crying out loud.

Va Braves

November 17th, 2009
10:29 am

Eyeball Kid- Cabrera already has a hard enough time remaining sober for a one game playoff and now you are asking him to climb a ladder that is missing rungs. That seems problematic.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:34 am

Wren will make an astonishing deal. Maybe not this one, but one nobody sees comming. He (Wren) is that good.

Doug

November 17th, 2009
10:34 am

Why would anyone think Willingham is even a slight upgrade over what we already have??? Matt Diaz is better in every way other than having less HR power….but look at ops…avg…defensively…baserunning…on and on

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:38 am

Va Braves,

Remember who managed the Tigers in 2009. Without the help of Eric Gregg, Leyland never wins a title.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:42 am

Va Braves,

Let us not lay the Tiger’s collapse at Cabrera’s feet. This team was managed by Leyland when it was swept in the WS by a team that won 83 regular season games.

CB

November 17th, 2009
10:42 am

scoots,I hope you are watching your boys playing-they look good.

Lew

November 17th, 2009
10:45 am

eyeball kid-Maybe you should have taken part in yesterday’;s conversation about Cabrera. Dude is making $21 million a year for the next six years and rang up a breathalizer three times more than the legal limit the night before the Tigers’ one game playoff. Dream on. That one just won’t ever happen. Unless they signed Furcal to be his drinking partner.

McFann Ô

November 17th, 2009
10:46 am

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

hey, we’re blogging, I can’t keep looking up spelling of his name

…get it, willing? OK, late.

:lol:

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:46 am

Va Braves,

I hear tell when Leyland managed the Rockies for what, a year, that he slept in the managers office. Never took a residence in Denver and played piano in a bar near Coors Field.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:47 am

Lew,

Read my 10:20 and 10:46.

AdirondackDave

November 17th, 2009
10:49 am

Mitchie-san — I would have to consider that trade, even with Prado. If I couldn’t talk them into Kelly plus another 2nd level prospect, I think I would trade Prado. You can’t get a guy like Adrian Gonzalez without pain.

eyeball kid

November 17th, 2009
10:52 am

AdirondakDave,

Do you sell porch furniture?

No pain, there is a bonafide slugger playing 1st base for the Tigers that can be had.

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
11:02 am

CB

November 17th, 2009
11:11 am

Daslied,our boy Paul will be happy.

keylargo

November 17th, 2009
11:12 am

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera(notes) was drunk—three times above Michigan’s legal limit for driving, according to police—between two key games over the weekend as his team was trying to win the American League Central title.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Detroit star Miguel Cabrera(notes) apologized to his teammates for being drunk last weekend while the Tigers were trying to clinch the AL Central title, then delivered two big hits in Tuesday night’s tiebreaker loss to Minnesota.

Seems that Cabrera has given new meaning to the term D.H.

DAP

November 17th, 2009
11:13 am

eyball kidCabrera is low hanging fruit, and I bet Detroit would knock a few rungs off the ladder.

im not sure i understand your analogy…(wouldnt knocking rungs off make it HARDER to get low hanging fruit?) but anyways, cabrera makes to much money for the braves to pursue. no player is worth what he is making and it will hamstring this team. if he was making maybe $30mil less over the next 6 years, then it might be worth going after him.

scootsthey need a hitter for the fourth spot, and that means a good average, good OBP, AND good slugging. It’s not either-or for this team.

nah, average doesnt matter. and id take a guy with a meager .333OBP if he was slugging .550 for us. slg% is where the need for the braves is right now.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
11:16 am

macdwolfpack & Rock On……

Definitely sarcasm. I confused myself with that one. Even better idea…three way trade. Konerko, Flowers and Lillibridge to Braves…Jurrjens & Infante to Tigers…Vazquez & Ordonez to ChiSox.

I love circular trades. Does anyone else confuse the Tigers & White Sox? I swear sometimes they seem like the same team.

AdirondackDave

November 17th, 2009
11:20 am

Eyeball Kid — We sure see a lot of that furniture around here, but that’s not my game. I’m retired.. into vintage guitars as a hobby and make a buck now and then.

bravesfan1984

November 17th, 2009
11:20 am

well so long buddy carlyle…signed with nippon ham fighters

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
11:21 am

Cliff, I wish such lists were readily available or provided by Braves. Alas, they are not. And I’m not going through the entire organization trying to find the guys who fit the Rule 5 qualifications. I’ll let you know when I run across some between now and the draft.

monty

November 17th, 2009
11:23 am

Perhaps as important as who stays and who goes(fun to discuss) is will Chipper return to form from the left side next season. Will he return to his career avg. of 1 HR/17 AB LH or will he regress in 2010 to his 2009 avg of 1 HR/ 37 AB? By my calculations Chipper would have hit another 16 HR’s and another 16 doubles LH if he had been on his career averages. If Chipper can return to form that’s power that we don’t have to increase payroll to get.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
11:25 am

Get some rest, DOB. — mitchie-san

“I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” — Nas

… and because the cold medication I took last night was playing with my mind after I woke in my recliner at about 4 a.m.

Bravofan

November 17th, 2009
11:28 am

DOB: any truth to this rumor that Daslied reported that Carlyle was going to Japan???? http://home.kyodo.co.jp/modules/fstStory/index.php?storyid=471177

DAP

November 17th, 2009
11:28 am

monty career averages? maybe not, but i will be surprised is chipper isnt quite a bit better next season. im thinking an average right at .300, the OBP around .400 and about a .480 slg%. im going to expect 20 homers and 30 doubles out of him.

bry22

November 17th, 2009
11:29 am

If the Braves decide to trade argueable our best pitcher Vazquez, can’t they find a way to make a 3 way trade where A. Gonzalez comes to the Braves and the 3rd team sends players to San Diego? Seems like that could get done!

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
11:31 am

Bravofan: That’s not just a rumor about Buddy signing with Nippon. It was announced early this morning; I just saw it on Kyodo news service after Bravesfan1984 mentioned it a few minutes ago.

Hey, it happens. Journeymen pitchers often go over to Japan. Buddy himself pitched there in 2001-2002.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
11:32 am

bry22: three-way trades are rare in baseball; it’s not like the NBA, where they happen fairly frequently.

Bravofan

November 17th, 2009
11:32 am

thanks I definitley did not see that coming!

Sammy Kershaw

November 17th, 2009
11:32 am

Enter your comments here

Don

November 17th, 2009
11:33 am

The amazing thing continues to be that the Braves plan/ worry/ fret relating to all kinds of options relating to trades and/or signing free agents — and yet continue to ignore the simple action that would address the team’s major problem and would do more to improve the team than and addition of a player or players — RELEASE BOBBY COX.

smitty

November 17th, 2009
11:36 am

Just checking the splits on Diaz vs lefties and righties. Guy hit lefties like crazy last year (.412). He only needs to bring up his avg vs RHP, like he did in 2007 and he’s gonna be a good asset next year.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
11:38 am

Attaboy, Don. We can always count on such compelling comments from you. Now get back to us in a few weeks with another one, OK? Thanks.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
11:38 am

Don, give up on the thought of Bobby Cox getting released. It ain’t happening. He’s our manager for one more year and everyone needs to learn to accept it.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
11:41 am

Doug I would guess Willingham would be the third OF till Heyward is assumed ready. I thought there was a good chance he would make the roster in ST if he did well in AFL but he obviously didnt get a chance too. So my guess Willingham would be brought in for the first couple months then moved to the 4th OF or traded when Heyward is ready. One reason I dont believe the Braves will get him. They are not going to give up alot for a 2 month starting OF.

njbraves

November 17th, 2009
11:42 am

DAP…Thanks for clearing up that Willingham is a better option than Uggla. I would have never figured that out on my own. Here’s the problem, this team needs a “big bat”, not some guy who might really produce. What good is 20HR 85 RBI season going to do?? They can get that from LaRoche. If they really want to be contenders thay will clear whatever money they can, even if they have to trade Javy, and get either Holliday or Bay. But, of course they won’t, those guys will end up in Boston or NY, and the Braves will come up short again. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems to me that barring a big trade, the Braves will try to fix their problems on the cheap, like the always do, and will regret it down the road.

monty

November 17th, 2009
11:44 am

I redid the numbers on Chipper and he would have hit 10 more HR LH and 7 more doubles if whe had been on his career avgs. last year. Not quite as pronounced as earlier stated. But still a big drop-off that would be great to recover next year.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
11:46 am

DOB, How much of LaRoche’s 2nd half numbers do you equate to him just being slow to warm up. I think he may just be more comfortable in Atlanta with Chipper, Nate and Bobby. I think he’d put up much better 1st half numbers in Atlanta than he would anywhere else. What do you think?

6-4-3

November 17th, 2009
11:47 am

Dayn Perry says the Braves should trade for Adrian Gonzalez, and that a package built around Freeman and/or Schafer should do it.

bbspell22

November 17th, 2009
11:49 am

monty,

If Chipper would have been Chipper last year, I think they win a lot more than 86 games. It they can get a proven power bat I think Chippers decline in power wont be as noticable…but it kindof hindered them in cituations last year.

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
11:49 am

So, Don, if the players on the roster don’t make such a difference, then tell us why Atlanta was sucktabulous for most of the 80s before Bobby arrived?

Doug B

November 17th, 2009
11:50 am

Going to miss Buddy C. Felt terrible for him this year with his illness. Really nce guy. Always signed autographs for the kids and gave my son his hat after the last game of the season last year. Good luck in Japan!

DAP

November 17th, 2009
11:50 am

njbravesThanks for clearing up that Willingham is a better option than Uggla. I would have never figured that out on my own.

not exactly what i said, but your welcome. let me know if you need any more help.

What good is 20HR 85 RBI season going to do?? They can get that from LaRoche.

what if they get it from laroche and another player? thats not gonna help? besides, there is more than one way to help the team score. the braves got on base alot last year. they were really good at it. the problem is that they need some extra base hits to give those runners a chance to score. extra base hits come in alot of different forms which is why i think you should be paying attention to slg% rather than just a homerun total. willingham slugged almost .500 last year, which is pretty good.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
11:54 am

Dayn Perry isn’t exactly a Braves expert. And if he think Freeman and/or Schafer is enough he is wrong. But I’d be ecstatic to be wrong in this case.

raleighbravefan

November 17th, 2009
11:55 am

Don – GIVE IT A REST – PLEASE!!

njbraves – they must do it “on the cheap”, because the owners have given them a budget. The baseball people would love to have Ted Turner money again, and go out and get who they want. That is the reality, and I think they are doing pretty well with what they have to work with. BTY, at least we have a reasonable budget. What if you rooted for Reds, Kansas City, San Diego, etc., etc.

Efrim

November 17th, 2009
11:55 am

Dayn Perry says the Braves should trade for Adrian Gonzalez, and that a package built around Freeman and/or Schafer should do it.

Sure, if Frank Wren wants to get all crazy, he could probably trade for Adrian Gonzalez by offering Freeman, Schafer, Teheran, Delgado, and Hoover. But I don’t expect a move that large. Nor do I expect one that would gut the farm like that one would.

Bravofan

November 17th, 2009
12:00 pm

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/team/atlanta-braves/fantasy-news Nationals reportedly intersted in Mike “rocker” Gonzalez. If I’m Mike why would I even consider playing for them!?!?!?

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
12:02 pm

Bravofan, for the same reason Adam Dunn is playing for them. I hope he doesn’t though. I like him in a Braves Uni.

Bravofan

November 17th, 2009
12:03 pm

I think the Braves need to sign Yuni to a long term deal right now 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

Bravofan

November 17th, 2009
12:04 pm

yea its all about the $$$$$ but I would take a pay cut and play for a team that is a contender

Bravofan

November 17th, 2009
12:06 pm

NewsFlash!! Josh Willingham is not the power hitter the Braves lack he is not the missing piece of the puzzle by any stretch of the imagination.

Jay212033

November 17th, 2009
12:11 pm

sidslidkid

He said a package built around Freeman and/or Schafer not just those two alone.

MItchie-san

November 17th, 2009
12:11 pm

DOB’s Twitter thing is getting a plug on MLBTR.

O.J.

November 17th, 2009
12:16 pm

Bravofan, newsflash, that info on Gonzalez is 4 days old, just sayin.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
12:28 pm

DOB, How much of LaRoche’s 2nd half numbers do you equate to him just being slow to warm up. I think he may just be more comfortable in Atlanta with Chipper, Nate and Bobby. I think he’d put up much better 1st half numbers in Atlanta than he would anywhere else. What do you think? –sidslidkid

LaRoche has been dramatically improved in the second half during five of his six major league seasons, including two of his three seasons with the Braves at the beginning of his career and all of his past three seasons. It really is uncanny, the dichotomy between his first and second halves.

The only exception was 2005, his second season, when he hit .275 with 11 homers and an .810 OPS in the first half, and .240 with nine homers and a .731 OPS in the second half.

During every other season, including the last four in a row, he’s hit about 50 or more points higher with an OPS of 100-200 points higher in the second half (this year it was .250 with a .783 OPS in the first half, and .311 with a .915 OPS in the second half).

To answer your question: I don’t really see any reason to think he’s going to change his career pattern. Maybe he will, but I have no reason to think that. It’s five out of six seasons, and four in a row. It is what it is.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
12:40 pm

I’m not expecting an All-Star appearance from Adam in 2010. I expect his first half numbers to be lower than his second half, but not as drastic of a difference between the two halves if he is somewhere comfortable (Atlanta). He may be the best option for the Braves if you’re talking about bang for your buck.

Dawg

November 17th, 2009
12:50 pm

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.

There is no such thing as blocking an average AA player, no matter how projectable his talent is. We traded for Adam, we can trade him away in 2 years.

The Braves are in the business of winning, not developing.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
12:51 pm

DOB,

Do you know any plans for Braves prospect LHP Brett DeVall. He was the compensation pick for Mahay a couple years back. He played high school ball near where I live. He was very dominate against some of the better teams in the state. Just wondering if you know any plans for him.

rico43

November 17th, 2009
12:58 pm

DeVall tried to throw some in Instructional, but elbow was still a problem and he had it scoped. He’s shut down for the winter but should be throwing in spring training. He did not have to have the TJ surgery.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
1:00 pm

Thanks rico. Just curious as to how he was doing.

Billy Walsh

November 17th, 2009
1:00 pm

Willingham is not the answer. His glove is weak and is injury prone. Schafer, Freeman, and a few other lesser prospects for Adrian Gonzalez? Dream on..

MZ

November 17th, 2009
1:02 pm

DOB —–
Heading to NOLA tomorrow for the Auerbach show .. you gotta let me know if he shows for the show you’re going to … also, did you get the message I sent the other day about SP?

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
1:09 pm

I like either Willingham or Nady to fill the outfield spot. Laroche to play first and try to get Wagner to close. Move either Vazquez or Lowe for relief help and prospects. I just dont think we’re going to get the big bat we need. Guys that can hit 20+ hr and be productive will help us. Good pitching and solid offense could get us in the playoffs.

KC Ryan

November 17th, 2009
1:16 pm

Hey DOB! I took me a while but the Monsters of Folk disk has really grown on me. Good stuff. Right now I have the Black Crowes Amorica in my CD player and can’t take it out. I bought that cd about 15 years ago and didn’t really like it at the time so I only gave it a couple of spins, but I put it in on a whim a week ago and it’s a brilliant disc. I’m really loving it.

Jim

November 17th, 2009
1:17 pm

I don’t see that a championship team would have players like LaRoach and Willingham taking up key positions of 1B and OF. Not unless they are extremely strong in all or most of the other positions. They are strong at C and SS but good/not strong in all the other positions.

It may be the best options out there but that doesn’t mean spend.
If the goal of the Braves is to chug along and contend for a wild card spot next year with no reasonable chance to excell in the postseason, that would be a good move.
If the goal is to win a championship in the next few years, they need to pass. Save the money. Don’t get caught in a D.Lowe type contract. The real window of oportunity for the Braves is 2011+ anyway.

CB

November 17th, 2009
1:20 pm

I thought it was 2010 or bust- now it has moved up to 2011.Geez

BA

November 17th, 2009
1:24 pm

The Nipple Ham Fighters got signifigantly better today.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
1:24 pm

Theres no way the Braves will get involved in big trades that will drain the farm like Gonzalez. We don’t have the money to ink Bay or Holliday. So we have to take whats available. Cruz in Texas would be good but I don’t see them getting rid of him. We have to piece what we can together now to compete. Willingham and Laroche are only temporary options until the farm is major league ready.

?

November 17th, 2009
1:40 pm

Why so many so often ask when we going to wrap up Escobar? Who cares? Will not be free agent until after the 2013 season. He will be 31 years old then, his best days defensively at shortstop behind him. We will not know until then whether he will develop the stick for the corners as he ages. He will not cost all that much in arbitration even if he is not locked up. Why lock him up anyway considering his volatile personality? If something goes wrong, do you want the Braves stuck with an untradeable $20 plus million liability?

RC

November 17th, 2009
1:41 pm

Interesting quotes on ESPN:

With Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall telling MLB.com that the club is “definitely adding to the payroll,” let’s take a look at where that money may go.

Hall says the team needs starting pitching, relief helps and a bench player, but he also says he expects most of the acquisitions to be made via trade.

Can I interest you in 3 years of Derek Lowe?

RC

November 17th, 2009
1:46 pm

What about swapping Derek Lowe for Chris B. Young (Diamondbacks)? Young has a TERRIBLE contract based on his recent play, but could be an upside pick, and STILL is owed $20 million less than Lowe over the remainder of the contract ($19.75 million less to be exact). Also, only $3.5 million of that is owed in 2010, so the Braves pick up major flexibility for next year.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
1:47 pm

Good luck with the Ham Fighters Buddy.

In a related story, veteran MMA fighter Porkchop Radmonovich is joining the UFC. His unique style of bacon slapping will surely take him to the top of the contenders list for Lesner’s title. Seriously, what the hell is a Ham Fighter!

NEW CARS

November 17th, 2009
1:48 pm

I have come the realization that the likes of Willingham and, to an extent, Uggla or Marlon Byrd, are not a real improvement over our boy Matt Diaz. If Heyward is ready for rf, then let’s put Diaz in lf and go get a head knocker for 1B. Someone like Prince, Derek Lee, Gonzalez, Berkman. If we put someone like that in the middle of the lineup, it makes everyone around them better. Maybe we can deal Vazquez AND Lowe for a strong group of prospects and package them for an anchor to the lineup. I would feel better with Medlen and Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder (if they extend their contract) than with Vazquez and Laroche. The key is to use our assets to stock up with prospects to go get get one of those guys.

Richie

November 17th, 2009
1:49 pm

From Dayn Perry of FoxSports.com

4. The Braves should trade for Adrian Gonzalez.

Adrian Gonzalez would be an upgrade for the Braves at first base. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Atlanta will return one of the best rotations in the NL, but last season the offense let the Braves down. At first base, Adam LaRoche played exceptionally well but over his head, and he might land elsewhere this winter. Gonzalez constitutes a nifty upgrade. The Padres may be looking to “sell high” after Gonzalez’s career year in 2009, and they’re perpetually in cost-cutting mode. Atlanta won’t part with Jason Heyward, but a package built around Freddie Freeman and/or Jordan Schafer should get it done. In return, the Braves would get a devastating left-handed bat who’s cheap and under club control through 2011.

Bruce's Pearl

November 17th, 2009
1:52 pm

rico43..this was on talkingchop:
Brett DeVall B/T: L/L Born: 01/08/1990 Ht: 6′3″ Wt: 215
Atlanta took Brett DeVall with the 40th overall pick (their first of the draft) in the 2008 Amateur Draft. Atlanta scouted him extensively through the East Cobb program and signed him away from a University of Georgia commitment with a $1 mil bonus. He had a brief 10 inning debut in the GCL last year after signing and then made 10 solid starts for Rome this season before being shut down and eventually succumbing to Tommy John surgery in August and will probably miss most (and probably all) of the 2010 season.

When he was drafted DeVall was considered one of the top 3 high school lefties on the draft board. He has an ideal pitcher’s frame and was thought to have a clean delivery. He throws in the low 90s currently and could add some more velocity though he already possesses a mature body. He throws a an average curve and change though both have potential to become more and at age 19 in Rome he was young for the league.

DeVall was one of the hardest people for me to rank and in the end I didn’t put him on my list at all because of the injury not because of any lack of talent on his part but because I won’t see him again until probably 2011. Think about guys like Eric Cordier and Cory Rasmus who both missed full seasons to injury. They both made successful returns this year but how much of a prospect are they now? DeVall still has a ton of potential and many thought he had a ceiling of a #2 starter in the majors, but with his arm injury now his future is a bit cloudy

IPayForAOL

November 17th, 2009
1:52 pm

Richie Sexson is available.

RC

November 17th, 2009
1:56 pm

I would feel better with Medlen and Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder (if they extend their contract) than with Vazquez and Laroche. – NEW CARS

You sure about that? 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. I also think the drop from Prince to LaRoche is much smaller than the drop from Vazquez to Medlen.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
1:58 pm

“Richie Sexson is available.” Man I wish we could afford him!

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
2:01 pm

NjBraves you do realize when they got LaRoche they became one of the best teams in baseball? That 20 homeruns and 85 rbis helped considerable.

civilized white trash

November 17th, 2009
2:01 pm

what about brandon phillips from the reds and slide nitram odarp to first base. phillips has good speed and hr potential, i know i will get hammered for suggesting this cause his average aint the best but i think it could be a good fit

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
2:02 pm

“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.

RC

November 17th, 2009
2:04 pm

what about brandon phillips from the reds and slide nitram odarp to first base. phillips has good speed and hr potential, i know i will get hammered for suggesting this cause his average aint the best but i think it could be a good fit

I don’t think you’ll get hammered for the suggestion, Phillips is a great 2b. Problem with this idea is that Prado is WELL below average offensively as a 1b. Basically, if you can add only one bat to the lineup, it’s much cheaper to get a bat equivalent to Phillips that plays 1b than to get Phillips himself (hope that made sense).

IPayForAOL

November 17th, 2009
2:04 pm

Bruce’s Pearl,
I’m yet to see one reliable source say that Brett DeVall had Tommy John surgery.

RC

November 17th, 2009
2:06 pm

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.

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. Have we learned nothing from the Teixeria trade?

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
2:08 pm

Jim you dont need all-stars at every position. Yeah the Yankees won it this year with all-stars at every position but how many years did they have to throw 200 mil a year and still finish like 29 other teams. With the rotation we have all we need is solid players. The problem last year is we had 3 holes in our lineup for the first few months and that wasnt including the pitcher which made 4 automatic outs. Once we got rid of Francouer, Schafer, and Kelly the offense improved to the point where we had the 2nd best record in the 2nd half.

Zane Smith's dentist

November 17th, 2009
2:09 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.

DAP

November 17th, 2009
2:13 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, 2009
2:14 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

November 17th, 2009
2:14 pm

rc–
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

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
2:14 pm

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.

bravito199

November 17th, 2009
2:14 pm

I read on baseball america that DeVall had arthroscopic elbow surgery and will be ready for spring training

civilized white trash

November 17th, 2009
2:15 pm

plus his salary aint terrilble

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
2:16 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’.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
2:17 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.

RC

November 17th, 2009
2:18 pm

Anyone, thoughts on Derek Lowe for Chris Young (as a backup OF)? Would the Diamondbacks do this deal?

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
2:18 pm

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/

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
2:18 pm

Gone Viral your 2:02 post would be another Tex trade. I bet your one who complains about the Tex trade too.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
2:19 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.

jimmy jacket

November 17th, 2009
2:20 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.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
2:21 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.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
2:22 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.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
2:23 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).

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
2:24 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.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
2:25 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.

RC

November 17th, 2009
2:26 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.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
2:28 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

November 17th, 2009
2:28 pm

“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, 2009
2:29 pm

Dave,
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

N8

November 17th, 2009
2:29 pm

“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.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
2:31 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.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
2:33 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….)

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

“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.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

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.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
2:36 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, 2009
2:38 pm

Willingham would be a great addition and if we can re-sign Laroache…that would be really really good news

RC

November 17th, 2009
2:38 pm

N8,

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.

Gone Viral,

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.

bravito199

November 17th, 2009
2:39 pm

P.W. Hjort

I really like Billy Butler as well , I proposed a JJ for Butler and Moustakas a while back. What do you think?

DAP

November 17th, 2009
2:41 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.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
2:44 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.

CraZyTRaDeMaN

November 17th, 2009
2:45 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.

6-4-3

November 17th, 2009
2:46 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.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
2:48 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.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
2:49 pm

I like Wagner to close with all the big LH bats in our division

DAP

November 17th, 2009
2:49 pm

i think freeman will turn out to be alot like billy butler, based on what i know about him.

P'cola Brave

November 17th, 2009
2:50 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??

N8

November 17th, 2009
2:51 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.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
2:52 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.

BravoMan

November 17th, 2009
2:52 pm

Willingham would be a perfect addition to our team. I just don’t know what Washington would want in return….

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
2:53 pm

6-4-3,
“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.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
2:53 pm

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.

K_Chub

November 17th, 2009
2:55 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.

McFann Ô

November 17th, 2009
2:55 pm

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…

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
2:56 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.

Smack

November 17th, 2009
2:56 pm

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.

RC

November 17th, 2009
2:58 pm

N8,

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.

Bill M.

November 17th, 2009
3:02 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.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
3:04 pm

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.

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?

Ron Roberts

November 17th, 2009
3:06 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.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
3:08 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.

N8

November 17th, 2009
3:08 pm

“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.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
3:09 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.

RC

November 17th, 2009
3:10 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???

RC

November 17th, 2009
3:13 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.

bravito199

November 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

P.W. Hjort

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

N8

November 17th, 2009
3:15 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. :-)

nolie

November 17th, 2009
3:15 pm

Who likes the idea of sending Vazquez and Jurrjens to the Sox for Konerko, Flowers and Lillibridge

:lol:

RC

November 17th, 2009
3:16 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).

Zane Smith's dentist

November 17th, 2009
3:17 pm

N8 and RC:

Thanks for restating my 2:09 post…

RC

November 17th, 2009
3:23 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?

Jim

November 17th, 2009
3:24 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.

N8

November 17th, 2009
3:25 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.

njbraves

November 17th, 2009
3:25 pm

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.

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
3:26 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…

nolie

November 17th, 2009
3:26 pm

.Carlos Delgado?!?! HELL to the NO (BraveCat)

wasn’t my idea, I was responding to another post.

njbraves

November 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

Mike Cameron, Dan Uggla, and Josh Willingham…..great.

CB

November 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

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.

Zane Smith's dentist

November 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

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…

braves4ever

November 17th, 2009
3:28 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

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
3:33 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.

civilized white trash

November 17th, 2009
3:33 pm

DAP

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

McFann Ô

November 17th, 2009
3:33 pm

sidslidkid

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. :(

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
3:34 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.

RC

November 17th, 2009
3:36 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.

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
3:41 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?

DAP

November 17th, 2009
3:44 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.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
3:46 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.

DAVBRAVES

November 17th, 2009
3:46 pm

SIGN DYE SIGN ANDRUW JONES SIGN BILLY WAGNER GET NICK JOHNSON TO PLAY FIRST BASE

monty

November 17th, 2009
3:46 pm

Jim

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.

MattyRoss

November 17th, 2009
3:46 pm

DOB looks like you really did master PhotoShop, cropping Eminem into that photo with Nixon. Oh…wait.

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

November 17th, 2009
3:49 pm

Nice, Matty. :)

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
3:51 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.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
3:53 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.

darren

November 17th, 2009
3:55 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

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
3:55 pm

MattyRoss: I know, right? (about Eminem cropped into photo — funny. Thought same thing myself).

klaus

November 17th, 2009
3:56 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…”

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

I thought it was Eminem & that comedian from In Living Color, what’s his name, Tommy something…

nolie

November 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

ot the throw in like Feliz was

Jones was the throwin

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

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)

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
3:59 pm

ugaaccountant – So every pitcher Chipper faced in September ‘08 was just throwing straight 85-mph fastballs to him, huh?

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
4:00 pm

Ron Roberts: It really was over-the-top hilarious on Sunday (talking about Curb Your Enthusiasm)

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
4:01 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. :)

Hillbilly

November 17th, 2009
4:05 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

November 17th, 2009
4:05 pm

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.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
4:07 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.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
4:08 pm

DAP

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

Rk. Name – 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+

Rk. Name – 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

18 Wheels of Love

November 17th, 2009
4:08 pm

Curb was awesome – you can tell the cast is having a great time doing the Seinfeld stuff. And that joke Funkhouser told Jerry…danm.

What I got a kick out of was the jacket Larry was wearing…I picked up the same jacket in NY last week – telling my wife I wanted a Larry David jacket.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
4:09 pm

TnBrian”Freeman’s value might be the highest it’ll ever be right now.”

Or it is anothr Elvis Andrus, or Neftali Feliz. Yeah, seems like the Tex trade. Isnt going to happen.

18 Wheels of Love

November 17th, 2009
4:09 pm

This blog is eating my posts!

NEW CARS

November 17th, 2009
4:10 pm

Eric, I draw no corrollation (?) between Schafer and Heyward. It’s like saying just because Medlen struggled when he first came up, so would Hanson. Medlen and Schafer were tracking to be good major leaguers, but Hanson and Heyward look to be stars. That being said, I do have some concerns about the man’s durability. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we could pencil him in the #3 hole and platoon him with Chipper. between them we might get 162 games. In all seriousness, if we could extend Gonzalez with the money saved fomr Lowe and Vazquez being moved, I think we would be in great position for a long time.

McLouth (or Figgins)
Prado
chipper
gonzalez
escobar
mccann
heyward
diaz

juurjens
hanson
hudson
kawakami
medlen

pen
moylen
oflaherty
mgonzalez
nunez

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
4:13 pm

I saw Freeman in spring training last year. I dare not claim to be a scout, but I know a ballplayer when I see one. And Freddie appears to be just that. You think LaRoche has a smooth, sweet swing, wait until you see this kid up close. When he and Heyward were taking batting practice, the ball just sounded different. Those of you that have watched a lot of baseball know what I’m talking about.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
4:16 pm

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
2:31 pm
Freeman/Medlen/Schafer & a decent prospect for AG

Yeah lets give up 3 really good prospects and another decent one for one really good rental player. Awesome idea! Almost as good as the Tex trade…funny pretty sure TnBrian has complained about the Tex trade. Money is that if this would go through then in two years we will hear Brian complaining again. Luckily I doubt this ever happens.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
4:17 pm

“I think if they resign LaRoche, they could be as good as they were the 2nd half.”

I agree that we were a lot better down the stretch than people appreciated, mainly because our roster was remarkably deep. Having said that, our team planners are right to worry about his traditional first half swoon. To a larger point, if we signed LaRoche, we would be hoping for the performance from him that we would be expecting of Adrian Gonzalez. What Adam did after the second trade last year is what AG does on a regular basis.

All of our individual assessments of the Braves are various risk evaluations. As much as I love LaRoche and was -thrilled- we brought him back to the team last year, he isn’t the slam dunk I wish he were. Now, it’s possible that his late 2009 stretch exemplifies the rest of his professional baseball career wherein it always takes him a while for the light to come on. If that is the case, we’d be lucky to have him for the next few years. If we expect that as a certainty, however, we are probably going to come away disappointed with his performance for the most part. He’s been an up and down player throughout his career. Banking on something else is embracing risk rather than being averse to it.

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
4:25 pm

dpelfrey,
I agree. Freeman is as legit of a 1st base prospect as I’ve seen in the Braves system. But he still is just a prospect. And I don’t see him getting any significant playing time in the bigs for 2-3 years. Let’s hope he keeps it up. He’s seems to be impressing all the right people.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
4:25 pm

nolie

November 17th, 2009
3:57 pm
ot the throw in like Feliz was

Jones was the throwin

Jones was the make-up value for Harrison’s temporary injury. No harm/no foul there. Harrison’s healthy again and I haven’t heard of Jones doing anything special. That is what was expected.

Feliz was the head scratcher of why he was in there in the first place. We were giving them 2 prospects from the very top of our list, plus a SP they wanted who was close to the majors. I don’t think anyone can argue that Feliz wasn’t the last piece in this deal up until Harrison’s injury. Maybe “throw in” isn’t the word, but he was barely discussed in all of the media analysis of that trade at the time.

ncscoots

November 17th, 2009
4:26 pm

Shoot, you guys could be surprised at how little it might take to land Gonzalez from SD. These guys have re-signed David bleepin’ Eckstein for next year, after a typical scrappy-gritty-but-as-usual-still-woefully-unproductive year, LOL, so they aren’t exactly wowing the field with their expertise.

McFann Ô

November 17th, 2009
4:26 pm

MattyRoss DOB looks like you really did master PhotoShop, cropping Eminem into that photo with Nixon.

You ever seen Weird Al’s “interview” with Eminem? :lol: Craziness…

RC

November 17th, 2009
4:28 pm

P.W.Hjort,

I have to confess that I don’t know exactly what xFIP is, but I’m assuming it’s a model used to predict the “expected” stats of a pitcher. Below are some “actual” stats of Jurrjens, as well as where they ranked among NL starters:

Innings pitched: 215, 9th
Wins: 14, tied-12th
ERA: 2.60, 3rd
WHIP: 1.21, tied-18th (tied with Santanta and Wainwright)

Predictive stats are great, but they shouldn’t be valued over actual results, which is what we have with Jurrjens. Had this been one lucky season I’d see the cause for concern, but he’s now done it for 2 in a row, so eventually you have to acknowledge that he may be the exception to the rule when it comes to thinks like xFIP and other stats. And if you honestly think that the stats I’ve listed above “can be easily found on the open market” then….well, I’ve got nothing to say in that situation. Because they can’t be.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
4:30 pm

I would expect another slow start from LaRoche as well, but I would also hope that McLouth, Chipper and McCann will be better than they were in the 2nd half. Will this be an offense like the Braves 2003 version, definitely not (keep in mind they had a starting rotation with a combined ERA over 4 that year). But would it be enough to give them a shot at 90+ wins with the starting rotation they have…I would think so.

NEW CARS

November 17th, 2009
4:34 pm

I think this is different situation from Tex…

#1 – No Boras looking for $200 million
#2 – It’s not midway through the season and we’re not trailing two teams.
#3 – There was some discourse at the time that Tex wasn’t a clutch hitter, and I don’t think that conversation has been put to bed yet
#4 – With Chipper’s money going away in a couple of years and Lowe and Vazquez going away, the money would be there to extend Gonzalez
#5 – This team seems to be better constructed than the 2007 team, what with the young pitchers and players like Escobar, Prado and McClouth.
#6 – By trading Vazquez and Lowe, we would be restocking our minors to withstand this outlay
#7 – Hopefully Wren won’t do something stupid like we did in signing Glavine and surrendering a first round pick..We should be able to pick up a couple by offering arbitration to guys that want longer contracts
#8 – Does anyone think we would have been better the last three years if we had kept Salty, Andrus, Neftali, Harrison and Beau Jones. Wouldn’t we have surrendered some of them for Peavy or some other bat.

Tex didn’t work out, McGriff did. If you use that reasoning not to do it, then we don’t need to sign a free agent 1b either, since Nick Esasky didn’t work out and the Big Cat did. All in deals that don’t dramatically change what has made you good in the first place are ok by me. With Gonzalez in tow, we would match up well with the Phils and that’s what we are trying to do, right.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
4:36 pm

Someone asked me about the Braves’ bench a while back. I asked Wren about it at GM meetings, and he made it clear that’s not high on priority list this winter:

“The bench will work itself out,” he said. “We’ve got a good foundational bench… The bench is always the last thing to do. Always is. Probably January or February we’ll finalize.

“Last year we got David Ross early and it filled a vital need, but a lot of times that’s a guy you’d wait a month for.”

Also, I asked him about getting more speed (another question someone had for me here). He indicated it’s tough to acquire speed per se, to go out and look for that quality specifically when you’re trying to fill needs. Impression I got was that it didn’t sound like it’s any more a priority than it’s been in recent years for Braves.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
4:36 pm

dpelfrey: it’s interesting that you say that. I caught a few of Freeman’s and Heyward’s AA games and I’ve got some iPhone video of their at bats and what I came away thinking is that Heyward…well, I’ve seen all of the great Braves prospects since 1990 at one time or another in their minor league careers. If this kid were a poker hand, I’ll push in with all of my chips.

Freeman gave me a disconnect regarding what I’d heard about him versus what I was saw. Even so, it was right before the trade deadline and I remember watching a scout shake his head at one of Freeman’s swings. It’s one of those nagging little moments that eat at you as you wonder what the other person is thinking. I know where he is ranked among our top prospects, but he reminds me of Hessman and Thorman in that I didn’t feel it with him.

I want to stress that hitting near Heyward is going to make any other prospect look ordinary in comparison, though. My thought process as I watched Freeman is that if he were our starting 1B, we would spend his first couple of seasons the same way we did with LaRoche: platooning him with a veteran while debating whether to get a guy off the trade block to upgrade the position. 1B is a position where teams never want to settle. His power has to come a long way to get to that point. One homer every 50 at bats is…Casey Kotchman-ish. Yes, power is supposed to come with age, but we’d be hoping for a *lot* there.

KC

November 17th, 2009
4:36 pm

How ’bout a 3-team trade:

BRAVES GET: Adrian Gonzalez

BREWERS GET: Javier Vazquez

PADRES GET: Freddie Freeman, a nice prospect package from Brewers, and a couple more mid-level prospects from Braves

RC

November 17th, 2009
4:36 pm

From MLBTR:

Mike Gonzalez Now Represented By Scott Boras

Hello, Draft picks!

nolie

November 17th, 2009
4:39 pm

Maybe “throw in” isn’t the word, but he was barely discussed in all of the media analysis of that trade at the time. (Acc)

Feliz was already thought very highly of, and many thought immediately that he would be the one most likely missed the most, I know I did. I think Texas was well aware of his potential and considered him an important part of the deal. I know that was my understanding at the time. I think BA commented as such right after the deal went down too. You might be right, but I remember him being important to the deal.

ncscoots

November 17th, 2009
4:40 pm

Even so, it was right before the trade deadline and I remember watching a scout shake his head at one of Freeman’s swings.

Wrist problem, if you saw him in AA.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
4:42 pm

New Cars I just meant do you feel confident with having an outfield of Diaz, an average player, McLouth coming off an average to below average season and a rookie that we will contend for a champinship. Why not get a little insurance somewhere, not saying Willingham, and have another OF to hold us over til June till we know Heyward is completly developed. Like I said earlier Heyward has played 50 (1/3 of a season) above A. He was on one hell of a hot streak for the first month he got promoted. He did show signs of cooling off. Unless you believe he is going to continue that hot streak his entire career why not let him start at AAA and devlop a little more.

Lew

November 17th, 2009
4:43 pm

I heard on XM Home Plate today that the Padres had asked the Red Sox for a package including Ellsbury and Bucholz for Gonzalez. Now, I have absolutely no idea if any of this is true or not, but believe me-it will take a package similar to that one to swing the deal. No deal involving JoJo Reyes, Kelly Johnson and Clint Sammons is going to be taken seriously. Total hilarity at the suggestion would be the result.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
4:46 pm

“I haven’t heard of Jones doing anything special.”

Jones had a great run at High A ball with a 0.55 ERA in 16 innings. He was then promoted to AA where he was middling at best. He had an ERA of 4.44 in 54 1/3 innings. He gave up 59 hits, which isn’t very good but he also got over a strikeout an inning with 57 total. His WHIP of 1.66 was dreadful.

I would expect that this is the season that he proves himself as a future major leaguer or fades to fringe prospect territory. It bears noting that this is the same pattern from the year before. He was solid at High-A ball with a 2.93 ERA before struggling with a 4.02 ERA in 15 2/3 innings at AA. My suspicion with him is that he can be an effective reliever in the majors if he masters the strike zone. He had 31 walks in 54 1/3 innings at AA this past year, which is waaaay too many. He had that problem in his first year at Rome and his short time at Myrtle Beach, too. He’s the kid who walked 14 in 7 2/3 innings with the Pelicans a while back. He has the arm but not the location yet.

Efrim

November 17th, 2009
4:46 pm

From MLBTR:

Mike Gonzalez Now Represented By Scott Boras

Hello, Draft picks!

Yup. I know Wren has a better working relationship with Boras and all, but I see two draft picks in the Braves future.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
4:46 pm

“Hello, Draft picks!”

Hee!

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
4:47 pm

New Cars
1. Scott Boras agents are not the only ones looking for big contracts
2.No proof AG is clutch
3.We had what 30 million clear the offseason Tex was a FA and couldnt bring him back.
4. Lowe will bring no good prospects. Contract too steep.
5.I do think we would of been better. They would of helped us get what we needed.

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
4:47 pm

Agree with Wren on the bench. We have a group of minor league guys that I think are ready to be bench guys. Infante, Canizares (if he’s not traded to an AL team), Diory, Church, already is a decent bench.

If he’s not specifically targeting a speedy guy for the everyday lineup, I always like to have one on the bench at least. Down by a run late and you get a runner on, I like putting in a pinch runner to make things interesting. But, that’s just me. When Josh Anderson didn’t make the club of of ST 2 years ago, I wasn’t upset that he wasn’t our everyday guy, but upset that we didn’t keep him for the bench for that reason. That’s the year we lost all of those 1 run games. Would’ve been useful to have him on the basepaths late in games.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
4:47 pm

Mike Gonzalez switching to Boras recently won’t affect Braves’ plans to offer him arbitration, but might make it less likely he’ll return to Braves. Simply because hometown discounts aren’t part of the Boras plan, and Gonzo wouldn’t have switched to him if he didn’t want to get max dollars on the free-agent market. That’s what Boras does, and does it better than anyone.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
4:48 pm

“Wrist problem, if you saw him in AA.”

Is that what it was? I knew about the ribs last year, but I had missed that. If so, I feel quite a bit better about him. I’ll go do some googling.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
4:49 pm

KC: Again, three-team trades just don’t happen very often in baseball. Different structure than NBA, where they happen a lot.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
4:51 pm

“Impression I got was it didn’t sound like it’s any more a priority than it’s been in recent years”

No because Wren & everybody else knows Bobby doesn’t like to run, even if they acquired some speed. It’s not a ‘LETS ALL BASH BOBBY’ kind of thing either, it’s just the truth. Watching this team for all these years I’m convinced Bobby is a pitching/HR kinda guy.

Eric from MO, if you were to go back & read comments here & other sites after Atlanta acquired Tex I bet at least 95% of Braves fans were pumped. Believe me, I’m not one of those fans that harpes on the past about giving up those guys for Tex or losing seasons because of this & that… I look ahead & focus in on that. Like I said, Gonzalez doesn’t have Boras for an agent & Chipper’s contract should be winding down by the time AG hits FA. We’d have a better chance at signing him than Tex, imo.

NEW CARS

November 17th, 2009
4:53 pm

Eric,
If we could make a deal or come up with a younger guy with some upside I would be all for it, like Conor Jackson or someone of that ilk. But if you look at Matt’s number from 07 and 09 and compare them with Willingham, I don’t see that as an upgrade. My true preference would be to trade Lowe and Vazquez and get Gonzalez and Jason Bay, or maybe Mike Cameron for a year. Put cameron in cf and bat him at the bottom of the lineup and move Nate to lf. Then you could ease Heyward in by platooning him against some lh with Diaz. But this isn’t a perfect world. I believe that McClouth will be better this year, now that perhaps he has his eye problems worked out.
It just hit me that Matt has done everything we asked of him and more, and has hit over 300 with some power 2 of the last three years. If he’s our 8th best starter I think we can win with that combo. It’s just that for a good part of last year, he was our 3rd best starter, ahead of Kelly, Schafer, Frenchie, the blind McCann, Casey at the bat and Grandpa Jones. That’s why we were so bad for so long.

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
4:54 pm

Yup. I know Wren has a better working relationship with Boras and all, but I see two draft picks in the Braves futur

I think because of the state of MLB’s financial environment, where you have a bunch of teams cutting payroll and/or using revenue sharing dollars on other things rather than on signing players, that Boras is actually becoming more of a fan of the Braves. That, and JS is no longer at the realm. Once a player is passed on by the Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, etc…the Braves must now be up there on his list no? I know he has a strained relationship with the Dodgers now.

But yes, it seems likely we offer Gonzalez arbitration now, though if he accepts (he did that with Maddux), that’s more than we want to spend on Gonzo I’m sure.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
4:55 pm

Bye Gonzo… don’t give a rats ass to tell you the truth. My poor grandpa about had a heart attack every time that guy came in. Couldn’t stand to have a 1-2-3 inning. Love him & he’s a firey SOB, but not worth Borass money. No way.

Efrim

November 17th, 2009
4:56 pm

Is that what it was? I knew about the ribs last year, but I had missed that. If so, I feel quite a bit better about him. I’ll go do some googling.

Gone Viral, if you have Insider, this is a good article on Freeman and other AFL corner infield prospects:

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4652326&name=grey_jason

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
4:56 pm

As DOB said, 3-team trades don’t happen. But I could deal with KC’s suggested version…

ncscoots

November 17th, 2009
4:58 pm

GV, I think you got to a salient point on Freeman, also, in saying that everybody looks poorer next to Heyward, LOL. Plus, Freeman just turned 20, and I think we tend to forget that a little. I’m just guessing here, but I might have had a couple of bad ABs at 19 my own self. :-)

Freeman’s grown on me some this year, though.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
4:58 pm

TnBrian I know fans was pumped, I was one of them. I however, learned something. You dont give up 3 really good prospects plus some more for a guy who will be gone in 2 years or less. If you think we will be able to sign him the you are lieing to yourself. Chipper will still have another year left on his contract after AG becomes a FA. Lowe will still have another on his. Escobar and JJ will both be going into their 2nd year of arbitration. We wont be able to offer a 140-150 million contract to him. He will be gone and we will be watching Freeman, Schafer and Medlen tearing it up for Padres plus maybe one of our other prospects. If we didnt have Heyward we would be talking about how great Freeman is. He is going to be great, he is just over-shadowed by Heyward.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
4:58 pm

Gone Viral…I got a completely different impression of Freeman the day I saw him. I would agree that he paled in comparison to the man-child Heyward, but I definitely didn’t get a Thorman impression or anything. His swing looked smooth and uncomplicated, and that’s exactly why I think he projects so well offensively. I’ve seen guys like Klesko and Thorman play before and they just murdered the ball, but they also swung so damn hard. I don’t know, these things are always so hard to gauge. But I have to think that as big as he is, he’s been sacrificing some homerun power to develop his swing mechanics. I think Heyward’s been doing the same thing too. I’d like to think a young player heady enough to emphasize mechanics over home-run production as they develop will have a much higher ceiling. He’s obviously impressed enough people inside and outside the organization.

Bobby's Cox

November 17th, 2009
4:59 pm

3 teams trades are hard to come by in baseball, but with more teams looking at trades these days, it seems more likely to happen now than in the past.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
5:00 pm

New Cars I have said repeatedly Willinham isnt an upgrade because there are 3, yeah 3, OF positions. So Diaz, McLouth, and Willingham would be the starters for the 1st two months till Heyward is called up.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
5:03 pm

Eric from MO, I don’t know man, you could be right. Honestly, as much as I’ve been blabbing about Gonzalez to Atlanta today, Wren doesn’t seem like he’s willing to be tempted for “now”. I’ll bet AG goes nowhere.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
5:04 pm

dpelfrey thats what I thought when I saw him too. He wasnt as impressive, but pretty damn close. My guess GV said that so the people that hadnt seen him would just accept what he said to be true and not queston his trade proposal.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
5:08 pm

Why would 6 million for 1 season be more than we want to spend on our closer? We spent that last year on Soriano, as well as 3M on Gonzalez. Arbitration is one of the best ways to buy a closer, 1 year at a time.

New young cheap closers develop every few years, and Kimbrel looks like he could be that in 2011. Moylan and Medlen are other options for that year as well. Plan A for 2010 should be to promote all of our guys one inning up, and thank Soriano for his past service.

Gonzo could easily be viewed as a better pitcher than Wagner based on the past 2 seasons. Plus, knowing that at Wagners age his ability or health or both could go at any minute makes it seem silly that Gonzo wouldn’t be plan a or b (with Soriano being the other).

Wagner has to be a fall back, not the plan A right?

Now then, in reality both Gonzo and Soriano are getting long term deals so there’s no significant risk in offering them arbitration. Absolute worst case scenario of both accepting, we could trade one or both of them for salary relief only. Don’t think you could move a closer on a 1 year contract coming off a good year?

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
5:12 pm

I live down the street from the Charlotte Knights, and Gwinnett comes into town twice a year. I had to work the day Hanson pitched here last year, it was a day game and I had too much going on at work. If Heyward starts the year at AAA, I’m definitely going this year. It’s not often you get to see talent like that up close.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
5:15 pm

ugaaccountant…Don’t think you could move a closer on a 1 year contract coming off a good year?

Other years, I’d say no problem. But there’s a surplus of closers available this time around so I would say it depends on what the final $ amount is on that one year. I definitely think they wouldn’t get a very good return in a trade though.

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
5:17 pm

Also, if you offer arbitration and they accept, they’d have to wait until the arb hearing or settle on a one year contract before a trade could happen. That’s a lot of moving parts and might make things more difficult.

KC

November 17th, 2009
5:18 pm

DOB: yes, I understand that 3-team deals don’t happen very often in baseball. But they do happen.

We have seen multiple 3-team deals over the past 18 months that have involved marque players. The deal that sent Manny to LA and Bay to Boston comes to mind. And Putz went to NY in a 3-team deal prior to last season.

Daslied

November 17th, 2009
5:21 pm

dpelfrey – I’m in Charlotte, and will definitely try to catch Heyward if they play up here. Also missed Hanson because of work – wasn’t it at like 11 in the morning?

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
5:25 pm

Eric – 1st thing 1st – We get Gonzo locked up prior to the trade or no deal. Very few people believe the Braves will open the prospect door again without a long term player in return. Contract extension is the solution.

His current salary is less than we’ve got budgeted for 1b right now, so no problem for the next 2 years, 2010 and 2011.

Lowe and probably Chipper are pieces that will likely be off our books by then. Lowe I believe will be traded by this Christmas. Minor should be a viable 3rd or 4th rotation piece by 2012 so one of our veteran pitchers can be traded. I would also expect somebody in our minors could be a 5th starter by then, my money’s on Spruill but pick whomever you like. So i’m saying by then 2 of Vasquez/Kawakami/Hudson will also be gone.

My point is, we have a slightly expensive rotation and slightly underpaid lineup. Getting rid of Lowe and acquiring Gonzalez would fix that instantly. It’s not likely to be that exact scenario that actually occurs, but it’s one that’s illustrative.

ryan

November 17th, 2009
5:29 pm

what about Adrian Beltre

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
5:33 pm

Accountant I dont think AG has in any way said that he wants a contract extension. He doesnt care if that would make him a better trade for the Padres.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
5:35 pm

By the way I doubt Lowe gets traded. No team wanted him for 15 mil last year and now teams are cutting payroll due to the economy, so I doubt he gets traded.

Gary O

November 17th, 2009
5:40 pm

Eric from MO, I think there is a strong possibility that Lowe gets traded. The issue would be what is Wren willing to take back in return.

It has been mentioned that Lackey could get a multiyear deal for more than $15 mil per. So a team that loses out on Lackey might be willing to take Lowe for 3 years and $45 mil.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
5:41 pm

I’m angling for those Type A free agent draft picks.

The hypothetical of both Gonzalez and Soriano accepting arrbitration is irrelevant in my thinking. I am an accountant so I think in terms of expected value. I see the probability of Gonzalez accepting a 1 year arbitration offer as so low that it hardly matters in the analysis. The braves certainly have people that think this way helping their scouts make the money decisions. Simple example, scouts have 2 players rated equally you sign the cheaper one.

Complex example:
We need a closer and several other bullpen pieces. We have 10M budgeted for this (i.e. Gonzalez’s and Soriano’s salary from last year):
We offer Soriano and Gonzalez arbitration:
We have Hyde & Kimbrel as our cheap promotions if necessary:

Possible outcome Probability Cost
Soriano accepts 20% 9M
Soriano declines 80% 0
Gonzalez accepts 5% 6M
Gonzalez Declines 95% 0

So what is the likelihood both Soriano and Gonzalez accept, which is the only scenario that isn’t acceptable? That likelihood is 20% * 5% which is 1%. That’s why i’m saying it’s worth that tiny risk to get those coveted draft picks.

The news of Gonzalez signing with Boras should guarantee we offer him arbitration, because he’s just not going to accept it. Boras wouldn’t be taking him on as a client if he didn’t fully expect him to be a highly coveted free agent.

Soriano might accept, I give that a 1 in 5 chance. There’s a lot worse closers than him out there though so 1 year at 9M wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would just mean we’d have to go internal on our other open bullpen spots.

I think paying 9M a year for Wagner, possibly for multiple years, and losing our #17-20 draft pick, is an infinitely worse idea than possibly winding up with Soriano as our closer.

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
5:44 pm

Eric – Why wouldn’t AG want a contract extension if we’re talking up to 20M a year? That’s a f’n huge offer, on par with the top free agents. Only the Yankees could realistically be expected to offer more and they have a 1b.

njbraves

November 17th, 2009
5:46 pm

I have to laugh every time someone brings up Mike Cameron, like he’s this big offensive threat, that will be a major run producer. What is it that you folks don’t get?? This team had two top shelf pitchers last year—JJ and JV—finish with ERA’s under 3.00 and still have double digit losses. Chipper isn’t going to hit 35 HR’s anymore people. They need a “big bat”. I don’t know why that is so difficult to comprehend. They have to either spend some money, which they won’t do, or they have to give up some quality young players in a trade. If they don’t do either of these things, it will be another long summer. Look at all the teams that annually contend—NYY, Bos, LAA, Philly,LAD—they all spend $$$. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t hold onto every prospect and keep the wallet closed, it will never work. The Dan Uggla’s and Mike Cameron’s of the world are great if you have the right team to bring them to. This is not one of those teams.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
5:47 pm

Thanks for the link, Efrim.

dpelfrey, I completely agree with you about his mechanics. That sort of maturity from a 19-year-old is rare. I wish I’d seen him when he was 100%.

Eric from MO , you say “not queston his trade proposal”. As an fyi, I’m not Dayn Perry. No, really.

Here is the thing you inaccurately indicated was my proposal:

“4. The Braves should trade for Adrian Gonzalez.

Adrian Gonzalez would be an upgrade for the Braves at first base. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Atlanta will return one of the best rotations in the NL, but last season the offense let the Braves down. At first base, Adam LaRoche played exceptionally well but over his head, and he might land elsewhere this winter. Gonzalez constitutes a nifty upgrade. The Padres may be looking to “sell high” after Gonzalez’s career year in 2009, and they’re perpetually in cost-cutting mode. Atlanta won’t part with Jason Heyward, but a package built around Freddie Freeman and/or Jordan Schafer should get it done. In return, the Braves would get a devastating left-handed bat who’s cheap and under club control through 2011. ”

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10379218/10-offseason-moves-that-need-to-happen

My guess is that you thought you could slide in a snide remark and not get called on the missed step you had there. Maybe next time!

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
5:51 pm

Gone Viral: You don’t need to google anything. Freeman hurt his wrist shortly after the promotion to Double-A (he was hitting well there before injury). Played a couple or three weeks with the injury, but they finally decided to shut him down until Fall League. He told me two weeks ago that it felt fine out there, wasn’t a lingering issue. Once he shook the rust off in the first week of the fall league, he started hitting out there.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
5:55 pm

The deal that sent Manny to LA and Bay to Boston comes to mind. KC

Yes, but nothing typical about that deal at all. Very unusual circumstances with a very unusual player. Boston was desperate to get rid of Manny in final stretch of season, before he could destroy chemistry of clubhouse. They wanted to get rid of him, and the Dodgers were all over that, figuring (correctly) that change of scenery that Manny desired would inspire him carry a team again while Boston paid the rest of his salary.

monty

November 17th, 2009
6:03 pm

WHat stats can’t give you is what’s in a pitcher’s heart. Can he make the one pitch he needs to make at the right time? All these guys listed by rankings all seem so similar when you put a number or a percentage point by their names. But give me JJ over Brett Myers any day. If I’m not mistaken he had one of the lowest batting avg. against him with runners in scoring position in the league for a starter. Call it luck if you want, say the averages will flow back in the opposite direction over time..etc. etc.. or maybe just say the kid refuses to allow runners to score and he makes the right pitch at the right time. That is called being competitive. I don’t know what the stats say about Tom Glavine but the dude seemed to have runners on base all the time and yet he found a way to gut out 300 wins.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
6:03 pm

“So what is the likelihood both Soriano and Gonzalez accept”

I think that’s a great question and you’ve made a solid evaluation of the entire situation. I would love to see the Braves make this sort of gamble. Unfortunately, the reality is that the downside is such that if they did and both guys went to arbitration, we’d be in the weeds. That probably precludes this scenario from unfolding.

It’s a shame because the way this has worked out, if LaRoche and the two closers signed elsewhere, we’d have 6 (!) additional picks by the end of the compensatory round (including a pick for GA, one for LaRoche and the two each for the Type A relievers). Including our first and second round picks, we’d be talking about a haul of 8 picks in the first 75 selections or so. Of course, we’d also need a new 1B, a closer and a setup guy, but I like to focus on the half-full portion of the glass. I hate that we’re going to have to cede this opportunity due to financial concerns.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
6:05 pm

“You don’t need to google anything.”

I already had googled it, but thanks for the additional info, boss. On a sidenote, if one of the readers here runs the blog called “Rowland’s Office”, I think I love you for that name. Sheer genius.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
6:07 pm

How about Adrian Beltre? 8 HR last year in 111 games sounds awful, but he averaged 25 HR’s the three seasons before that & a move to the NL might help. I don’t know much about him other than he plays good defense at 3rd, so maybe move him to 1st. Now, apparantly the M’s want a pitcher & are after Lackey, but they’ll probably lose out to a big market club on him, so maybe they sell low on Beltre & take Lowe for him. Then I’m sure Atlanta would go out & trade/sign for an OF bat like a Cameron.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
6:10 pm

Nevermind, Beltre’s a FA. He still might be a chance worth taking. I look at it like this… if a guy can play good D at the hot corner than he should be able to handle the other side of the diamond.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
6:12 pm

Uga we cant give him 20 a year.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
6:15 pm

Craig Kimbrel today: 6 batters faced, 2 walks, a 3-run homer, and 3 K’s.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
6:17 pm

Absolute worst case scenario of both accepting, we could trade one or both of them for salary relief only. (Acc)

I know that you can’t trade a FA signee until June 15th, I’m not certain if that applies to arb re-signed players or not, but I have doubts that the Braves would do that even if they could.I’ll still be surprised if they offer arb to Sori, but happy cause I want him back or I want draft picks

NEW CARS

November 17th, 2009
6:18 pm

Eric,
What would Willingham cost, is the question, to be a placeholder for Heyward. I guess I just have memories of how McGriff and Galarraga and Sheffield made the guys around them better hitters. A lot of the guys we’re talking about aren’t going to do that. That’s what makes a ryan howard, a prince fielder, manny type hitter special. We;ve just been a little piecemeal in the middle of the lineup for a little too long for me.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
6:21 pm

PWH: That’s second bad outing in last couple weeks for Kimbrel, both times in large part because of walks. That’s the only thing holding him back, the walks. He’s got great stuff, just has bouts with command issues.

Gone Viral: I think Braves will definitely offer Gonzalez arb and probably LaRoche, but I don’t think they’ll offer Soriano arb and risk paying him more than $8 mill next season. Not unless they’re certain he’ll get a two-year guarantee somewhere else, in which case it’s doubtful he’d accept Braves’ arb offer and then might be worth gamble to get the two draft picks. Problem is, Braves aren’t likely to know that, at least not certain enough, before the Dec. 1 deadline to offer arb. That’s why teams are moving so slowly on those matters, they want to wait and see who’s not offered arbitration before revealing any intent to sign this guy or that one.

Moby Grape

November 17th, 2009
6:27 pm

Including our first and second round picks, we’d be talking about a haul of 8 picks in the first 75 selections or so. Of course, we’d also need a new 1B, a closer and a setup guy, but I like to focus on the half-full portion of the glass. I hate that we’re going to have to cede this opportunity due to financial concerns. (GV)

we’d also need the Braves to be willing to spend a whole lot more on the draft than they were this year. Not sure, but it seems to me that the last time the Braves had a haul, they ended up not signing some of them.
I’m all for some extra picks, but money is tight and I don’t think it would end up being the haul that we would hope for.
think you are one of the posters who think the Braves drafted exactly what they wanted, but you are definitely in the minority, so the possibility of a cheap approach has to be at least considered.

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
6:31 pm

There seems to be 15-20 1B/LF out there that might be available for us. Problem is, which ones carry big enough lumber to hit 4th.

Otherwise, we are back to Mac or convincing Chipper to move down to clean up. what are the chances of that happening?

Until something better comes along, those are out two choices. Mac really isn’t a bad choice, but somehow he needs to understand that nobody is expecting more from him than he is capable of giving.

As much as some here want a blockbuster, I would prefer 2-3 tweeks and unloading Lowe to giving up on some of our prospects. Let’s limp along until Freeman proves he is NOT the man.

Rob (from SC)

November 17th, 2009
6:32 pm

My thoughts about some of the comments from today’s blog

1 – KC is not trading Butler, Hosmer, or Moustakas. They are willing to trade Alex Gordon however.

2 – The Braves will not get Gonzalez

3 – We need to narrow our trade expectations. Remember that we are unwilling to trade Hanson, Heyward, and Freeman and rightfully so. With that being the case we are limited in who we can honestly acquire

DOB

Thanks for the new blog

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
6:33 pm

If that’s the route we take (offering two, not offering two), we’d still be looking at three picks of protection if LaRoche and Gonzo go elsewhere. Assuming we don’t sign any qualifiers ourselves, that would put us in the area of 2002-2003 with 5 picks by the end of round 2 and 6 in the top 100. We had 5 of the top 95 in 2002 and wound up with Frenchy, Dan Meyer, McCann, Tyler Greene and Charlie Morton (way to go, Braves scouts…five for five on the majors). Then, we had 6 of the top 97 in 2003 and wound up with Salty, Jo-Jo Reyes, Matt Harrison and three guys who never made the majors (although Atilano still might).

It’s amazing what a great job Braves scouts can do as long as we give them enough ammo on Draft Day. 8 out of 11 from our top 100 those two years made the majors and a ninth may yet do so.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
6:36 pm

New Cars I have said 3 times I dont think we will get Willingham cuz the price will be too high. Why would I nswer that question?

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
6:37 pm

“think you are one of the posters who think the Braves drafted exactly what they wanted, but you are definitely in the minority”

I am, yes, as I am enamored of Mike Minor but I agree that we don’t have the limitless draft budget that we once did with Billionaire Ted. Even when he was running the show, Braves scouting still had a focus on signability/willingness to play for our team. We’ve got Todd Van Poppel to thank for that. I still can’t believe an 18-year-old kid blew off a meeting with Bobby Cox like TVP did. Just to be able to talk baseball with Bobby is a huge honor for anybody.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
6:42 pm

DOB,
The other bad outing was 5 batters faced, 4 walks, 1 strikeout (4 runs scored). Sandwiched in between those outings is another solid 7 batters faced, 2 hits (1 double), 1 walk, 1 hit batter, 2 K’s, and 1 flyout (3 runs scored). Overall in his past three outings he’s faced 18 batters, walked 7, hit 1, struck out 6, allowed a single, a double, a homer, and a flyout. He’s allowed 3 of 18 hitters to put the ball in play, but he has a 38.57 ERA over his past three outings.

That’s Craig Kimbrel for ya.

6 batters faced, 2 walks, a 3-run homer, and 3 K’s.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
6:43 pm

That last line is erroneous.

David O'Brien

November 17th, 2009
6:44 pm

Looks like Kimbrel allowed one run in 6-2/3 innings in his first six appearances in Fall League, and then allowed 11 runs (and nine walks) in 2-2/3 innings over his last four appearances, including three runs, two walks and a homer in an inning today.

Still has work to do, obviously.

CB

November 17th, 2009
6:48 pm

Nine walks in 2-2/3 innings-Yikes. Earl Weaver would have croaked.

KC

November 17th, 2009
6:48 pm

DOB, have you heard things that lead you to believe the Braves don’t have confidence in Soriano as their closer??

It seems to me, the only reason the Braves would fear paying Soriano 8-9 mill for one year would be if they’re certain they don’t want him as their closer in 2010. Do you get the sense from folks you’ve talked to in the organization that they feel they can do better than Soriano?

nolie

November 17th, 2009
6:49 pm

there have been a number of prospects over the years who have had great stuff but amounted to about nothing because they just never could learn to control it well enough. I agree he has a high ceiling, but I’ll get excited about Kimbrel when he starts throwing strikes on a regular basis

sidslidkid

November 17th, 2009
6:52 pm

11 runs & nine BB’s in 2-2/3 innings?
Ouch… Oh well he’s young.

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
6:54 pm

there have been a number of prospects over the years who have had great stuff but amounted to about nothing because they just never could learn to control it well enough. I agree he has a high ceiling, but I’ll get excited about Kimbrel when he starts throwing strikes on a regular basis

What a grump. :)

Wayne in Utah

November 17th, 2009
6:57 pm

KC

An argument could be made that Soriano might have single handedly aced us out of a shot at the wild card with his second half collapse. I think the Braves are gun shy about taking a chance that they would have to pay a guy 8-9 million for a similar performance. He did basically the same thing in 2007.

ncscoots

November 17th, 2009
6:59 pm

Didn’t I tell you guys that sometimes the safest place in the park with Kimbrel on the bump is behind home plate, LOL?

I like watching the kid throw, but, as yet, he ain’t no pitcher. :-) Though the gods help hitters if the light ever goes on for him…that might be evil.

Gone Viral

November 17th, 2009
7:07 pm

“He did basically the same thing in 2007.”

He is one of the streakiest relievers the Braves have had in some time. At the start of the season, he was nigh invincible. Then, we hit the Andre Ethier portion of the schedule…

nolie

November 17th, 2009
7:10 pm

CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler polled some scouts about which 2009 rookies they’d take first if they were all thrown into a draft right now if the list consisted of players who were among those who got ROY votes. Tommy Hanson and Brett Anderson came out on top, but — – all jokes about sliced bread aside — I have to question the quality of the scouts if they wanted anyone but Matt Wieters first

ncscoots

November 17th, 2009
7:17 pm

That’s just the catcher in you, nolie, LOL.

bbspell22

November 17th, 2009
7:21 pm

instresting note from foxsports on Smoltz being open to a relief role for next season.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10357594/Latest-buzz-from-the-MLB-offseason

funny how things change in one season.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
7:27 pm

That’s just the catcher in you, nolie, Scoots

yup, and the realist.

Piece

November 17th, 2009
7:37 pm

DOB, What happens when a team with “protected” first round draft picks signs a Type A free agent? Do they lose nothing? Does the former team of said free agent get nothing? or perhaps just a sandwich pick?

What about if a team signs two Type A FAs, but only has one first round draft pick. Does the order in which they signed them affect which of their former teams gets first pick?

I hope this question isn’t too complicated to get into on the blog, but this has been bugging me for a while. Thanks.

tr

November 17th, 2009
7:45 pm

It’s so funny to see people compare proposed trades to the Tex deal. “Didn’t we learn anything?” Obviously not, because so many miss the important. Of course we gave up valuable prospects – wouldn’t have gotten any deal for a player of his caliber done without them. It’s how the game is played.

The problem wasn’t his production, though we’d have all loved him to be more timely with his big hits. The problem wasn’t the length of his contract. Signability was questionable because of Boras, but worth the shot because of his (AND his wife’s) connection to Atlanta.

The problem was the prospects we gave up. They have yet to prove themselves to be truly major-league ready. Salty and Andrus would still be blocked by superior young players and the depth of our young pitchers is still great without the two pitchers.

The real problem was that he (Tex) couldn’t make enough of a difference to send us to a World Series championship. Or two. The team the Braves have now is simply better – better pitching, better defense, and even better offensively if he (or a proven top bat like Gonzales, for example) was in the middle of the line-up.

The idea that it’s fundamentally wrong to make a trade involving highly regarded prospects because they MAY turn out to be good is patently absurd. Was Tex the missing piece for a championship run? Obviously not. But I, for one, applaud JS for taking the shot rather than just accepting the idea of putting a mediocre team on the field.

Jason

November 17th, 2009
7:47 pm

Piece:

To your first question, if a team with a “protected” first round pick (top 15) signs a Type A who has been offered arbitration, the losing team gets the signing team’s second round pick. For example, let’s say the Braves offer Gonzo arbitration, he rejects it, and he signs with the Nats. The Braves would get a sandwich pick and the Nats’ second round pick.

To your other question. The player with the highest Elias rating will deliver the signing team’s first round pick, the second best rating will deliver the second round pick, and third will deliver the third. Last year, the Yankees signed three Type A’s (Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett). The Angels got the Yankees’ first round pick, the Brewers the second, and the Blue Jays the third. All three teams still received a sandwich pick.

tr

November 17th, 2009
7:48 pm

Typo – insert “NOT” in the 3rd paragraph before “the prospects” in 7:45 post.

Marko

November 17th, 2009
7:57 pm

I don’t see that the Braves will have a shot at the championship if they don’t add someone like Adrian Gonzales. You need top players to be a top team. Give them a handfull of bigtime players and the lineup gets contagious.
With playing it low key and re-signing LaRoach and adding someone like Willingham or Cameron, it may very likely get them to the playoffs but they are not going to be a threat in the postseason, even with too many good starting pitchers. All that it will get is a 1 week extension to the season like the Rockies and Twins had this year.

Regarding Lowe, you don’t need to get much in return. The whole idea is freeing up money. If they got nothing back in return, it would be a good deal for the Braves.

tr

November 17th, 2009
8:28 pm

Marko,

Not sayin’ we won’t have a shot without a legit big bat, but too many things would have to go very well without one! How many rabbits are in the hat?

dpelfrey

November 17th, 2009
8:28 pm

Marko…I disagree. I think a team can have all the “top” players and still not win a championship. There’s no clear-cut recipe for putting together a championship club. Sometimes, going out there and getting big-name players works (McGriff) and sometimes it doesn’t (Tex). The argument you make is valid, having a feared hitter in the middle of the order can make a huge difference. But also don’t forget the Pads have a new GM, and I doubt he’s eager to deal away their best player for a handful of “decent” prospects. My guess is he’ll be looking to take in a major haul.

I would love to see him batting cleanup though.

richbrave

November 17th, 2009
8:34 pm

Mike Gonzalez Now Represented By Scott Boras

Hello, Draft picks!

Second. All in favor say aye!!!! All opposed nay!!!!

tr

November 17th, 2009
8:34 pm

I know. We “borrow” Gonzalez for two years (while he’s affordable) then let them have him back. In return, we let them make a list of their ten favorite Braves prospects. And if any (or all) turn out to be lousy or hurt, they can have them, too. Would that make everybody happy?

Salamander

November 17th, 2009
8:38 pm

I picked up Them Crooked Vultures album after seeing you mention them DOB… and after I read about who is in the band. No sh!t, John Paul Jones? Nice. The album definitely has a Zep vibe to it. Solid rock album that’s worth checking out.

Bear in Heaven’s new album is still blowing my mind. Not for everyone, but pretty accessible. Electro-rock-pop with psychedelic undertones (Krautrock perhaps). I think I mentioned them a couple days ago, but whatever, plugging them again.

nolie

November 17th, 2009
8:38 pm

are not going to be a threat in the postseason, even with too many good starting pitchers.

ah yes. just like the 83 win Cards team of a few years ago or the WC winners. Many GMs have said,, postseason is a crap shoot, anyone can win once you get there, but you can’t win without getting there first. The odds are better for some and less for others perhaps, but a short series can go either way.Totally spurious argument.

Piece

November 17th, 2009
8:40 pm

Jason, thanks for the info. Seems like kind of a crappy system, looking at what happened to the Blue Jays last year. Thinking they have the second best FA pitcher on the market, and knowing that he was leaving to go somewhere else, and all they got (other than the sandwich pick) was another THIRD round pick?!

For my money (and clearly it’s not my money) I’d say offer arbitration to Soriano and Gonzalez. At least one of the two is definitely not coming back (given the need for closers this offseason, and the caliber of both of ours). But like someone already mentioned, if the worst case scenario is that Soriano is the closer for another year (at 8+ million), we could definitely do worse. We would still get a 1st round pick for Gonzalez, and we probably would have paid at least 5 million for any other FA closer (and you’re unlikely to get one THAT much better than Soriano, inconsistencies aside).

I predict that the Braves won’t offer arbitration to Soriano, but will to Gonzo, and they’ll both sign elsewhere for multi-year contracts.

HomeofdaBrave

November 17th, 2009
8:41 pm

People continuously talk about how good the offense was in the second half. It wasn’t. Yeah, it was better than it was in the first half (but that’s not really saying much) but the offense was still extremely inconsistent. They’d look like a championship team for a couple of games and then turn around have a hard time scoring two runs in the next 6. Even with the first half struggles, The Braves still had a really good shot at making the playoff. In fact, they SHOULD HAVE been in the playoffs (in the last couple of months in the season, they were even consider the favorites to win the WC) but the offense let them down. I would not feel comfortable going into next season with this same punch-less team.

And the fact that they most likely will not re-sign Adam Laroche, Gonzalez, and Soriano makes it even worse, considering those three were instrumental to the Braves’ second half surge.

This just reminds me of last off-season when people believed the Braves didn’t need another hitter because they were 3rd or something in runs scored in ‘08 and that they scored more runs after they traded Tex.

See how that worked out?

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
8:45 pm

Home wasnt it the 2nd best offense in the 2nd half? Sure there was some games where they only scored one or two runs but all teams have that.

Lew

November 17th, 2009
8:49 pm

tr-Not commenting on the Tex trade-it is what it is, but as to none of the players having done anything yet-I thought I just heard that Elvis Andrus came in second in the AL ROY voting? Thought Feliz kicked some butt earlier this year, too.

GboroBravo

November 17th, 2009
8:53 pm

DOB just saw the trailer for Crazy Heart w/Jeff Bridges, dont know if you have seen but it has the Wrestler feel to it but about a broken down country singer (Bridges) anyway take a look here:
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3193439513/

richbrave

November 17th, 2009
9:03 pm

Hey MIKE MINOR, you are a bust of a pick. What a waste. You’ll never make it in this league.

DAVE, make sure MINOR reads this O.K.?

Mike Minor

November 17th, 2009
9:08 pm

richbrave is a waste of a blogger.

Mike Minor

November 17th, 2009
9:09 pm

Screw you guys, I’m going to use my left-handed scissors for awhile.

tr

November 17th, 2009
9:15 pm

Lew, didn’t say they hadn’t done anything yet – just not very experienced. They’re obviously talented, especially Andrus. Just saying that he’d still be behind Yunel as a Brave, as Salty would be behind McCann. Feliz has pitched a whopping 31 mlb innings. And Harrison was 4-5 with a 6.11 era.

BTW, Hanson was 3rd in the NL ROY, but you wouldn’t swap him straight up for #2 Elvis. Or would you? lol

richbrave

November 17th, 2009
9:17 pm

Mike Minor:

Looser loser!!!!!

jeffrey d

November 17th, 2009
9:17 pm

Another reason I avoid online college football talk.

UGA is goning to be smashs bugs and unloading a whooping cans on nerds to makes are seasons.

lpad

November 17th, 2009
9:21 pm

PW Hjort, have you looked at the names on this list before you knocked JJJ, again? Hanson, Zambrano, Lackey, Weaver and Oswalt. Are all these guys overrated, too. Should we trade Tommy as well? All of these picthers have good talent and get results. All of these guys are #1 or #2 starters. So how is JJJ not?

2009 MLB Starters tRA+

Rk. Name – 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

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:24 pm

PWH, you and I have never had a convo about over valuing jurjens.

jeffrey d

November 17th, 2009
9:26 pm

I like the idea of mentioning Tommy Hanson in the same breath as Randy Wolf

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:29 pm

PWH, also, maybe we should evaluate jurjens’ REAL production instead of the stats that see if he is lucky or not.

lpad

November 17th, 2009
9:31 pm

Also posting stats from 2008 is kind of irrevelant. Or is he not allowed to improve from his rookie year. Most players gradually improve from their rookie year. i.e. his lower ERA and K/9. I don’t mean to give you a hard time I agree with most of what you post, but your assessment is flat out wrong.

lpad

November 17th, 2009
9:34 pm

jeffrey d

how about john lackey? that’s the point I’m trying to make. these stats are bogus. there is no way randy wolf is as good as john lackey, yet their tRA are almost identical. what does that say?

DAP

November 17th, 2009
9:44 pm

Njbraves, can you define “big bat”? What’s the floor of OBP, slg%, HR, ect, that qualifiesnas a big bat to you? That we will know who we are allowed to bring up for the braves by seeing if they meet your requirements. It seems to me that alot of people claim we need a big bat but don’t qualify what we need with meaningful stats, only with specific players. So let’s find out what numbers you think we need so we can figure this out.

jeffrey d

November 17th, 2009
9:54 pm

I love how you throw around “tRA” like it’s common knowledge.

Maybe I’ll start speaking in Portuguese, and when people say “I don’t get what you’re saying” I’ll just retort “Well that’s because you’re too STUPID to understand something as common as Portuguese. STEWPID!!”

ugaaccountant

November 17th, 2009
10:00 pm

DAP – name value is a big deal at cleanup in my opinion. You want the managers and opposing pitchers scared of facing him, easing the way for Chipper to do his damage. Much bigger deal in reality than it is on paper.

lpad

November 17th, 2009
10:07 pm

hey, you’re speaking to the peanut gallery. i pulled it from one of PW’s posts. All I know is that Lackey, Oswalt and the rest are good picthers and Wolf and Bannister aren’t. Therefore, this stat is right. IT also doesn’t prove JJJ is overrated if he’s tied with the best free agent pitcher on the market this year who is a legit #1.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
10:08 pm

Tr all prospects are inexperienced. Thats what makes them prospects. duh

lpad

November 17th, 2009
10:09 pm

lol, maybe you should start speaking Portugese, but only if you get accents or whatever they’re called right.

lpad

November 17th, 2009
10:17 pm

obviously, i meant isn’t right in my earlier post.

Salamander

November 17th, 2009
10:22 pm

there is no way randy wolf is as good as john lackey, yet their tRA are almost identical. what does that say?

That some forms of statistical analysis in baseball are akin to navel-gazing poetry?

I understand that statistical analysis is an integral part of talent assessment, but some people place way too much faith in its predictive abilities.

There is more to baseball than math.

- end soapbox -

P. W. Hjort

November 17th, 2009
10:29 pm

Kansas City Fails To Pick Up Option On Royals | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

KANSAS CITY, MO—In an expected move Wednesday, the City of Kansas City declined to pick up their 2010 option on the Royals baseball club, ending the team’s 41-year tenure with the Missouri municipality. “It was time to move in another direction,” Kansas City mayor Mark Funkhouser said at a press conference. “There were some vested incentives that would have automatically kicked in if the Royals had finished higher than last place, or won more than one championship in their existence. But we just couldn’t afford to make another mistake like that 18-year extension back in 1991.” The Royals have generated some mild interest from other cities, including Portland, OR and Copenhagen, though the Danish capital is said to be leaning heavily toward acquiring a public pool or parking lot.

Random

November 17th, 2009
10:32 pm

Page 1 Caption: “Schafer and Nixon, Random meeting at furniture store”

Guess which one is me.

(Hint — DOB: “I figured out how to use the PhotoShop editing feature”

8)

tr

November 17th, 2009
10:33 pm

Sorry, but keep up, Eric. They’re NOT prospects any more. They’re major-leaguers without a lot of mlb experience, just more than they would’ve had in the Braves system, where they’d all likely still be prospects! That, after all, was the whole point of the conversation.

duh

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
10:39 pm

Yeah no sh!t TR but they were prospects when we traded them 2.5 years ago. How much experience do you expect them to have???

jeffrey d

November 17th, 2009
10:44 pm

lol, maybe you should start speaking Portugese, but only if you get accents or whatever they’re called right.

lol, contrary to my previous post, I’m too “stewpid” to speak in Portuguese. I’m just giving you a hard time…I see the point you’re getting at Ipad.

garyis

November 17th, 2009
10:51 pm

in the ongoing saga of la roche, gonzalez and soriano arbitration somethings seem very clear. the braves need a first baseman next season. i believe the best case scenario for the braves is that la roche agrees to arbitration and nobody else signs him. this gives them a very desirable player without trading prospects. but chance are he will get a multi year offer and the braves get a draft choice.

next is gonzalez. definitely offer him arbitration. on the remote chance that he is not offered a multi
year deal, he would would be a 1 year bargain. of course he will probably get a multi year contract
so the braves get a draft pick.

now you have soriano. suppose the braves offer him arbitration. if you were soriano’s agent would you take a (and this is modest) 2 year $11-12m deal versus arbitration at hopefully $8m. remember,
for arbitration he needs to submit what he thinks he is worth and the braves submit what they feel is
his value. often the players and teams split the difference, meaning he could get $7.5m instead. i
believe $12m is more tempting for him. this probably sets him up for life if he never gets another
deal. and if he has 2 good years he could get a huge contract. i believe it is safe to say he will get his 2 year deal, and if so the braves get a draft pick.(it would would be a shame not to get at least
a draft pick considering we traded horacio ramirez.)

now if the braves were to sign gonzalez and not offer arbitration to soriano the braves get no draft picks. assume la roche signs elsewhere. no draft picks

now go the other way. assume all 3 players sign elsewhere. the braves get 3 first round picks. yikes. that may not be good because to sign all those picks will probably cost $7-8m, which i
doubt is in their budget.

what’s a general manager to do?

tr

November 17th, 2009
10:54 pm

EXACTLY, Eric, duh

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
11:00 pm

tr…you are dumb…done talking to you.

Wide Right

November 17th, 2009
11:06 pm

With so much bad news in the world…poverty, war and the AJC’s main story tonight of a national shortage of Eggo Waffles, the posting of a new DOB blog is always a welcome sight. And its especially nice to read that a pitcher such as Lee Hyde, who wasnt on my radar at all, is looking this good.

Also, I am glad to see that Otis Nixon is out and about, seemingly doing well and buying furniture. Its not always easy to find free video of great, historical sports moments on the internet. But at least we can always watch the greatest baseball catch of all time (and one of Skip Caray’s best calls) on OtisNixon.com.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
11:08 pm

Really, Wren isn’t in as easy a position as I first thought. You’ve got three big spots to fill with 1st base & the back-end bp guys up for FA. Plus the fact that he’ll have to somehow make time to find a trading partner for Lowe, if that’s their plan. As we watch this unfold I just hope it doesn’t turn into a disaster of an offseason. He did a very good job last year, so it can be done.

braveman

November 17th, 2009
11:10 pm

njbraves @ 3:25,

wow. thank god someone had the balls to say that… you are exactly right. thats why you keep hearing jo jo and medlen for fielder type trades over and over. braves fans for the most part, honestly believe that jo jo and a throw in, could net a big bat. yeah, they are completely out of touch with reality, but they truly believe that every prospect we have is better than any other team has to offer… then you have a small majority of those idiots that believe that our prospects are better than most major league players… its sad… and embarrassing. most fans across all of baseball “overvalue” their teams’ prospects, but braves fans take it to another level.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
11:14 pm

braveman, it’s only natural that Braves fans overvalue their teams prospects. Through the 90’s we had prospect after prospect make it big, so I think that’s why.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
11:17 pm

TnBrian plus you have DOB talk about how great they are. Plus the 05 baby Braves didnt help.

Wide Right

November 17th, 2009
11:20 pm

Eric…if you are from MO how come you like the Braves? You got two other teams in that state.

Eric from MO

November 17th, 2009
11:22 pm

Because I grew up with the Braves on TBS. During the summers I stayed with my Grandpa who watched the Braves every night. Did I pass your quiz?

Wide Right

November 17th, 2009
11:28 pm

Eric.

That’s nice. And yes you passed my quiz.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
11:29 pm

Eric, not really man. DOB has really praised Heyward & Freeman that I can recall & with good reason seeing as how most all baseball writers have in the last year or so. Good example is today when he says Kimbrel has to work has a ways to go with his control. I don’t know what he said before last year because I didn’t even know this blog existed.

Doc Holiday

November 17th, 2009
11:32 pm

TnBrian,
I disagree………I think we are in a very good position………the hardest part is already covered and we have an excess of those goods the rest of the teams want……….SP…………being patient like a lion waiting for the zebra, is a must………….we will get our prey………just need to wait.

tr

November 17th, 2009
11:33 pm

Eric,

If you join a conversation at the end, it’s not polite to call someone else dumb because you don’t understand what the conversation was about in the first place. Thus, the “keep up” comment after you insulted my intelligence (”Tr all prospects are inexperienced. Thats what makes them prospects. duh”) because you didn’t follow the point of the conversation. You were trying to argue something that wasn’t even an issue of contention AND disrespecting me (”Yeah no sh!t) while you were doing so.

Ignorance is not knowing. That’s not shameful and is very easy to fix. Just ask a question or two and ignorance disappears. Stupidity is lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind. Not so easy to fix. I sincerely hope the problem was just the previous and not the latter. :)

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
11:33 pm

I’m going back on youtube to watch the rest of Shawshank Redemption. Love this movie & get it for free. Internet is somethin ain’t it.

TnBrian

November 17th, 2009
11:36 pm

Doc Holliday, hope you’re right. I just seriously don’t think it’s as convenient as you say though. You’re distracting me damnit. Trying to watch a movie here.

Macon Braves (RIP)

November 17th, 2009
11:36 pm

DOB–Just when I thought that a show couldn’t get any stronger, tonight’s episode of Sons of Anarchy just blows me away. WOW, what an EPIC show!! Thanks for turning me on to this show midway through last season DOB! It is hands down the best show since The Wire and The Sopranoes ended in my opinion, and I think it has to be mentioned right up there with them at this point. EPIC!!

Wide Right

November 17th, 2009
11:38 pm

shawshank is the greatest movie of all time..with the possible exceptions of “the jerk”, “planes trains and automobiles” and “Fargo”.

hey, tnBrian…would you say that braves fans who overvalue their prospects are being “obtuse”? ;)

Mitchie-san

November 17th, 2009
11:48 pm

Is AG blocking someone in San Diego? Would Freeman have to be in a deal?

Steve from OH

November 18th, 2009
12:03 am

Mike Minor scouting report from Jason Grey @ ESPN:

“Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves: The No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft is a relatively polished four-pitch southpaw (despite his first-inning blowup in the Rising Stars game). He sits at 90-92 mph but showed he could dial it up to 94 when needed. He had good fade on his change, and his curveball was inconsistent but good at times. He needs to improve his fringy slider, but he’s another pitcher who could move very quickly but doesn’t have a huge ceiling.”

nolie

November 18th, 2009
12:05 am

I think we are in a very good position Doc H’
I think it’s gonna be tougher than most people think. Lots of areas need attention, allocating available resources is gonna be tough, and there are any number of things that might go wrong. It’s certainly not impossible, but actually more complicated than last season when reworking the rotation was the big agenda. This year we need a first baseman, a closer, a set up guy and an outfielder and money isn’y gonna be all that loose.
I’m sure Wren will do a good job though
I think Wren will do a good job, but it ain’t gonna be a cakewalk to get all that right.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
12:07 am

Is AG blocking someone in San Diego?

Yes. Kyle Blanks.

uga-brave

November 18th, 2009
12:07 am

dob,

saw baseball project’s salute to black jack mcdowell on schultz blog. good stuff.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
12:11 am

Steve from OH,

I can’t decide what to think about Minor’s secondary arsenal. I’ve read a few reports that say his slider is his best offering and some that say it’s his worst. They all seem to think his change-up is at least average and his curve is fringe-average. I don’t know. It’s weird to read conflicting scouting reports.

ryan c

November 18th, 2009
12:12 am

dob,
any truth to the braves having interest in derosa?

TnBrian

November 18th, 2009
12:21 am

Wide Right, what did you say? I’m stickin you in the hole you SOB!

Didn’t get Fargo for whatever reason. There’s a dark comedy to it that I just didn’t get. It’s not a bad movie at all, just not one of my favorites. Plains Trains is very funny, like that. The Jerk is so stupid it’s funny. Another one that’s so stupid it’s funny is Major Payne.

Mitchie-san

November 18th, 2009
12:22 am

Thanks P.W. I couldnt remember his name. Well I guess if a trade did go down, (fingers crossed) at least we could keep Freemman or use him in another trade.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
12:28 am

I don’t know. It’s weird to read conflicting scouting reports PW

well not all that weird, scouts disagree about prospects all the time, that’s why each team at draft time has a somewhat different ranking of who they want.
The better scouts turn out to be right more often over the long run, just like in anything else.
. It’s more an art than a science and the fact that it happens for different reasons is one of the things that makes the game of real baseball more complicated and less predictable than fantasy ball.
another thing is that a whole bunch of guys writing such stuff are not professionally trained scouts. Many are kinda self-made. They read a lot and assume they will know it when they see it. Some I’ve talked to are dumber than a box of rocks.
Not everybody can combine visual interpretation with an analytical mind. Left and right both play important parts and many folks are way stronger in one aspect than another.
Good scouts are ‘the most interesting men in the world’ ;)

Gone Viral

November 18th, 2009
12:41 am

“I’m going back on youtube to watch the rest of Shawshank Redemption.”

The most recent episode of Cougar Town had a killer bit along these lines. Skip to the 16 minute mark if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/105835/cougar-town-dont-come-around-here-no-more#s-p1-so-i0

nolie

November 18th, 2009
12:47 am

you might never think it, but on Internet Movie DataBase-everything yo ever wanted to know about almost every movie and tv show ever produced- 454,000+ voters have rated Shawshank as the best movie ever, right ahead of The Godfather. How ’bout dat?

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
12:48 am

nolie,

I also think a scout will see a guy one day when he’s got the good slider working and say “the slider is his best secondary pitch”. Then, another scout sees him another day when he’s got the change-up working and says “the change-up is the best secondary offering”. The Indians are installing pitch F/X in their minor league parks so they can cross-check their scouting reports and see if something was different in that outing.

ccrider

November 18th, 2009
12:50 am

It’s hard for me to say this, as much as I like our propsects, but if we could get Adrian Gonzalez for a package of players consisting of Medlen, Schafer, Bethancourt, Prado and perhaps another pitcher not named Teheren or Delgado. I would have to make it. I don’t think Medlen, Schafer or Prado will ever be All Stars, where as Bethancourt might, but at age 18 that’s a lot of projection. As long as we retain Freeman we are still covered at 1st base in case Gonzalez leaves. Schafer is the other one I would hate to lose, but we still have McLouth and many scouts swear that Heyward could play a very good CF, so who knows.
If, we could get Gonzalez signed long term, then Freeman could be used to fill another need.
It’s awful hard to get a cleanup hitter of Gonzalez’s calibur. One thought I had was what if we offered to redo his contract right away after acquiring him. Instead of paying $10 the next 2 years. we sign him to a 6 year $90 million contract, which would be the same as $5 mill for the next 2 years and $20 million for the next 4 years. It would be a more palatable number per season at $15 million a year. If, Lowe was moved it would make things even sweeter.

Doc Holiday

November 18th, 2009
1:07 am

nolie,
I didnt say its gonna be easy………..as you quoted………I said we are in a very good position. If there is something you better have tons of is SP. Its easier to find bullpen help, or bullpen surprises or bullpen miracles than to get SP miracles or help. Same goes for the offense……….you can always get help from unexpected sources………….Martin………for instance. Matt was not a huge surprise, but you never know with the guy. Same goes for Adam, he came out of nowhere. We can have yunel hit 20 Hr, you never know……..we can have schafer hit 50 doubles………….or martin hit 50 doubles………….but can you get a nobody to win 15 games? that is very improbable. I like better our chances to find 1 or 2 bats and 1 or 2 arms for the pen………..the chance the rest of the teams have to get 2 quality starters………….only the yankees, mets and redsox can do that………the rest only with lots of luck……..like we did last year.

Duke

November 18th, 2009
1:21 am

Clay: how do you want to handle this?
Max: we kill them all.
Quality line

Duke

November 18th, 2009
1:22 am

Duke

November 18th, 2009
1:23 am

Duke

November 18th, 2009
1:26 am

Clay: how do we handle this?
Jax: we kill them all.
Quality line

AZBravoFan

November 18th, 2009
1:34 am

Someone earlier mentioned the D’backs’ Chris Young. Noooooo way! While he’s speedy and has some pop, that guy is a strikeout machine. I think Braves fans would find him incredibly frustrating. We don’t need another Francoeur.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
2:18 am

Jason, thanks for answering that question about protected draft picks, etc….

So the Braves are one of a dozen teams interested in DeRo. We knew that was coming, right? I mean, as we said a couple weeks ago, he’d be a good fit for Braves because he can play first base, the OF corners, spell Chipper at third, etc.

But the fact that 11 other teams (according to his agent) are interested tells you he’ll probably end up getting a three-year deal, or at least two and an option. And he’s coming off a three-year, $13 mill deal. So if it’s something in a similar range, I’m doubting Braves could go there. But we’ll see where the market goes with that one.

Only surprising thing would have been if they had NO interest in DeRo, considering how much he was liked here and how well he could fit their needs.

And for what it’s worth, keep in mind that DeRo’s permanent residence, his offseason home, is up in the northernmost Atlanta suburbs.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
2:23 am

The Jayhawks played like garbage tonight, at least offensively. Most ragged game I’ve seen ‘em play in a couple of years. But they won, and they can use that as a reminder/wakeup call, whatever you want to call it. I really don’t think they can play any worse than they did tonight.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
2:26 am

Alright, time to watch me some SOA.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

November 18th, 2009
2:58 am

When it comes to the subject of Jair Jurrjens, luck just doesn’t apply. However, intelligence and smarts are very much part of his repertoire. The Braves scouts were correct when they advised our front office to pull the trigger, and then we stole the Tigers blind again just like before with John Smoltz.

What JJ does on the mound can’t be summed up with WHIP, FIP, WPA or any other other fancy stat because Jurrjens is a pitchers pitcher. He has a fundamental grasp of how to get hitters out, throws strikes, gets ahead of the batter and pitches to contact. Jurrjens is quick to the plate with an incredibly deceptive arm action and the ability to throw any of his three pitches at any time in the count. But what is so unusual about JJ is this, his change up is actually faster than his slurve and hitters have yet to adjust accordingly. He changes speeds, keeps the ball on the corners and keeps the ball in the park. I could have just said the Jurrjens is Maddux like in his demeanor and it would have explained a lot because JJ pitches like he’s 33 instead 23.

But there was one other factor which helped JJ this year, and it was the addition of Javier Vazquez who mentored Jurrjens on some of the finer points of pitching and the results showed up on the mound. JJ nailed down twenty-five quality starts and actually had an equally impressive twenty-seven starts where he gave up two earned runs or less. That’s not luck, it’s called great pitching.

As for those stat geeks who would dismiss the “Quality start” as an accurate barometer of a pitchers performance, talk to Bill James. When it comes to the subject of pitching to contact, Greg Maddux had this zen like comment: my idea of the perfect game is 27 pitches.

………..And Jurrjens lights out performance down the stretch in his last ten starts was money. He posted a stellar ERA of 1.76 and all ten trips to the bump were “Quality Starts”. That said, Jurrjens is untouchable in the same mold as Tommy Hanson when it comes to unfounded trade rumors. The Curaçao kid is money and he’s only going to get better, so enjoy Braves fans!

MZ

November 18th, 2009
3:41 am

I don’t know whether to be mad at myself or completely OK with the fact that I’m just now getting into “Dexter” … on the one hand, the show’s brilliant and I hate that I missed out on the early seasons when they were current, but on the other, I can sit back and watch “Dexter” marathons til my heart’s content

Moby Grape

November 18th, 2009
4:08 am

What JJ does on the mound can’t be summed up with WHIP, FIP, WPA or any other other fancy stat because Jurrjens is a pitchers pitcher. He has a fundamental grasp of how to get hitters out, throws strikes, gets ahead of the batter and pitches to contact. Jurrjens is quick to the plate with an incredibly deceptive arm action and the ability to throw any of his three pitches at any time in the count. But what is so unusual about JJ is this, his change up is actually faster than his slurve and hitters have yet to adjust accordingly Coach

Who’d you plagiarize all that from dude? It isn’t your language. You really should cite your source instead of just stealing it and hoping we will believe it originated with you. Like we’re really that stupid.

Moby Grape

November 18th, 2009
4:11 am

on the one hand, the show’s brilliant and I hate that I missed out on the early seasons when they were current, but on the other, I can sit back and watch “Dexter” marathons til my heart’s content

a lot of fans from the beginning are kinda unhappy with this tear’s show. The marriage to needy Rita is wearing thin on some folks. Me, I’m hoping it gets extremely dark and he kills off the whole fam.

Moby Grape

November 18th, 2009
4:12 am

this year’s show

Mitchie-san

November 18th, 2009
4:14 am

Geez Moby….

Lew

November 18th, 2009
6:02 am

Who is that logical, well-informed poster masquerading as Coach?

Macon Braves (RIP)

November 18th, 2009
8:23 am

DOB–I’m gonna guess it was well worth staying up til 3:00 or so in the morning to watch Sons Of Anarchy last night. I said it last night and I’ll say it again…thanks for turning me on to it, I hadn’t even heard of it until you dropped it on here and now it is one of my favorite shows EVER!!

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
8:32 am

Scouts say Minor’s best pitch is his changeup. One of the better non fastball pitches in the draft.

Wayne in Utah

November 18th, 2009
8:35 am

The calm before the storm……

Wayne in Utah

November 18th, 2009
8:36 am

Rob

Have you started therapy yet?

Steve from OH

November 18th, 2009
8:38 am

nolie–Jason Grey went to the MLB scouting Bureau’s scout development program. I don’t know if that’s good or not, but he probably knows a little bit, I’d think. Just fyi.

dpelfrey

November 18th, 2009
8:43 am

Mike Minor…lefty…low-90’s fastball…4 quality pitches…what more needs to be said, seriously. That’s the pitching equivalent of a 5-tool player.

Anybody check out The Prisoner on AMC yet? I just watched the first 2-hr episode from Monday and I’m confused as hell, but intrigued nonetheless.

18 Wheels of Love

November 18th, 2009
8:47 am

Lowe for Joba

reagan

November 18th, 2009
9:01 am

On scouting…………whenever someone applies the phrase “doesn’t have that high a ceiling”…..I think they’re really saying….”he cant bring it 98mph”. Well…….how hard did Maddox throw?

GboroBravo

November 18th, 2009
9:07 am

DOB listen to this line up that is going to be touring: George Strait, Reba, and LeAnne Wolmack…..its a bit pricey but a must see.

ChipChop

November 18th, 2009
9:15 am

Let me get this straight. The Braves WON’T work with Paul Kinzer & Arn Tellem. That eliminates some players they may potentially be interested in as free agents or in trades. They DON’T work well with Scott Boras. Who does? But then again, that eliminates players they would be interested in as free agents or in trades. They couldn’t pull off the Jake Peavy deal with San Diego. It’s a good thing they didn’t but Kenny Williams could. Then there is the conversation about “under team’s control” in any proposed deal. The Braves have so many limitations including budget that Frank Wren has to play David Copperfield to get back into the playoffs.

Wayne in Utah

November 18th, 2009
9:15 am

18 Wheels

Do you think the Yankees are ready to give up on Joba? I kinda doubt it. To be honest, I think his best slot is as Mo’s setup man right now.

Do you see Gonzo as being a target of the Yankees to be their setup man?

Wayne in Utah

November 18th, 2009
9:18 am

ChipChop

After what the Wasserman Group (I think I have that correct) pulled on FW last winter, do you blame him?

I think Frank has a better relationship w/ Scott Boras than JS did. Probably hold over bad feelings for Boras handling of Maddux back many years ago.

beekay

November 18th, 2009
9:22 am

Minor’s info #4 prospect

Drafted: Vanderbilt, 2009 (1st round). Signed by: Brian Bridges.
Background: Drafted in the 13th round out of high school, Minor was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year in 2007 and Baseball America’s Summer Player of the Year in 2008. After a 6-6, 3.90 junior season, Minor signed for $2.42 million, a club record and the most ever for a No. 7 overall pick.

Strengths: Minor’s repertoire consists of four pitches, with his plus changeup rating as his best offering. His fastball has excellent movement and sits in the upper 80s, and he is capable of increasing and reducing the velocity of the pitch to keep hitters off balance. Both his command and control are outstanding, and he didn’t walk a batter in 14 innings after signing. His pickoff move is also a significant weapon.

Weaknesses: Minor still is trying to determine which breaking ball to work with. He threw an above-average slider with good depth during his first two years at Vanderbilt, but he had trouble snapping the pitch and locating it after adding a curveball last spring. He’s not overpowering and his repertoire is similar to that of former Vanderbilt ace Jeremy Sowers, who hasn’t been able to finesse his way past big league hitters.

The Future: After pitching in the Arizona Fall League, Minor could open his first full season in Double-A. His greatest attribute is his overall pitching savvy, which should make him at least a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues.

2008 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG
Rome (Lo A) 0 1 0.64 4 4 0 0 14 10 0 0 17 .208

DAP

November 18th, 2009
9:23 am

ChipChop They DON’T work well with Scott Boras. Who does?

youre thinking of the old guy. wren has a good working relationship with boras.

18 Wheels of Love

November 18th, 2009
9:29 am

Wayne it’s not like they would be giving up on him, they would be getting Lowe in return. It’s just a suggestion…and set-up guys are a dime a dozen. But Joba could come here and be the closer.

McFann Ô

November 18th, 2009
9:35 am

jeffrey d Another reason I avoid online college football talk.

UGA is goning to be smashs bugs and unloading a whooping cans on nerds to makes are seasons.

Whoa…what’s that supposed to mean, anyway?

18 Wheels of Love

November 18th, 2009
9:42 am

Lowe for Joba

Derosa to 1B

Uggla to 2B

Prado to LF

18 Wheels of Love

November 18th, 2009
9:48 am

ChipChop. Wren made the deal with SD, it was Peavy who wouldn’t waive his no trade clause. But yeah, thank goodness he did.

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

November 18th, 2009
9:53 am

McFann,
I’m not sure what that means, but I hope the dawgs indeed open up “whooping cans on nerds” (GT) as opposed to a carton of “tootsie frootsie ice cream”!

Wayne in Utah

November 18th, 2009
9:55 am

18 Wheels

Prado: Average defender at second, below average in left.

Uggla: Below average at second. ??? in left or at first.

DeRosa: Average at best in left field. Inexperienced at first, probably below average.

Why not keep Prado at second, get DeRosa for left field, and get a first baseman who can actually play the position. A good or better first baseman saves a lot of throwing errors for his SS and third baseman.

Uggla is a huge unknown at any position other than second. He is bad there.

After our adventures with Anderson last year in left field, I prefer to add folks who make us better defensively, if possible.

Your proposal puts 3 people in positions that make those spots worse to much worse than they were last season.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
9:56 am

18 wheelsLowe for Joba

Derosa to 1B

Uggla to 2B

Prado to LF

worst offseason ever. if we were able to unload lowe’s contract like that, why would we then go get derosa and uggla? no way.

fifthbusiness

November 18th, 2009
10:08 am

Is Eimem with Otis Nixon in that picture?

Lew

November 18th, 2009
10:14 am

First of all, Wren never said he wouldn’t deal with Furcal’s people again-John Schuerholz did. As for Boras-well, Lowe is a Boras client and apparently they dealt with him well enough to sign him last winter-even if they did pay more than most of y’all think was realistic..

dpelfrey

November 18th, 2009
10:14 am

Prado’s a very good defensive second baseman. He’s not Robby Alomar or anything, but he’s consistent. I still think KJ turns a better double play though

Dawg

November 18th, 2009
10:15 am

DeRosa is a great complimentary player. But we need a Clean Up hitter. We have complimentary players to put around the big hitter.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
10:15 am

With a little seasoning, MINOR might become good trade-bait.

brent a.

November 18th, 2009
10:17 am

Part of the reason for three-team trades in the NBA is the need to “match” contracts when working out a deal.

In MLB, you can trade a $20 million player for a $500k prospect, straight up.

In the NBA, you can’t do that. Contracts traded (in total) have to fall within 10-15% (I forget the exact number) of each other, which is why “Team A” is often scrambling to bring in another trade partner (”Team C”) who may have a piece (at a the necessary price) that is more palatable to “Team B”, than what Team A has to offer.

18 Wheels of Love

November 18th, 2009
10:17 am

I agree it’s not the best solution…but we all need to recognize that we are not going to be going after the top guys and that we are going to be plugging holes with the Derosa’s and Uggla’s of the world. I’m trying to think middle of the road solutions on some names that have been tossed around. It’s much more fun to talk about Holiday or Bay in LF and Derick Lee at 1B but those ain’t happnin. Know whut uh mean Vern?

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
10:23 am

They DON’T work well with Scott Boras — ChipChop

You’re living in the past, ChipChop. Wren gets along as well or better with Boras than your average GM does. Signed two of his guys last winter, Lowe and G. Anderson, and signed both of them quickly once negotiations began.

Lew

November 18th, 2009
10:24 am

Yeah, KJ turns the DP all right-IF it isn’t hit to his right.

Rock On......

November 18th, 2009
10:25 am

“I don’t think Medlen, Schafer or Prado will ever be All Stars”-CCRider

Well maybe not but I think Prado has a solid shot at all-star status. Medlen I am not sold on so I will give you that and I feel certain he won’t be a Brave much longer and will be in some trade. Schafer I will withhold opinion until he actually plays a season and is injury free so to speak.

Prado, lest we forget, has never been the incumbent at any position and 2010 will be his initial season starting. Last year it would not have been hard to project him at 20 homers and close to 30 doubles had he played the whole season all the while batting around .300 with an OBP of over.400. Not to mention of course his above average defense with range that gets to many balls that his predecessor would just look at. IMO he has the looks of a future all-star and it is very doubtful he will be part of any Braves’ trade plans for 2010 or before arb time. Losing a Prado and inserting say an Uggla would be a big step in the wrong direction. 2nd base is one spot the Braves’ feel real secure about although it bears watching to see if Prado can repeat or improve on his 2009 numbers.

Rock On......

November 18th, 2009
10:27 am

McFann…have you ever seen the tv cameras pan the crowd at a UGA home game. That should sufficiently answer your question.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
10:32 am

im trying to think of a way we could get cincinnati the trade jonny gomes to us, and i think the way to entice them is to offer to take one of thier contract, since they are trying to cut back payroll. the only guy they want to dump that we might be able to use is brandon phillips. ive been against trading for him before, because even though i like phillips, i think prado is better, and i dont see a reason to move him.but if we could get gomes in left, put phillips at 2nd and prado at first, we have solved several issues. we will be faster, better defensively, more balanced offensively, and both gomes and phillips could hit alot of homers. or, they could be just alright.

so would a trade of some minor league players for gomes and phillips make the braves a better team? what do you think?

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
10:39 am

I would like the Braves to acqquire Jake Fox from the Cubs

Lew

November 18th, 2009
10:41 am

Yeah-You should also see when the camera pans over a Tech crowd. Oh wait. They don’t have crowds.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
10:44 am

rob from SC, fox looks like he will be pretty good. what will it take from the cubs for him? why would they consider trading him in the first place?

lexbrave

November 18th, 2009
10:50 am

“On the pitching side, Mozeliak (St. Louis) has stayed in touch with the agent for John Smoltz, but Strauss says there are other options St. Louis will pursue first.”

funny this is what the Braves said about Smoltz before he got his feelings hurt and started badmouthing the braves.

wonder if he’ll do the same to st. louis.

McFann Ô

November 18th, 2009
10:59 am

Frand R. I’m not sure what that means, but I hope the dawgs indeed open up “whooping cans on nerds” (GT)

I don’t.

as opposed to a carton of “tootsie frootsie ice cream”!

Haha…I had almost forgotten about that…

Rock On… have you ever seen the tv cameras pan the crowd at a UGA home game. That should sufficiently answer your question.

Heh heh heh heh…

Richard Weiss

November 18th, 2009
11:02 am

About Willingham: Maybe I’m missing something, but since when is “24″ homers the mark of a “power bat” for our outfield?

I thought a real power bat was someone with more than 25-30 homers per season.

Is there not someone out there hitting 35 homers a year or more?

McFann Ô

November 18th, 2009
11:03 am

That should be “Frank, by the way…

rico43

November 18th, 2009
11:06 am

DOB, what think you of new REM CD set? I feel I’ve rediscovered the band and can’t stop playing it.

rico43

November 18th, 2009
11:08 am

Almost forgot my main reason for posting. Here are all of Braves minor league free agents:

Atlanta Braves (12)
RHP: Bobby Brownlie (AA), Jerome Gamble (AA), Moises Hernandez+ (Hi A), Lance Niekro (R)
LHP: Mariano Gomez (AAA), Juan Perez (AAA)
C: Jose Camarena (AA), Alvin Colina (AAA)
1B: Ernesto Mejia+ (AA)
2B: Chris Burke (AAA), Antonio Perez (AA)
3B: Kody Kirkland (AA)

+ means the player spent more than half the season on the DL

…plus these players who declined option to the minors:

RHP Jorge Campillo, RHP Buddy Carlyle (signed with Nippon Ham Fighters), RHP Vladimir Nunez,

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
11:10 am

DAP

fox is listed as a 1B/3B and can be used as a LF or catcher. THe Cubs are set at 3B with Ramirez, and 1B with Derrek Lee. LF is Ssoriano’s because that is an unmoveable contract. The Cubs need pitching because Ted Lilly will begin the season on the DL and might miss most of the first half.

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
11:11 am

Luis Valdez is dealing in Winter Ball. I would rather see him make the team than Acosta

DAP

November 18th, 2009
11:12 am

richard weissAbout Willingham: Maybe I’m missing something, but since when is “24″ homers the mark of a “power bat” for our outfield?

if you dont think of power as simply homerun totals, but instead total bases, or slugging %, youll do better evaluating what the braves really need. willingham slugged almost .500 last season, which is good. the braves as a team barely slugged over .400, which is not good.

there are plenty of guys who hit more homers than willingham did last year, but overall did not display more power. dan uggla hit 31 homers to willingham’s 24, but got out- slugged by almost 40 points.

p.s. there are only 13 players on 30 teams who hit 35 or more homers. so, thats pretty rare. if you dont buy buy one or grow one yourself, its hard to get a player who does that.

ncscoots

November 18th, 2009
11:15 am

Last year it would not have been hard to project him at 20 homers and close to 30 doubles had he played the whole season all the while batting around .300 with an OBP of over.400. Not to mention of course his above average defense with range that gets to many balls that his predecessor would just look at.

Huh? So, in another 100 PAs (the man had 500, as it was), he would have hit 9 more HR, raised his OBP 40 points? And suddenly would have played “above average” defense that he didn’t display in the 128 games that he did play(-1.4 UZR and -3.6 UZR/150 for 2B, RangeRunsAboveAverage of -1.8)?

If you ever wonder why some folks (OK, me) get tired of hearing revisionist bleep about Martin Prado, here’s the poster child for it. It doesn’t seem to be enough to say he’s a fine, solid player; always gotta be some totally nonsensical hype about the guy thrown in.

Bobby Hill

November 18th, 2009
11:16 am

Dumping Lowe, resigning Laroche and adding a guy like Swisher or Willingham may get the Braves to the playoffs. Especially if the teams plays the way they did the second half of this past year. But getting past the Phillies, Cardinals, or Dodger in the playoffs is entirely a different matter.

It doesn’t matter how good the fouth or fifth starter is in the playoffs becasue they won’t see any playing time. To get to the World Series, and win it, the Braves will need to have an offense that compares favorably with the others playoff teams.

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
11:19 am

I don’t have any hope for trading for an impact bat. The reason I feel this way is because if we ask a team for a star player, they should ask for Hanson or Heyward. And rightfully so the Braves will say no. As good as Freeman, Schafer and Medlen are, they are not in the league of Hanson and Heyward. Therefore are options are limited to less talented players.

I think our best option is Jermaine Dye.

Other players who shouln not cost much are:
Paul Konerko
Jake Fox
Jonny Gomes
Conor Jackson
Franklin Gurierrez

Marcus Thames is a FA.

trueform

November 18th, 2009
11:20 am

never seen so much passion for the Braves, great blog! take a look at this for more insight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8GuH9oDHrU

DAP

November 18th, 2009
11:28 am

rob from SC

derek lee will be a free agent, so they may want to hang onto fox for that, or maybe they would want free in the trade. definitely worth looking into though.

I think our best option is Jermaine Dye.

why do you think he is a better option than mike cameron?

jim

November 18th, 2009
11:31 am

Just read Coach’s proposed trade of Vasquez to the Phillies for Drabek and Taylor. Aside from the problem of trading within the division that both teams would have, aren’t these the very players the Phils refused to give up for Halliday?

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
11:31 am

Phils are reported to be the favorite for Derosa http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10357594

RC

November 18th, 2009
11:37 am

Derrek Lowe for Adam Dunn? Nationals are supposedly looking for a “veteran ace” to mentor their young starting pitchers. I doubt they’d want to give up Dunn, but they are definitely a team to consider.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
11:38 am

Rico43: I’m the same way about the new REM live. I love it. Surprised me how much they rock and how many of the lyrics you can hear clearly that were a little difficult to discern until now.

Speaking of rocking, Dan Auerbach was awesome last night at Variety Playhouse. I actually liked it more than his show with Black Keys a couple years ago at same venue — and that was a really good show, too. It’s funny, with his primary band (Black Keys), it’s two guys on stage, just the drummer and Auerbach on guitar. But with his “solo” project, Auerbach is backed by a five-person band, including two drummers who do some primal pounding throughout.

It’s a drivin’, blues-based hard-rock performance by a guy whose band and sound is timeless — would have fit in 1970’s as well as it works in 2009.

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
11:38 am

Rc on espn they are talking about Lackey in a Nats uni I do not see that happening. Say your Lowe for Dunn deals plays out so you are saying stick him at first and don’t resign Adam?

bravesfan

November 18th, 2009
11:40 am

Could the braves work a deal with Texas for Josh Hamilton?

Preacher Roe

November 18th, 2009
11:40 am

On scouting…………whenever someone applies the phrase “doesn’t have that high a ceiling”…..I think they’re really saying….”he cant bring it 98mph”. Well…….how hard did Maddox throw? (reagan)

Maddox was the Secretary of Defense, and Mannix was one heckuva detective. Neither brought it 98 miles an hour.

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
11:42 am

I doon’t think the Cubs view Fox as their long term answer at 1B. He has fielding issues, but we need a bat bad enoough

Lew

November 18th, 2009
11:42 am

scoots-Point well taken, however…….Will say this about DAP’s figures re: Prado. He claimed he’d hit “close to 30 doubles” with that extra 100 PA.n Since he hit 38 doubles in 09, I’m willing to go out on a limb and clkaim he’d hit over 40 with those extra 100 PA. I’ll take 40 doubles and 12 HR from my second baseman making ML minimum any day.

Rob (from SC)

November 18th, 2009
11:43 am

bravesfan

November 18th, 2009
11:40 am
Could the braves work a deal with Texas for Josh Hamilton?

I have to question how much the drug abuse hurt Hamilton’s body. Can’t seem to stay healthy

RC

November 18th, 2009
11:44 am

bravofan,

I’d say the Braves getting Dunn would give them flexibility to pursue either another outfielder or a 1b, depending on what the best value available is. Dunn is going to be a terrible defender at either position (although better than Loaf in LF probably).

DAP

November 18th, 2009
11:44 am

lew Will say this about DAP’s figures re: Prado. He claimed he’d hit “close to 30 doubles” with that extra 100 PA.

that wasnt me.

I’ll take 40 doubles and 12 HR from my second baseman making ML minimum any day.

definitely, and thats likely what he will get from this guy. prado is a heck of a hitter.

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
11:45 am

bravesfan: I do not see the Rangers being willing to part with a guy like Hamilton he is a guy you can build a franchise around.

Preacher Roe

November 18th, 2009
11:45 am

Brett Favre succumbed to the delights of Buckhead, but you think Josh Hamilton won’t?

Curt

November 18th, 2009
11:45 am

DB. SOA was awesome last night. To me, one of the best shows on TV.

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
11:47 am

Rc: I would love to get Dunn and get rid of D lowes salary he has been a loaf on the mound

bravesfan

November 18th, 2009
11:47 am

We are not looking for a franchise guy we are looking for a homerun hitter.We already have our franchise guy(3rd base)and he cant stay healthy either.

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
11:49 am

you obviously did not comprehend my post I said the Rangers would not be willing to part with Hamilton because he is a franchise guy.

RC

November 18th, 2009
11:50 am

DOB, NY Post is reporting that Bo Sox asked the Braves for medical records on Soriano and Gonzalez. Is that the type of thing that someone on the Braves side would be willing to confirm, or is it such a minor and common practice that we likely shouldn’t read anything into it?

Lew

November 18th, 2009
11:53 am

DAP-Sorry about that. This pagination still plays havoc with the flow, but at least the blog no longer self destructs at 1000 posts.

RC

November 18th, 2009
11:53 am

bravofan,

I actually think DLowe was good last year, although not as good as we would have liked. He did still win 15 games, which is pretty impressive no matter how he got there. However, with the current roster construction, a hitter like Dunn would have a lot more value to this team than Lowe would, so if the Nationals would go for it (and I’m not sure they would) it would make a lot of sense from the Braves side.

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
11:54 am

True he was not bad we just had too high expectations of him

Lew

November 18th, 2009
11:55 am

bravesfan-I wouldn’t call Chipper our franchise player anymore. That is probably McCann at the moment and may turn out to be either Jurrjens or Hanson.

RC

November 18th, 2009
11:57 am

DLowe for Dunn would save the Braves $3 million in 2010, and $30 million over 2011-2012. It’d also provide them a one-year stopgap to be used at either 1b or OF, while allowing extra time for Freeman/Heyward to mature.

Rock On......

November 18th, 2009
12:05 pm

ncscoots…if you don’t think Prado has above average defense and can get to balls KJ couldn’t then dude I don’t know what to tell you. I mean you whip out the old UZR stat like it is the tell all for 2nd basemen. IMO Prado has a legit shot at 20 hrs, .300 BA, 30+ doubles, and hey maybe even a + UZR.

Oh yeah, and nonsensical hype? Seriously man, the guy was a MAJOR reason the Braves were even in the hunt for almost the last 3 months. Give me a little credit for the year plus I have been talking about the guy. Prado was an upgrade at 2nd in both defense and offense of which both were above average. Offense, well above average.

bravofan

November 18th, 2009
12:05 pm

Why is Jo-Jo on the Braves roster I thought he was with the Cards?

dpelfrey

November 18th, 2009
12:06 pm

Lew @ 10:24 am: Yeah, KJ turns the DP all right-IF it isn’t hit to his right.

I was talking about the turn, not actually fielding the grounder. I still think KJ’s going to be a good player for someone. He kind of reminds of DeRosa, someone who didn’t make the most of his opportunity with the Braves but flourished elsewhere.

Joebrave

November 18th, 2009
12:10 pm

I had a dream that Wren wrangled R.Braun,A.Escobar,and a pitcher from the Brewers for D.Lowe,Yunel,Schafer,and Hyde

Rock On......

November 18th, 2009
12:10 pm

Are we still on that Dunn guy? one question. If he did come to Atlanta where would you play him? A serious World Series contender in Atlanta does not have Dunn at 1st.

O.J.

November 18th, 2009
12:11 pm

bravofan, what are you talking about?? Jo-Jo is not with the Cardinals.

CB

November 18th, 2009
12:12 pm

Right now I would do a Lowe for Dunn trade for simple reason of salary relief-he can’t be worse than Loaf in left field,can he? I think this would still allow you to resign LaRoche and you would have a solid offense.

O.J.

November 18th, 2009
12:12 pm

JoeBrave, that is a dream alright.

Jeff R

November 18th, 2009
12:12 pm

Willingham doesn’t do it for me. Bad back + bad D = Trouble.

In terms of his health, Willingham reminds me a bit of Just the Dollars Drew. Yes, he was healthy during his one season with the Braves. Yes, he produced solid numbers (it was his season prior to free agency). But he never really impressed me before or since.

Why bring on Willingham, who may spend a good deal of time on the DL or chasing fly balls he’s misjudged?

And there’s got to be better options than giving up the young talent that Washington will want for Willingham.

Dollar-wise, Wren really needs to move Lowe or Vazquez (sadly) or Kawakami (though his savings aren’t nearly as substantial). I think Wren tries to squeeze out a power bat by trading one of the three (Kawakami would likely have to be packaged).

In fact, I’d rather Wren take a flyer on a power bat if the price is too high. I’d rather see him move Lowe and his contract for a couple of solid high minors prospects.

No rule that says Wren has to make a deal over the winter. Might have other options in the spring.

Lew

November 18th, 2009
12:12 pm

dpelfrey-Could be, but I would non-tender him. He just isn’t going to be worth almost $4 million to be a utility infielder/pinch hitter. Hopefully, he will have a productive career. Wish it could have been in Atlanta, but looks unlikely.

Lew

November 18th, 2009
12:15 pm

Dadgum-Maybe 125 HR, but 20? I’m not holding my breath on that. But, like I said, for ML minimum, I’ll take 40 2B and 12 HR from him and smile frequently. His D is definitely better than Kelly’s. It’s more a natural position for Prado, IMO.

Lew

November 18th, 2009
12:16 pm

Excuse me-meant 25 HR (actually I meant 20), certainly NOT 125-at least not with the steroid testing.

glove51

November 18th, 2009
12:16 pm

DOB: have you heard about Caitlin Cary (of Whiskeytown “fame”) forming a new band? It is called The Small Ponds, and they are looking to put out a new record in 2010. You can here some song samples at the link.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thesmallponds

P-Town Brave

November 18th, 2009
12:18 pm

Rob-

True about Hammy, but couldn’t the same thing have been said about Otis Nixon?

CB

November 18th, 2009
12:19 pm

Lew,I was thinking you may have forgotten your meds today. :-)

Jeff R

November 18th, 2009
12:19 pm

Rock On…… I think you’re right about Prado. I think he’s very likely a 15-20 dingers guy. 60s to low 70s potential in RBIs. He’s a solid defensive second baseman and has the X factor: plays tough and exhibits a desire to win. Ditto Hanson and Medlen, who I think is being somewhat underrated on this blog.

flange 1

November 18th, 2009
12:22 pm

I think this is going to be a tough winter for FW.

He has to trade a pitcher for either a closer, a 1B, a LF or prospects.

He also has to fill the other holes.

It will be easier to trade a pitcher after Lackey signs.

IF FW were to sign anyone (meaning a closer, LF or 1B)before he trades the pitcher, isn’t he limiting the folks he can trade with?

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:25 pm

Dayn Perry says the Braves should trade for Adrian Gonzalez, and that a package built around Freeman and/or Schafer should do it.

Oh, well if Dayn Perry says we should do it then by all means…

Lew

November 18th, 2009
12:26 pm

flange-Not really. Wren already has $10 mil off of the books letting Gonzo and Soriano ride into the sunset. I’ve always figured he’d get a closer on the FA market-or re-sign one of the ones we had.

I think the offensive help is contingent on ditching a pitcher.

Lew

November 18th, 2009
12:30 pm

Roman Gal-Yesterday, I heard on XM Home Plate that the Red Sox were interested in A. Gonzalez and that the Padres had started the request out with Ellsbury and Bucholz. I’m seriously doubting that Schafer (with his half year of futility) and Freeman (really untried above AA) will fit the bill without several more pieces included. As with Peavy, until the season progresses and they are forced to dump AG, they will continue to highball their asking price. Short of a piece like Hanson or Heyward, the Braves won’t even be in the running.

MattyRoss

November 18th, 2009
12:30 pm

Also worth noting that, however tough this winter looks, that shopping list was a lot more daunting last year. Given his performance that offseason, I’m of the mind to trust ol’ Wrenny and see what he comes up with rather than keep speculating. Not that it isn’t fun, I just am not sure how good we’ll be at it. Not many saw the Vazquez trade coming, let alone his great year.

dpelfrey

November 18th, 2009
12:31 pm

Jeff R @ 12:19: Ditto Hanson and Medlen, who I think is being somewhat underrated on this blog.

I couldn’t agree more about Medlen. He took a few bumps last year, but he’s got the stuff to be a very good pitcher. That changeup is Hoffman-like, a true strikeout pitch. He didn’t throw it much during his early struggles and he really took off when he started trusting his stuff and working in the changeup. I still think he’s going to be a quality mid-rotation guy someday. Of course, I thought the same about Charlie Morton last year and look where that ended up. Shows how much I know.

flange 1

November 18th, 2009
12:33 pm

Lew,

If FW is going to trade a pitcher for a hitter it might be a bit easier, he can solve the BP and closer problems whenever he chooses.

But he could have a problem by waiting on a trade. FA that were interesting could sign with another team while FW is waiting for the trade market to open up.

I would hate to end up filling both 1B and LF at the same time we signed GA last year, with the dregs as opposed to the Braves primary choices.

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:34 pm

But FW wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without looking over his shoulder. McFann

You’ve got quite a hit list now, don’t ya?

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:34 pm

DOB looks like you really did master PhotoShop, cropping Eminem into that photo with Nixon. Oh…wait. mattyross

Now wait just one second!

Eminem

November 18th, 2009
12:37 pm

Will the real Ear Shady please stand up?

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:38 pm

Short of a piece like Hanson or Heyward, the Braves won’t even be in the running. Lew

I agree. Freeman is nice and all, but they have a nice 1B prospect of their own so they probably wouldn’t care too much about Freeman.

It would take more than the Braves should be willing to give more than likely.

…not that I wouldn’t love to have AG, because I would. But it’s all about cost/reward.

Marc in FL

November 18th, 2009
12:38 pm

I can only assume you guys watch the division games, the occasional central games, and tune out when the Braves head out to the West Coast. If Wren is anything like JS I wouldn’t expect any blockbuster deals in our own division. I was pretty shocked the trade with the Mets happened, but you can bet it was only because no other team would take him.

If we trade it won’t be fore Dunn, or Uggla, or any other big names in our division, cause the other teams (aside from the Nats) don’t like trading within the division either.

I’d like to send Javy V. to the Cubs for Derek Lee straight up. Lee is owed about 2 more mil a year, but simply letting Loaf walk compensates for that. We’d still have money to get a good arm for the pen and another OF bat from the free market. In addition to that, Freeman would be ready once Lee’s contract is up and that frees up money later on to lock up some of our younger talent.

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:40 pm

Will the real Ear Shady please stand up?

Hey Eminem, how’s Sacha Baron Cohen doing these days? Y’all still really close?

Jeff R

November 18th, 2009
12:43 pm

dpelfrey… I would agree with you about Medlen. He could wind up being a solid mid rotation guy. But I’m thinking more and more that he might just have the right stuff to setup or close. The kid’s a fighter, and seems to like being given the ball.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
12:43 pm

Marc in FL, good idea, but there has been no hint that the cubs will listen on lee, plus he has a no trade clause. no need to spend much time thinking about that one.

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:47 pm

in saying that everybody looks poorer next to Heyward ncscoots

So true. That’s sad, though. Freeman is to Heyward like McCann was to Francoeur…wait! That’s probably a bad example.

Chris

November 18th, 2009
12:50 pm

lew- i doubt the red sox would trade ellsbury and bucholz for gonzalez. its an initial offer that the padres are making. later in the negotations, the offer will go down a bit. so freeman, schafer, medlen and another top prospect like teheran or delgado could actually be competitive in my opinion (if the braves would decide to go that way)

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
12:52 pm

UGA is goning to be smashs bugs and unloading a whooping cans on nerds to makes are seasons.

Somebody better warn the bugs and nerds!

Jeff R

November 18th, 2009
12:56 pm

Chris… “freeman, schafer, medlen and another top prospect like teheran or delgado”

That’s giving up a lot, even for Gonzalez. Medlen may well be a significant contributor in the bullpen this season. Freeman is close to filling a need at first for five, six seasons. Teheran is a top rated pitching prospect (so was Feliz, who’ll make an impact with the Rangers instead). Schafer, well, he might just be on the bubble. Not sure if he’ll be the CF that the Braves and fans projected, so I can see Wren moving him, with McLouth in the center and if there are good opportunities.

Joebrave

November 18th, 2009
12:58 pm

Jordan Schafer is an ELF

P-Town Brave

November 18th, 2009
1:00 pm

Chris

November 18th, 2009
1:01 pm

Jeff R- heck yea that is alot. but that is what it’s going to tak to get gonzalez or even cabrera from the tigers. not saying the braves should do this kind of trade,just stating that they could put together a deal as good as any other team

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
1:02 pm

Roman Gal You’ve got quite a hit list now, don’t ya?

Haha, that I do…course, FW doesn’t ever have to be on it…

Freeman is to Heyward like McCann was to Francoeur…wait! That’s probably a bad example.

Yeah…but does it mean Heyward’s gonna be mediocre and Freeman’s gonna be a star??

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
1:03 pm

Jordan Schafer is an ELF

Joebrave, my love, how are you? Back to torment me some more, eh?

Joebrave

November 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

RG, you know I love ya babe!

Marc in FL

November 18th, 2009
1:06 pm

Just thinking out loud for conversation purposes:

Lance Berkman – 14.5mil in 2010 + 15mil option for 2011 (2mil buyout)
Derek Lee- 13mil in 2010
Prince Fielder – 10.50mil in 2010, Arb 3 in 2011
Adrian Gonzalez – 4.75mil in 2010, 5.50mil in 2011
Paul Konerko – 10mil in 2010
Carlos Pena – 10.125mil in 2010

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
1:07 pm

Yeah…but does it mean Heyward’s gonna be mediocre and Freeman’s gonna be a star?? McFann

Let’s just hope they’re both stars and that they both surprise everyone with how great they are.

FW doesn’t ever have to be on it…

You probably wouldn’t be the only person who has him on their hit list if he traded McCann…

Redstick19

November 18th, 2009
1:09 pm

Can we please stop with the Dunn and the Willingham talks? Both of them are absolute butchers in the field. No thank you, and surely Wren is smarter than that. Next rumor, please.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
1:15 pm

ChipChop (November 18, 2009 9:15 AM EST) Let me get this straight. The Braves WON’T work with Paul Kinzer & Arn Tellem. That eliminates some players they may potentially be interested in as free agents or in trades.

They say they won’t “work with” the entire Wasserman Media Group. I assume that eliminates signing a free agent represented by them. I’m not certain that eliminates trading for a player represented by them, however. Anyway, I don’t believe they’re sincere in the statement that they won’t work with the agency, though. After the dust has settled, they’ll realize that it’s foolish to eliminate the possibility of working with the 2nd biggest agency in baseball.

They DON’T work well with Scott Boras. Who does? But then again, that eliminates players they would be interested in as free agents or in trades.

Schuerholz didn’t like Boras, but Frank Wren seems to work with him just fine.

They couldn’t pull off the Jake Peavy deal with San Diego.

Yeah. That’s what happens when a player invokes his no-trade clause.

Then there is the conversation about “under team’s control” in any proposed deal. The Braves have so many limitations including budget that Frank Wren has to play David Copperfield to get back into the playoffs.

They’re an 86-88 win team right now. It’s really not that hard to add 5-7 wins in an off-season.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
1:15 pm

redstick, Can we please stop with the Dunn and the Willingham talks? Both of them are absolute butchers in the field. No thank you, and surely Wren is smarter than that.

do you remember who wren signed for left field last year?

Loaf Garret on a blackberry from sunny California

November 18th, 2009
1:19 pm

do you remember who wren signed for left field last year?

Sup Braves fans! Miss me yet?

Jeff R

November 18th, 2009
1:20 pm

Chris… gotcha. Given the amount of talent that the Braves would have to surrender, I’d vote no.

jim

November 18th, 2009
1:20 pm

The Braves are a mid-market team. The most successful of the mid-market teams have been the Twins and lately the Rockies. Look at the number of home-grown players that those two orgtanizations have produced. Even after losing Hunter to FA and making a bad trade of Santana before he became a FA, the Twins are still loaded with home-grown talent or young players acquired using players they have developed themselves. For the Braves to be successful, they will need to have a core of young (cheap) talent with some older (more expensive) players complementing this core. Therefore the impulse too many on this blog to trade anybody and everybody in our farm system not named Hanson or Heyward for a player that will be too expensive to retain after 1 or 2 years (about the time Heyward should emerge as a star and McCann, Escobar, JJ, Hanson, and Prado, et. al will be in their prime and approaching FA)is very short-sighted and counter-productive. We went down that road 2 years ago with Tex and have nothing to show for it.

Redstick19

November 18th, 2009
1:21 pm

DAP- Yes, I do. And I would venture to say that Garret Anderson didn’t put very many fannies in the seats when the announcement was made, or during the season for that matter. “The Braves have announced that they have acquired Josh Willingham from the Nationals…” I can just see the mad rush on season tickets that will occur when that announcement is made. Doesn’t excite me on the field, off the field and doesn’t impress me in the stat sheet. If the Braves are gonna put this team over the top, Willingham is not the man. Dunn’s bat could, I say could, do it- but his defense will cost us in runs what his bat brings us. As I said, next rumor please.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
1:25 pm

They couldn’t pull off the Jake Peavy deal with San Diego.

Yeah. That’s what happens when a player invokes his no-trade clause.

is this a fact? it was my understanding that towers kept on upping the asking price and caused the negotiations to fall apart. im thinking it being an issue with peavy is just a rumor.

Joebrave

November 18th, 2009
1:26 pm

J.Schafer looks like the New Years baby! big ol ears

Redstick19

November 18th, 2009
1:27 pm

jim- well stated, my friend. I agree 100 percent- great players from OUR OWN minor league system is what began the run in early 90s.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
1:27 pm

is this a fact? it was my understanding that towers kept on upping the asking price and caused the negotiations to fall apart. im thinking it being an issue with peavy is just a rumor.

Yes. That’s a fact. Frank Wren and Kevin Towers have both acknowledged that Peavy invoked his no-trade clause since then.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
1:28 pm

redstick, i agree that willingham and dunn are bad in the outfield, but dont say it isnt going to happen because wren is too smart. we dont have to go far at all to prove he will sign a player who plays questionable defense. and he signed a guy who played bad defense AND wasnt as good of a hitter as willingham or dunn. so, your dismissal of the braves acquiring them because wren is “to smart for that” is premature.

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
1:30 pm

J.Schafer looks like the New Years baby! big ol ears Joebrave

Speaking of hit lists…

Daslied

November 18th, 2009
1:31 pm

P-Town, I just read that Pena thing before coming here. I might be okay with a Pena for Vazquez trade. Money’s about the same (Braves would save $1MM or so), and Pena’s only got one year left on his contract. How’s his defense, does anyone know? One other question – I saw that Pena gets $750,000 if traded. Is that paid by Tampa Bay? I’d assume so.

Redstick19

November 18th, 2009
1:34 pm

DAP- point taken. I guess it’s my wishful thinking that he won’t sign/acquire those players.

Robert

November 18th, 2009
1:37 pm

“Yes. That’s a fact. Frank Wren and Kevin Towers have both acknowledged that Peavy invoked his no-trade clause since then.

Not possible. I mean, it’s a fact that everybody wants to play for Bobby Cox. Peavy couldnt possibly veto coming to Donktown. Right?

Rock On......

November 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

Lew….on your 12:15 about Prado. Well, granted 20 homers may be a stretch but he only played in 128 games. Projecting his 3.5 at bats per game over the games he missed and his HR ratio of 11 in 450 AB’s that would put him pretty much at 15 HR’s. The fact that he played 71 games at positions OTHER than 2nd can work against the numbers too. Knowing he is the go to guy at 2nd and a close to a full year of stats it is quite possible he could approach 20 homers. 40 doubles would be nice come to think of it. Oh yeah, as a side note, Prado was a .300+ hitter against lefties, righties, home, and away.

Oh forgot, but I am accused of non-sensical hype about Prado. Hey I am wrong probably more than right with many issues, but when I am right and the stats prove me right I am accused also of being the poster boy. Hey I am riding Prado and ain’t backing off. Similar to McFann with McCann.

And just think we still have posters here wanting to put Prado at 1st base full time. It amazes me that people think you can just stick somebody at 1st and it will work out. Defense be damned. It’s almost like the Little League manager sticking a kid in the outfield that can’t catch a cold. You guessed it, the ball finds him every time.

Rock On……Prado, the All-Star game 2010.

DAP

November 18th, 2009
1:47 pm

rock on….suggesting putting prado at first is not a crazy idea, as far as defense is concerned. he has played there quite a bit over the last two years. in ‘08 he played at 1st almost as much as he played at 2nd. it makes more sense than putting mccann or chipper over there, thats for sure.

dogsbrekky

November 18th, 2009
1:51 pm

Thanks for the new bloggage Dobi One Knobi

Chris

November 18th, 2009
1:52 pm

pena’s defense is above average. not sure if tampa would be paying the $750,000.

TnBrian

November 18th, 2009
1:55 pm

Can you imagine if the Yankees got Halladay? Those bastards!

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
1:56 pm

RC, common practice for teams to ask for medical records on a player. And for teams to provide those records (after all, Braves want to gauge other teams’ interest levels before offering arbitration to free agents).

No need to read anything into that. Braves also for medical records on certain free agents, particularly pitchers. Just doesn’t often get leaked.

Joebrave

November 18th, 2009
1:58 pm

one has to wonder how many signs are missed by a batter due to Radar Schafer’s big ol bat wing ears.

MattyRoss

November 18th, 2009
1:59 pm

I bet there’s some interesting legalese behind that, as far as doctor-patient whatever and different teams and Major League Baseball and the Players Association and oh no I’ve gone crosseyed.

Rock On......

November 18th, 2009
2:29 pm

DAP….Prado did a commendable job at 1st, no doubt. However, Prado does not project to be a 1st baseman in numbers or defense there for Atlanta. It is simply too important a spot that needs a 30+ homer power bat potential and solid defense. Read: LaRoche/Gonzalez, not Dunn.

Prado has gone from a .941 Fielding % in ‘07 to .967 in ‘08 and in last year’s more expanded role he had a .986 at 2nd base with a + UZR. More than the Braves could have hoped for and the numbers indicate a large upward trend for him at 2nd so projecting him anywhere but 2nd is probably not happening. He started 14 in ‘08 and 17 in ‘09 at 1st and had no prior experience to that there. He did play more innings there due to in-game switches or injuries. Still certainly not a big enough sample to project him at 1st by any stretch.

And agreed it is more a possibility than McCann or Chipper at 1st. That is simply comical fodder for in-blog reading.

RC

November 18th, 2009
2:32 pm

Thanks for the info DOB. Figured it was probably nothing more than the Boston/NY media making everything that Sox or Yanks do into a story. Good to know that Sox are interested though.

RC

November 18th, 2009
2:35 pm

DAP….Prado did a commendable job at 1st, no doubt. However, Prado does not project to be a 1st baseman in numbers or defense there for Atlanta. It is simply too important a spot that needs a 30+ homer power bat potential and solid defense.

I think this sums up the thoughts the many of us have on the whole “trade for Phillips, move Prado to first” ideas. Good post, Rock On….

Gone Viral

November 18th, 2009
2:40 pm

I like the phrasing of “Braves to firm up 40-man roster”. I picture Jane Fonda leading the team through Jazzercise classes.

Tennbravefan

November 18th, 2009
2:41 pm

DOB -
On the last blog I pointed out how terrible Willingham’s numbers were at Turner field and somebody responded that I should take into account the quality of pitchers the Braves have and that probably influenced Willingham’s numbers. Maybe it did. However, I played small college baseball (NAIA) and there were some fields I just hit better (or worse)at. I could see the ball better some places, felt more comfortable in the batter’s box. Likewise there were places I hated going to. Its possible that Willingham simply is not comfortable at Turner Field and I think the Braves should consider his poor numbers there.

CB

November 18th, 2009
2:53 pm

So Robert and Don can rest easy,Jim Tracy was named NL manager of year.

TnBrian

November 18th, 2009
2:53 pm

I could see the Red Sox signing the Cobra & the Yankees getting Sori to set up Rivera. I think we’ll get Wagner in the end. Makes too much sense seeing as how Bobby likes him a lot. DeRosa will be a Philly, Holliday will be a Mutt, Lackey will be a Yankee if they don’t get Halladay, which is a very good possibiltiy, & that’s all I got right now.

Jonas

November 18th, 2009
2:58 pm

DOB…Did you have any information about Martin Prado Moving his Familty out of his Country because afraid of Kidnaping…Last year he was concern about his Mother going back to his native Venezuela.Look like another kidnap happen again to a former Major leaguer Victor Zambrano…(See Article attach). It this is a concern of MLB Owner about his Latin Player?
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10352646/Zambrano’s-mom-rescued-in-Venezuela-kidnapping

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
3:01 pm

Another thing about Boras: From my perspective — and that of a few teams I know of — he’s far easier to deal with than some other agents, including some who only return phone calls to reporters or team execs when they see fit or when they want to leak something that’ll help them advance negotiations (you might recall a couple of agents in recent years with the Braves who either failed to return calls or allegedly misled them into thinking a player was going to sign with them).

You wouldn’t believe the gall of a few agents with client lists that are about 1/20th the size of Boras’, but who don’t bother returning calls if they have any problem with this reporter or that one, for instance if they have a client who had his feelings hurt by something that was written or whatever. Sometimes it’s pretty petty/juvenile stuff you wouldn’t believe.

At least with Boras, business is business and the man returns calls (though sometimes at midnight) and works with you, knows it’s a two-way street, etc. He might cuss you out if he didn’t like something that was written, but he doesn’t just avoid calling you back.

There’s a few agents that, when you find out a player is rep’d by them, you pretty much say, ‘Oh, well’ … knowing they’re not going to call you back for this reason or that, something that has nothing to do with the current client or negotiations. Like I said, silly stuff.

Geo123

November 18th, 2009
3:09 pm

Dave,

Where did you get your information that the Cardinals were going to lower payroll? The owner Bill DeWitt and the GM have both been interviewed by Bernie Miklaz on his radio show this week and said that payroll wil remain about the same as last year that there won’t be a decrease…

Bad Scooter

November 18th, 2009
3:13 pm

DOB, who do you feel is the easiest agent to work with?

Let move back up to #1

November 18th, 2009
3:22 pm

Josh Willingham cant hit a lick at Turner Field. That and his back issues why would they even go there. Im sick of having players who just go cold and I dont want to trade a pitcher or anyone else for another one. Thats what our problem was last year remember. Nobody was hitting when it counts. Or when it didnt count for that matter. Heck they got sweapt by the Nationals and that is totally sick.

I see that the Nationals are planning on spending some money on pitching. Well we have the pitching and need to spend money on hitting. If they cant get any better then a back injured Willingham then they just need to go out of spring training with Heyward, Shafer, McClouth and Diaz. I bet you would get more consistency and a little more offense.

ncscoots

November 18th, 2009
3:36 pm

However, Prado does not project to be a 1st baseman in numbers or defense

WHAT?!? A defensively above-average 2B couldn’t handle defense at 1B? I think you’re selling him a little short, LOL.

HAL

November 18th, 2009
3:38 pm

over use of blain boyer would have been letting him in the clubhouse to start spring traing lol another in a legion of over hyped local “prospects “

P-Town Brave

November 18th, 2009
3:38 pm

Once again, I’ll just take this time for my usual daily plugs…

Garrett Atkins

Jason Bay

GILSWANCA

That is all :)

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
3:39 pm

Roman Gal Let’s just hope they’re both stars and that they both surprise everyone with how great they are.

Amen to that!

You probably wouldn’t be the only person who has him on their hit list if he traded McCann…

So true…but he’d have to fear me the most of all of us. :P

Rock On… Similar to McFann with McCann.

Are you suggesting that mine is non-sensical hype?

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
3:41 pm

Boo-yah…Bobby got more points for MOY than Manuel!

Nanny-nanny boo-boo! :P

Geo123

November 18th, 2009
3:50 pm

P-Town Brave,

I’ll almost guarantee you that Bay resigns with the Red Sox….

DirtyYuni

November 18th, 2009
4:00 pm

DOB-
Did Auerbach play mostly “Keep it Hid” stuff at the show?
Want to go see him soon but saw him not long ago and already heard much of that album. It’s good, but I’m wondering if they’re incorporating new tunes into the mix.

Love that Harmony he plays, too. Such a sweet old sounding geetar.

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

November 18th, 2009
4:06 pm

I knew Verlander was their ace, but I had no idea that he was co-manager of the Tigers as well. My guess is that he is taking over full managerial duties in ‘10, since he got one first place vote and 7 more third place votes than Leyland.

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/article/2009-11-18/manager-year-voting-results

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

Bad Scooter: I’d probably say B.B. Abbott, who reps Chipper and McCann. But I’ve also had no problems working with Boras (believe it or not).

Hampton’s agent, Mark Rodgers, is very easy to work with. And Kawakami’s guy, Dan Evans, who’s a former baseball team exec (including a stint as Dodgers GM). Oh, and Bo McKinnis, who represents Mike Minor. And Mike Hampton’s brother, who’s an agent.

Just to name a few.

Daslied

November 18th, 2009
4:27 pm

DOB, I’ve gotta know what Bean Stringfellow is like. Don’t ask.

monty

November 18th, 2009
4:36 pm

Could Prado play 1b is not the question, obviously he has and he could, the question is why would you want perhaps the shortest guy on the team except for KK playing 1b? Shorter arms and height = balls thrown over his head that a guy like LARoche doesn’t even leave his feet for. MAgic Johnson could play center and did great in one playoff series because Kareem was injured but that didn’t make him a center.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
4:42 pm

DirtyYuni: Mostly stuff off the debut album, but not entirely. I mean, he played nearly 90 minutes (after Justin Townes Earle did an acoustic set of about 40 minutes, following a 30-minute-or-so opening set by Jessica Lea Mayfield, who overcame the elements — arriving crowd, people talking, etc — and did a nice job. Her voice reminds me of Hope Sandoval.)

Auerbach and his band — including My Morning Jacket drummer — were excellent. Really strong stuff.

Check this from earlier on the tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD9axfZf280&feature=related

And here’s one from Lollapalooza last summer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqQN8y3UfMM&feature=related

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
4:42 pm

Could Prado play 1b is not the question, obviously he has and he could, the question is why would you want perhaps the shortest guy on the team except for KK playing 1b? Shorter arms and height = balls thrown over his head that a guy like LARoche doesn’t even leave his feet for.

Also because Prado’s bat plays a lot better at 2nd. There’s almost no scenario in which Prado plays first that’s better for the Braves than Prado at 2nd and a league-average 1B.

bravesgrl4life

November 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

McFann, I’d be there with you if FW traded McCann. Especially if I get that jersey for Christmas :grin:

Rick

November 18th, 2009
4:48 pm

I would go after Jason Bay. He is a free agent, a good hitter, a good outfielder. I think he would fit nicely in the Braves lineup. I would move Kawakami to be a setup. The 7th and 8th inning is were the Braves have been weak for a while. He would improve it. Don’t trade the pitching. Its a strength and who know if an injury may occur.

Daslied

November 18th, 2009
4:49 pm

PWH – Utley? :)

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
4:53 pm

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
4:42 pm

……Prado’s bat plays a lot better at 2nd. There’s almost no scenario in which Prado plays first that’s better for the Braves than Prado at 2nd and a league-average 1B.

I like it.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
4:53 pm

Gotta say, I’m a little surprised to see Cox finish fifth in NL Manager of Year balloting — ahead of Fredi Gonzalez and Charlie Manuel.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
4:54 pm

Daslied, that’s exactly where the “almost” comes into play :)

TnBrian

November 18th, 2009
4:57 pm

Are we all still anti-Dye around here? If Atlanta signs him & he ends up hitting 30 HR’s back in a place he’s familiar with in the NL under Bobby Cox(not Guillen) I’d say a lot of us would feel like fools. All I’m saying is he might not be the worst idea, especially if they can somehow reatin LaRoche. I’m going to look past his 2nd half numbers this year & focus in on the fact that it’d be very weird for a player to just suddenly fall on his face that quick.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
4:58 pm

RICK:

I do believe we’re gonna’ move one of KK, DL, or JV. But I’m liking JASON BAY on this team, and PRINCE FIELDER. Of course the payroll would possibly be in the 125 mill range, but hey, it’s not our money, right?

NOTE TO JOHN MALONE:

Go for the gusto big guy, and put us back in the big-time for a couple of years.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
4:58 pm

ANTI-DYE. To old for what this team needs.

TnBrian

November 18th, 2009
4:59 pm

continuing… so I believe Dye has at least another good year left in him.

CB

November 18th, 2009
5:01 pm

This is probably a favorite time of year for most Braves fans,we all can make our wild and crazy fantasy trade ideas. I think there is no sport who has an off-season like baseball,all your own players who struggled last year will make great comebacks,all the minor leaguers look like the comimg of Hank Aaron and Bob Gibson,we can steal Albert Pujols from the Cardinals for Norton,KJ,and a prospect because their GM is an idiot. God,I love baseball.

TnBrian

November 18th, 2009
5:01 pm

richbrave, well, with some of the names being thrown around here Dye sounds like a winner to me.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:02 pm

DAVID:

Does your last post evidence a belief that BC didn’t do so well this year, in managerial terms of course.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:03 pm

TnBrian:

That’s cool. I still like LEW’s NICK SWISHER supposition.

brent a.

November 18th, 2009
5:04 pm

monty:

thanks for your 4:36 post. I sat right behind 1B at a Spring Training game in Florida last February.

Late in the game, I noted how Prado had to come off the bag for a throw that Kotchman would not have had to jump for.
It cost us an out.

This isn’t Prado’s fault; but, if we can avoid putting him there, I think it’s best.

Kotchman and LaRoche are listed at 6′3″. Prado is listed at 6′1″ In a game of inches, that is 2 very big ones.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:06 pm

CB

November 18th, 2009
5:01 pm
This is probably a favorite time of year for most Braves fans,we all can make our wild and crazy fantasy trade ideas………

Ain’t it so, ain’t it so. And the boys who make the ultimate decisions ain’t talkin’, unlike last year. Lesson learned.

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
5:06 pm

bravesgrl4life

Ah yes! We shall unite! Course, if we’re lucky, we won’t have to worry about it…

Good to read from you, by the way! How’s things? Well, I hope.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:07 pm

brent a.

November 18th, 2009
5:04 pm
monty:

thanks for your 4:36 post. I sat right behind 1B at a Spring Training game in Florida last February.

Late in the game, I noted how Prado had to come off the bag for a throw that Kotchman would not have had to jump for.
It cost us an out.

This isn’t Prado’s fault; but, if we can avoid putting him there, I think it’s best.

Kotchman and LaRoche are listed at 6′3″. Prado is listed at 6′1″ In a game of inches, that is 2 very big ones.

Point well taken.

Daslied

November 18th, 2009
5:10 pm

PWH – that’s what I figured. He’s about the only one…Kinsler might get there, and I don’t buy Aaron Hill’s 2009.

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
5:11 pm

Are Boyer, KJ, and Norton on the voting commission for Manager of the Year?

Daslied

November 18th, 2009
5:12 pm

Hold the phone on that Kinsler statement…Didn’t realize the home-away split. Yikes.

wjones

November 18th, 2009
5:13 pm

Prado is listed as 6′1″? Really? Was he wearing platforms? Standing on a platform?

Frank Wren

November 18th, 2009
5:13 pm

Hold the phone on that Kinsler statement

If you say so

Soph

November 18th, 2009
5:13 pm

McFann, I know you like animals so if you get a moment – watch this.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?cl=16710344

Hey, bravesgrl4life! Where have you been?

Keef1234

November 18th, 2009
5:18 pm

I was going to buy about $400 worth of Braves stuff for Christmas gifts. But then I read where the owners refuse to get the payroll to an even a $100 million. Which means they don’t think the investment of another $5 million is worth it for this team. Which means I also AM NOT going to invest my $400 in Braves stuff….very sad since Ted left. When Arthur Blank buys the team, we will then buy as much as possible…

Thrillhouse44

November 18th, 2009
5:19 pm

I was wondering last night if anyone’s ever fallen as hard and fast as Norton did. To go from one of the best, to one of the worst in a year’s time. I’ve tried to come up with people, in any facet of life, who have gone this route, but I can’t do it. The closet I could come up with is Chuck Knoblauch’s throws. But I believe that was more of a case of the yips than anything else.

Thrillhouse44

November 18th, 2009
5:20 pm

What were you going to buy for $400, Keef? How do I get on your Christmas gift list?

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
5:21 pm

…wait, $400 worth of Braves stuff for Christmas gifts?

Bernie Madoff

November 18th, 2009
5:21 pm

Investing in hats, clothing, and foam tomahawks will not produce a sizable return on investment.

CB

November 18th, 2009
5:23 pm

Thrillhouse,how about Steve Blass from the Pirates? Rick Ankiel?

Soph

November 18th, 2009
5:23 pm

When Arthur Blank buys the team, we will then buy as much as possible…

Just FYI – the Falcons are almost $20 mil under the salary cap in the NFL so that’s not necessarily true.

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
5:23 pm

And because Liberty is going to spend $95 million instead of bumping it to a cool $100 million you’re just going to boycott and your family members won’t get Braves gifts now?

Thrillhouse44

November 18th, 2009
5:24 pm

Well done, CB. Thanks.

bvillebaron

November 18th, 2009
5:25 pm

Josh Willingham? You’re kidding right. If this is the best the Braves can do for another outfielder; don’t bother.

Soph

November 18th, 2009
5:25 pm

No tomahawk for you!

Keef's Kids

November 18th, 2009
5:26 pm

And because Liberty is going to spend $95 million instead of bumping it to a cool $100 million you’re just going to boycott and your family members won’t get Braves gifts now?

Ah man! Guess we’ll have to settle for $400 worth of Matty Ice t-shirts.

monty

November 18th, 2009
5:27 pm

brent A

Good point, but if Prado is 6′1″ then Chipper Jones is still 185 lbs. Every short player lies generally about 2 inches on his height. For Prado maybe it was 4! Seriously, maybe DOB can help us out with this one.

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
5:28 pm

Seriously though…what were you going to buy? A day chauffeur services from Chipper?

DOB Math

November 18th, 2009
5:29 pm

And I’m sure that $400 would have helped pushed the payroll up to $100 million.

Daslied

November 18th, 2009
5:29 pm

Thrillhouse, 50% of people here would put Chipper on your list. :)

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:30 pm

Gotta’ agree about PRADO’s 6′1″. Granted, I was in the first row stands, and he was on the field when we spoke for a moment, but he definitely didn’t appear that tall to me.

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
5:32 pm

Here’s Prado and KJ. Kelly’s listed at 6′1″ and Martin looks an inch or two shorter

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/3621527230/

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:34 pm

bvillebaron

November 18th, 2009
5:25 pm
Josh Willingham? You’re kidding right. If this is the best the Braves can do for another outfielder; don’t bother.

I see a lot of him because I’m in NATS territory. What I see doesn’t excite me AT ALL. He’s a decent overall player who’s hurt a lot IMO. We need one outstanding stick. I mean a 15-18 mill a year top-tier bat.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
5:37 pm

Besides we’ve already got what’s his name that used to play for them, uh-h–h, oh yeah, CHURCH who has almost as much potential IMO if he can stay off the DL.

CB

November 18th, 2009
5:41 pm

Frank Wren did such a great job going out last season to get the pitching we needed,I can’t but help thinking he has his mind set to get the hitters to balance out this team. If players like Josh Willingham are who we are striving for,I will be sorely disappointed.Wren is too good for that,imo.

monty

November 18th, 2009
5:53 pm

Daslied

I don’t know if I would put Chipper on the list with Norton but Chipper did have a huge drop off in total bases produced as a LH last year. Down 64 total bases or about 36% compared with his career stats.

96,sc

November 18th, 2009
6:11 pm

rosenthal has a good article about Boras-Manfred war. Boras says the Braves are making about 50 million a year profit.

PT

November 18th, 2009
6:13 pm

While KJ and Marteen may be having differences in this photo, I’d say KJ is a good 3 inches taller.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/08/08/article-0-0234406400000578-964_468×296.jpg

Where is Freddie Freeman

November 18th, 2009
6:15 pm

Freddie Freeman – where is he? Last time he played was on November 9th. Is he hurt or just not good enough to get playing time???

Braveheart

November 18th, 2009
6:23 pm

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/10392772/Boras-Manfred-war-of-words-an-unsettling-omen

In the Boston Globe report, Boras is referring to certain teams that boast $200 million or more in revenues but spend between $50 million and $70 million in payroll.

Manfred countered by saying that only 10 of the 30 teams had revenues of $200 million or more. Boras welcomed that news, saying, “Rob is making a very important admission there.”

“The Atlanta Braves are No. 12,” Boras said. “Their records are public. They’re (owned by) Liberty Media. They’re making $180 million. Their payroll is what? Around $100 million. Then you add $30 million (in expenses) for administration, the minor leagues, the draft, other things. So they’re pocketing $50 million a year.”

John Schuerholz, the Braves’ club president and former general manager, responded, “This is absolutely absurd. We’d like to see those numbers.”

nolie

November 18th, 2009
6:29 pm

.I think they’re really saying….”he cant bring it 98mph”. Well…….how hard did Maddox throw? (Reagan)

whatever, there is more to a high ceiling than just speed which is sometimes overrated in itself. It’s not sufficient but the short answer is that he doesn’t have an outstanding out pitch. When a guy’s changeup is rated as his best pitch, you need to remember guys like James and Hodges.
Might do great, might not;just isn’t likely to be a #1 or #2.
A left-handed #3 or 4 ain’t all that bad either, many just wanted someone drafted that high who had a shot as a rotation leader.doesn’t seem all that hard to understand, but some folks just can’t stand to see a Braves prospect questioned. that’s heresy, and a heinous crime.need to sic SVU on them traitors

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
6:32 pm

Soph

Thanks for the link! Don’t tell Petey I said this, but that cat was CUTE! :)

CB

November 18th, 2009
6:39 pm

Braveheart,sounds like Boras wants all of the extra revenue given to his clients,you got to respect him and hate him at the same time.

Eric from MO

November 18th, 2009
6:42 pm

Braveheart do you own a business? Probably not otherwise you would know a company that big has far more expenses than another 30 million. By the time you include salaries not just GM and Manager and coaches, but also the people behind the scene, plus the salaries for the scounts, plus the salaries of minor leagurers, plus all the signig bonuses, not just those of the players, but the ones for the scouts too. Yes, scouts get bonuses for every one of their players they scouted get signed. That right there would add up to 30 million easily. Then you throw on plane tickets, hotel rooms for the players and coaches, meal expenses. I know my cousin Garratt gets $28 from the Giants organization for his meals and that is AA player. By the time you add all this up you are talking 20 million plus. So they are making a profit but it is probably is alot closer to 25 to 30 million than 50. Also every organization/business has a right to make a profit. As fan you have to expect them to want this. When you are spend over 150 million you have to have a nice profit to out weigh the risk of investing that money. Before I take on any project, I own a commercial construction company, I have to weigh the estimated profit with the money I am going have to invest into it. The more money I am going to risk with investing into it, the greater the profit has to be.

Tell It Like It Is

November 18th, 2009
6:43 pm

The Braves best plan is to stay out of the free agent market and develop from within the system. They cannot compete with the Dodgers, Angels, Yankees, Mets, etc. in a salary war. There are 11 players on the Braves present roster who make the minimum salary of $400,000. Those players include Hanson, Jurrgens,Escobar,Prado and Heyward. Infante makes $1.85 million. All of the minimum salary guys will be eligible for arbitration in three or five years. Guess who will be out there throwing big bucks at them if they cannot come to an agreement with the Braves. We better enjoy the next few years as the MLB economy is just what the White Sox GM says it is. IT IS WHAT IT IS.

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
6:53 pm

And by the way–Congrats to the MOYs. Both were deserving.

Ken Strickland

November 18th, 2009
6:55 pm

What are the things the Braves must do with its everyday lineup in order to become a World Series calibur team.

(1)Make a trade for the Padres’ 1st baseman Gonzalez. He would solve the problems we currently have at 1B and give us the RH power hitter we need.

(2)Signing him would also allow us to sign an OF with speed and DEF, rather than power, which could solve the leadoff problem we’ve had since RFucal left.

(3)Sign Mark DeRosa. He’d give us the versatility that would allow us to carry an additional pitcher and provide a quality backup at 3rd base, which we all know we’ll need when, not if, Chipper goes down.

Braveheart

November 18th, 2009
7:07 pm

Which numbers is Schuerholz saying Boras is lying about? Forbes said in April that the Braves generated $186 million in revenue, and paid the players $106 million (including benefits and bonuses).

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/33/baseball-values-09_Atlanta-Braves_336642.html

Is Schuerholz saying that Boras and Forbes are wrong about the Braves generating $180 million in revenue, and paying $106 or so million to the players? Or is he saying the administrative cost of running the team is more than $30 million?

The Mets franchise had at least $570 million invested with Madoff. Hard to believe that was their only investment account. The amount of money the Mets had invested with Madoff validates what Boras is saying about how much money these teams are pocketing.

Not that it’s wrong that teams as businesses are pocketing money, but it’s kind of ridiculous when you hear your team cry about monetary constraints when they’re pocketing $50 million.

You won 86 games last year. What if you only pocketed $25 million last year and signed Tex AND Sabathia last offseason instead of Lowe? Do you win the division? The World Series?

Soph

November 18th, 2009
7:07 pm

Thanks for the link! Don’t tell Petey I said this, but that cat was CUTE!

You’re welcome! Yup, he was a cutie. I cracked up when I saw him put his paws on the steering wheel like he was driving. I have a feeling he’d try to climb all over Petey rather than eat him. :-D

N8

November 18th, 2009
7:08 pm

“Gotta say, I’m a little surprised to see Cox finish fifth in NL Manager of Year balloting — ahead of Fredi Gonzalez and Charlie Manuel.” DOB

Are you surprised he finished 5th? Or surprised he finished ahead of Gonzalez and Manuel?

BravesFanChris25

November 18th, 2009
7:10 pm

Ken Strickland

Gonzo is LH 1B ~_~

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:21 pm

Prado, lest we forget, has never been the incumbent at any position and 2010 will be his initial season starting. Last year it would not have been hard to project him at 20 homers and close to 30 doubles had he played the whole season all the while batting around .300 with an OBP of over.400 Rock On

20 homers and an .400 OPS? unlikely even once in his career let alone regularly, and I’m speaking as a guy who pushed him here B4 anyone else, so I like him, but let’s be realistic

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:23 pm

but since when is “24″ homers the mark of a “power bat” for our outfield? Weiss

post steroids. 24 is the new 35 ;)

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
7:25 pm

(1)Make a trade for the Padres’ 1st baseman Gonzalez. He would solve the problems we currently have at 1B and give us the RH power hitter we need.

Adrian Gonzalez bats left-handed.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:26 pm

It doesn’t seem to be enough to say he’s a fine, solid player; always gotta be some totally nonsensical hype about the guy thrown in. Scoots

kinda like all that crap we always had to read about Johnson, huh? :)

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:27 pm

Marcus Thames is a FA.

oh yeah, 243/306 is just the ticket alright

MiamiBrave

November 18th, 2009
7:36 pm

Throw $8 million a year at Laroche for two years and the same amount to Marlon Byrd for 3-4 years and we’re set at LF and first base. Trade Kawakami for either outfield or corner infield insurance and we’re in business. I’m personally not sold on Hudson yet. $27 million for a guy who hasn’t won more than 14 games and is coming off arm surgery sounds like a high price to me. Soriano has got to be the choice at closer. OFlaherty is ready to replace Gonzalez as the lefty setup guy.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:40 pm

well stated, my friend. I agree 100 percent- great players from OUR OWN minor league system is what began the run in early 90s. Redstick

yup, guys like Bream and Belliard and Pendleton, no doubt about it, and Nixon and Smith and Treadway and Pena and Leibrandt etc ad nauseum only 4 starters there

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:41 pm

or is it 5 position starters? sigh

CB

November 18th, 2009
7:49 pm

MiamiBrave,you want to give Marlon Byrd 8mil for 3-4yrs? Geez

bobbymahlon

November 18th, 2009
7:52 pm

Josh Willingham is no improvement over Matt Diaz thus signing him would be a waste of money. We cannot solve our hitting woes with slightly above average hitters, something we already have within our system. If we trade one of our starters for someone like Josh or Jermaine Dye who is over the hill we are making a big mistake. I rather stick with what we have in hopes Jason Heyward wil be ready come spring unless we can up with a power hitting righthanded hitting outfielder.

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
7:53 pm

Soph I cracked up when I saw him put his paws on the steering wheel like he was driving.

That was adorable! I love kittens…and even some adult cats are growing on me. :P

I have a feeling he’d try to climb all over Petey rather than eat him.

Haha! And Petey would either try to fly away or start hissing and biting. He almost got caught by a dog once… 8O Brother saved him, though. :)

nolie

November 18th, 2009
7:56 pm

Yes, scouts get bonuses for every one of their players they scouted get signed. That right there would add up to 30 million easily Eric Mo

you’re kidding me right? Scouts get paid crap wages even today./ can’t remember who it was I read about recently, but one long time successful scout was cut to $18,000. a few at the top make decent money, but most scouts do not.

ncscoots

November 18th, 2009
8:06 pm

kinda like all that crap we always had to read about Johnson, huh?

Exactly, LOL, and I’m proud to admit it. But nobody with a lick of sense, no matter how big a Johnson booster, ever styled him as above-average defensively or projected some outrageous slash stats for him. You can pick up a couple of posts a day like that on Prado, no sweat.

As I said earlier, it’s as if some here are afraid that characterizing him as merely “a good player” leaves him open to be doubted, thus a constant urge to pump him up. The guy had a good solid year, and I’m pretty sure the Braves would take the same from him next year. But I don’t think even Mar-teen dreams of a 20HR/.400 OBP year, LOL. I mean, please. :-)

Oklahoma Brave

November 18th, 2009
8:21 pm

Enter your comments here

reagan

November 18th, 2009
8:22 pm

DA and ROB (SC)….on your am posts. I remember bringing up Jake Fox a few weeks ago. Love his power but someone dug deep and found out his defense is less than average (to say the least). I would say play him in left only. Work his keyester off in the spring and he could be average D. With his power (and what he would cost)…..he would be someone I hope the Braves are looking at closely.

Random

November 18th, 2009
8:35 pm

MiamiBrave (November 18th, 2009 7:36 pm): “Trade Kawakami for either outfield or corner infield insurance and we’re in business.”

Kawakami will not be traded. :x

AdirondackDave

November 18th, 2009
8:40 pm

Random — I’m sure I’m going to regret asking this question… but if Frank Wren doesn’t know if Kawakami is not going going to be traded, how do you?

Braveheart

November 18th, 2009
8:52 pm

AdirondackDave, be mindful of the delicate sensitivities of the Japanese. It’s just business when Toyota and Honda run GM out of business, but not so if a GM runs Kawakami out of town.

David O'Brien

November 18th, 2009
9:00 pm

I was wondering last night if anyone’s ever fallen as hard and fast as Norton did. — Thrillhouse44

A guy named Andruw did a pretty thorough free-fall, too.

Macon Braves (RIP)

November 18th, 2009
9:15 pm

I’m personally not sold on Hudson yet. $27 million for a guy who hasn’t won more than 14 games and is coming off arm surgery sounds like a high price to me. MiamiBrave

Huh? You must have looked up Orlando Hudson’s stats then. TIM Hudson has won more than 14 games 5 times in his career.

And $9 million a year for him (despite his surgery last year) isn’t THAT much of a gamble. Especially since he showed at the end of last season that he hadn’t had any setbacks in his recovery.

Salamander

November 18th, 2009
9:16 pm

MiamiBrave,you want to give Marlon Byrd 8mil for 3-4yrs? Geez CB

I know right?

HR at home (Arlington): 14
HR on the road: 6

OPS home: .874
OPS road: .741

He even got walked more at home (20 vs. 12 on road).

Macon Braves (RIP)

November 18th, 2009
9:21 pm

DOB–You may have commented on this before and I failed to see it, but have you checked out Modern Family yet? I think it has been hilarious so far and having Sofia Vergara to look at (who I’ve lusted over long before she was known in the U.S.) doesn’t hurt the show either. And was it worth staying up till 3:00 last night to watch the latest Sons of Anarchy? I’m almost dreading next week now, knowing that it’s the last episode of the season. Gonna have some serious SOA withdrawal after next week.

Efrim

November 18th, 2009
9:21 pm

CC (Atlanta)

Scale of 1-10 (10 being a terrible mistake), how wrong is it for Wren to re-sign Hudson and deal Vazquez. I say 9.5

Jim Callis (2:49 PM)

Kind of depends on what they get for Vazquez, doesn’t it?

nolie

November 18th, 2009
9:30 pm

Kind of depends on what they get for Vazquez, doesn’t it?

yeah, but I kinda doubt they are gonna get a season maker back in a trade for him

sidslidkid

November 18th, 2009
9:31 pm

Anybody think this years starters can compete with the 1998 staff? It’s some big shoes to fill but I got a good feeling.
1998 Atlanta Braves
Greg Maddux (18-9, 2.22)
Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47)
John Smoltz (17-3, 2.90)
Denny Neagle (16-11, 3.55
Kevin Millwood (17-8, 4.08)

keylargo

November 18th, 2009
9:31 pm

I’m personally not sold on Hudson yet. $27 million for a guy who hasn’t won more than 14 games and is coming off arm surgery sounds like a high price to me.

In Hudson’s last 8 years (excluding surgery year) he has won :

20, 18, 15, 16, 12, 14, 13, 16

Daybed Wagmoe

November 18th, 2009
9:43 pm

Nice win (again) by the Hometown Hawks again tonight. I didn’t get to see any of the game, but it looks like they didn’t have too hard of a time beating Miami tonight. 10-2 baby!

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
9:46 pm

Still not enough. I’d like to see some 25 win seasons before I’m convinced.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
9:46 pm

yeah, but I kinda doubt they are gonna get a season maker back in a trade for him

Yeah, but you’re going to get something. Perhaps of the minor-league variety, perhaps a young reliever or two, perhaps a bat of similar contractual status (in that case I would expect it to be a season maker because Vazquez is a season maker himself). And between getting nothing for Hudson or getting something for Vazquez, I’ll go with the latter option every time.

The Braves had a geographical advantage with Hudson and took the chance to lock him up at below market rate, another smart play.

Anyway, it may end up that Vazquez and Hudson both occupy the rotation in 2010, perhaps even beyond. And that’s really what everybody wants, I think.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
9:49 pm

But nobody with a lick of sense, no matter how big a Johnson booster, ever styled him as above-average defensively or projected some outrageous slash stats for him. You can pick up a couple of posts a day like that on Prado, no sweat. Scoots

I don’t know, I remember seeing some pretty outrageous predictions for Kelly. But I guess you ‘lick of sense’ mofifer covers it since nobody with a lick of sense would have been a Johnson fan to begin with :)

sidslidkid

November 18th, 2009
9:50 pm

25 wins in a season? Those kind of numbers are like big foot, ufo’s and female orgasms… they don’t exist in the real world.

Random

November 18th, 2009
9:53 pm

AdirondackDave (November 18th, 2009 8:40 pm): “I’m sure I’m going to regret asking this question… but if Frank Wren doesn’t know if Kawakami is not going going to be traded, how do you?”

How do you know that Wren doesn’t know — what makes you think that he doesn’t know?

He certainly knows more than me, and all’s I know is . . . . .

(wait for it . . . . .)

Kawakami will not be traded. :x

Bob

November 18th, 2009
9:54 pm

Quick question here, not sure what every page of comments say but explain me this:

Everyone seemingly wants Lowe traded and not Vazquez. Sensing a majority by the pages I have read. Yet Chicago hated Vazquez and constantly referred to his inability to pitch big games. Indeed Vazquez had a top 5 mlb starter season but where does that value fall when his worst outing of the season came with about a week left and the Braves within 3 or 4 games of the division and just a couple from the wild card. He lost our most important game but not just a loss, his worst outing all season, made me a firm believer that he is probably the best meaningless game pitcher in baseball but a guy you don’t want to have if you are in a playoff push.

He was criticized in Chicago, he blew one of the most important games of our season with a week left, the guy cannot stand of to the pressure, my vote is trade him and keep Kawakami and keep matching him up against the elite of elite pitchers, where he always seems to shine.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
9:57 pm

Yeah, but you’re going to get something. Perhaps of the minor-league variety, perhaps a young reliever or two, perhaps a bat of similar contractual status (in that case I would expect it to be a season maker because Vazquez is a season maker himself). PW

wasn’t referring to Hudson, and getting “something” for Javy is no reason to trade him.They are not gonna take back minor leaguers for him, nor relievers either most likely. If they can’t do any better than that in a down pitching FA year then Wren really screwed the pooch.
What I meant is I think it more likely that they will get an average to slightly above average player than they will get the stud that some think he will return, unless it involves several players.

Nick Spaziani

November 18th, 2009
9:57 pm

News is that Marlon Byrd will be a FA, he’s got solid numbers, hits for a good avg, and plays fairly decent defense in the corner OF spots. He’s got to be someone the Braves should look to sign in mo opinion. Not sure what he’s looking for, but if you can get him on a 3yr/16-18mil deal, maybe?? Is that crazy?

Bob

November 18th, 2009
9:59 pm

we already tried the old outfielder approach with G-Rat Anderson, lets stay away from Byrd and Dye as well

Random

November 18th, 2009
9:59 pm

I see that Braveheart ’s returned to his roots in sarcastic oversimplification and trivialization of complex arguments.

WTG, BH.

Kawakami will not be traded. :x

Random

November 18th, 2009
10:00 pm

“tendentious trivialization”

Macon Braves (RIP)

November 18th, 2009
10:00 pm

Daybed–Watched the whole Hawks-Heat game tonight. Hawks had an amazing second quarter (ended the half on a 25-8 run) and played GREAT defense. Heat made a bit of a run in the third quarter, but Hawks showed that they are a different team now by locking back down on the defensive end and cruised through the fourth quarter.

This really looks like a completely different franchise this season (I know they’ve been better the last two years, but they look like they are ready to step up to an “elite” team this year) and barring a rash of injuries I think they will win 55 or so games this year.

Bob

November 18th, 2009
10:01 pm

I think our rotation should be:

Jurrjens
Hudson
Hanson
Lowe
and then line Kawakami up to face most everyone’s ace, seeing how well he fared last year against big pitchers.

Trade Vazquez to someone like the Phillies who thinks they are getting a “great” pitcher so that down the stretch when games matter, he will fail on them.

McFann O

November 18th, 2009
10:06 pm

nolie post steroids. 24 is the new 35

:lol:

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
10:09 pm

The Braves are in a unique situation because they’re both a) looking to trade a valuable commodity away (a legit front-rotation starter in Vazquez or Lowe) and b) still trying to contend. It’s usually you’re selling the premium pieces or you’re contending, not both. There are exceptions, but it’s a rare blessing to find yourself with 6 (7 if you count Medlen, and I do) viable starting pitchers.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
10:09 pm

Byrd couldn’t hit a lick b4 he got to Texas, an extreme hitter’s park.his BA away from home ain’t all that terrible, but his power evaporates at other parks. I would hesitate to spend any significant time or money on the guy. It hurts me to say that too since he has the same birthday as I do. :cry:

Lew

November 18th, 2009
10:11 pm

Bob-Vazquez had a bad start down the stretch so he can’t pitch under pressure? You do perhaps realize that Ozzie Guillen bitched mightily the whole time he was running him out there on short rest several times and wondering why he wasn’t getting the performance he wanted?

AdirondackDave

November 18th, 2009
10:12 pm

Random — Please don’t take offense, but I have a sister-in-law that ‘reasons’ like you. (imagine a smiley face in the space)

Efrim

November 18th, 2009
10:13 pm

yeah, but I kinda doubt they are gonna get a season maker back in a trade for him

nolie, I think any realistic trade scenario involving Vazquez is probably going to leave the Braves short a fair return. But that’s just my take based on what I have read/heard. I don;t think Wren will trade him for prospects, and that’s probably a good thing because one year of Javy won’t net elite prospects. I think the NTC to West teams hurts Wren’s ability to deal the guy too. Both LA teams, Seattle, and Texas could use a starter and probably have the funds to make it happen, but because of the no trade, it most likely won’t. And I don’t like how we match up with most teams in the Central that could use a starter(Milwaukee, Minnesota, etc.). Of course, I think we match up fine with them for Lowe, just not Vazquez.

Lew

November 18th, 2009
10:17 pm

In 2008, Vazquez pitched 13 consecutive games for the White Sox from July through early September where he p[itched at least 6 innings per start (many of them 8IP and at least one CG). Then Guillen had him start three games in a nine day period on three days rest and griped when he never went more than 5IP in the first and only four in the next two. Correlation perhaps? or would you prefer Guillen’s explanation?

Soph

November 18th, 2009
10:18 pm

Nice win (again) by the Hometown Hawks again tonight. I didn’t get to see any of the game, but it looks like they didn’t have too hard of a time beating Miami tonight.

It got a little tight in the 3rd quarter but overall it was another great game for the Hawks. Josh Smith has really stepped up this season.

BravoMan

November 18th, 2009
10:20 pm

What is up with these ridiculous post about trades involving Vazquez, or anyone on our team for that matter, with the Phillies. Wren is not going to make any trade that could benefit a rival such as the Phillies. Especially someone like Vazquez. Just absurd.

Jim

November 18th, 2009
10:20 pm

Nominating Eric Hinske for the Norton “chair” in the dugout.

Those 5 great Braves pitchers, noted about were 88-37. Incredible.

Would Nationals take Lowe and KJ for Willingham and RfP, McDougal, or whatever his name is? B’s could throw in a Minor Leage RHP slotted bewteen 10-15 on their prospect depth chart.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
10:25 pm

I think any realistic trade scenario involving Vazquez is probably going to leave the Braves short a fair return Efrim

I pretty much agree with that post. Let’s hope we both are a bit pessy.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
10:28 pm

Those 5 great Braves pitchers, noted about were 88-37. Incredible. Jim

yeah, some folks consider that the best one year starting rotation in history. Certainly in the top ½ dozen

BravoMan

November 18th, 2009
10:30 pm

I think a lot of bloggers on here need to lower their standards a bit on the “big bat” that is to be obtained for LF. I saw someone thought that Willingham would be a lame option and need to go bigger, but I dont see that happening. We’ll get an average player with 20-25 HR power ill bet. We jst have too many other needs to put so much focus on one particular area IMO.

P. W. Hjort

November 18th, 2009
10:31 pm

Correlation perhaps? or would you prefer Guillen’s explanation?

Ozzie Guillen is never wrong.

sidslidkid

November 18th, 2009
10:32 pm

The 1998 staff was the best of all time in my opinion. The Orioles had four 20 game winners in a season in the 70’s… that was also a pretty good staff. I can’t remember any of the names on that staff other than Palmer.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
10:37 pm

Then Guillen had him start three games in a nine day period on three days rest and griped when he never went more than 5IP in the first and only four in the next two

and he should have already known that Javy had trouble when Torre pitched him on short rest a few year b4. Ozzie is a loud mouthed idjit.

vabraves4life

November 18th, 2009
10:45 pm

Jim- I think the nats would make a good trade partner too. How about Nyjer Morgan and Adam Dunn for Lowe, Schafer, and rights to Ryan Church (throw in). Then the Braves sign Hank Blalock and platoon him with Diaz. Blalock hits right handed pitching and Diaz hits left handed pitching. Dunn can play left and 1B depending on whether Blalock or Diaz are playing. Morgan bats leadoff for us and Dunn is our cleanup hitter… Dunn $12m one year, Blalock $3-5 one year, and Morgan $450K. All for about the cost of Lowe.

Fully stipulate
1) Solution may not be ideal but doable and cost effective.
2) May need to give the Nats some more to complete the deal.

TK

November 18th, 2009
10:51 pm

What happened to the Cubs-Lee for Lowe rumor. And Cruz in Texas? Seems to me Lee would be a nice fit. Right handed…good D…about what Lowe makes in $$$.

TK

November 18th, 2009
10:54 pm

Chase Headley-SD for the Norton seat…except he would play more.

fsu 4 ever

November 18th, 2009
10:58 pm

just remember vabrave blalock is a boras client

Salamander

November 18th, 2009
10:58 pm

We’ll get an average player with 20-25 HR power ill bet. We just have too many other needs to put so much focus on one particular area IMO.

I disagree – the Braves need a big bat badly, and it should be (and most likely is) Wren’s top priority… That being said, I agree with the beginning of your post (that the braves will probably settle for a lesser bat), but for a different reason than the one you stated.

Numerous names have been thrown out on this blog to fill the big hitter void in the middle of the lineup over the past couple months. Other than 1-2 decent options, I haven’t seen a wealth of names with enough power/slugging to be the mythical big bat the team needs except for ridiculous video game trade scenarios that grown ups laugh at.

The kind of player the Braves need in the lineup is the same kinda guy that most teams don’t trade unless their hand is forced (for one reason or another) or they are blown away by an offer. Thus, I also am beginning to think that Wren will settle for 1-2 decent power bat acquisitions and will not find (i.e. pony up/mortgage the farm) for that legit masher.

JUST SAYING

November 18th, 2009
11:01 pm

Schafer and Nixon? Two guys who will never play outfield again for the Braves.

sidslidkid

November 18th, 2009
11:02 pm

JUST SAYING,
What makes you think Schafer will never play outfield again for the Braves?

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:03 pm

st remember vabrave blalock is a boras clien fsu

he also hits poorly away from Arlington to the tune of a .714 OPS. pretty crappy, they sure don’t need another mediocre LHH IMO

keylargo

November 18th, 2009
11:03 pm

Orioles fab four was Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Jim Palmer and Pat Dobson. Only 4 20 game winners on one staff. I think it was 1971.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:04 pm

Schafer and Nixon? Two guys who will never play outfield again for the Braves JS

you expecting Schafer to be traded?

fsu 4 ever

November 18th, 2009
11:04 pm

trade lowe to the cubs plus prospects for lee sign vlad, dye, and soriano problems solved

Outfielders who DO NOT qualify as a "big bat"

November 18th, 2009
11:07 pm

Nelson Cruz

Michael Cuddyer

Mike Cameron

Corey Hart

Juan Rivera

Magglio Ordonez

Ryan Ludwick

fsu 4 ever

November 18th, 2009
11:08 pm

nolie i dont want him im just saying first hes a boras client and to overraterated and sucks

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
11:08 pm

nolie says:

Re; MARTEEN P.

“……..20 homers and an .400 OPS? unlikely even once in his career let alone regularly, and I’m speaking as a guy who pushed him here B4 anyone else, so I like him, but let’s be realistic”

Agree. 12-15 homer guy. If he hits 20, see what he’s doin’ after hours.

fsu 4 ever

November 18th, 2009
11:08 pm

thats wat im saying nolie hes to overrated becaues he is a boras client

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
11:09 pm

you expecting Schafer to be traded?

No, see….Jordan struggled for a couple months as a rookie so that means he’s terrible and has no future for with this team.

richbrave

November 18th, 2009
11:10 pm

nolie

November 18th, 2009
10:25 pm
I think any realistic trade scenario involving Vazquez is probably going to leave the Braves short a fair return Efrim

I pretty much agree with that post. Let’s hope we both are a bit pessy.

Thumbs up on that one.

What’s pessy? Like prescient?

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
11:10 pm

Schafer and Nixon? Two guys who will never play outfield again for the Braves.

Pish posh! Just sayin…

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:11 pm

nolie i dont want him im just saying first hes a boras client and to overraterated and sucks fsu

yeah,I know, I was just giving another reason not to get him

Roman Gal

November 18th, 2009
11:14 pm

No, see….Jordan struggled for a couple months as a rookie so that means he’s terrible and has no future for with this team.

Oh yeah…dang! I always forget that. Don’t worry, I’ll remember from now on.

[rolls eyes]

fsu 4 ever

November 18th, 2009
11:14 pm

thank you nolie what about vlad, dye and lee

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:15 pm

What’s pessy? Like prescient?

nah that would be preshy. pessy is this lazy man’s version of pessimistic

vabraves4life

November 18th, 2009
11:16 pm

I dont know about overrated. Sporting news listed him as a first baseman that can be had at a bargain. Like I said though he is much better against terrible against righties. If his price tag gets to crazy don’t sign him. I wouldnt go multi-year either. Just trying to find a filler this year so freeman can develop

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:18 pm

thank you nolie what about vlad, dye and lee

I’d love Lee, but doubt the Cubs would trade him to us. Vlad and Dye are gettin’ kinda old to build an offense around IIMO, they might work out but kinda risky unless you could get them pretty cheap. JMO

vabraves4life

November 18th, 2009
11:19 pm

“much better against terrible” lol Classic. I need to hit the sack

Doc Holiday

November 18th, 2009
11:20 pm

Im glad Gonzalez got Boras as his agent, that way we dont have to deal with his mediocrity again…………. Lets try get Soriano, and if he is gone to……….. I would not cry about it either.

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:27 pm

Doc

you haven’t been watching enough relievers from other teams if you consider either of those guys mediocre. They both missed time and still made it into the A list, just as an example.
Relievers are relievers for a reason, cause they ain’t good enough to be anything else for the most part. Some exceptions obviously, but most of them are up and down & in and out. Both those guys are well above mediocre. That’s not to say they will be affordable enough to keep.

jed

November 18th, 2009
11:34 pm

it is truly remarkable that cox finished 5th for mgr of the year. shows you how, at this point in his career, cox’s reputation overshadows his actual performance. last year was his worst year by far.

Doc Holiday

November 18th, 2009
11:39 pm

I never said Soriano is mediocre………….he is above great……….I said I wouldnt cry about losing him because he might hit DL on december the 25th when opening a christmas gift.

Gonzalez numbers might not be mediocre, but I can tell you that I never felt comfortable when he came up, he is just a box of chocolates……………never know what to expect……….

Of the 2…………..I would take Soriano 10 out of 10 times………….so thats why im glad he now is one of boras guys.

Sometimes bad things lead to good things……….that might force the braves to think about other strategies……….maybe look into one of their starters to close………… who knows……….I dont think losing Gonzalez is the end of the world…………not even close.

Doc Holiday

November 18th, 2009
11:41 pm

nolie,

But you might be right……….there might not be many relievers better than those 2. All I can tell is that I grew tired of Gonzos number………that little swinging on the mound………nah……….we can do better than that.

Paul Lentz

November 18th, 2009
11:52 pm

No more Buddy Carlyle. Some dumb ass Japanese team signed him. One less BUM available for Bobby to be tempted to use out of the bullpen.

Best news so far for the Braves this off season.

RHR

November 18th, 2009
11:55 pm

kinda like all that crap we always had to read about Johnson, huh?

Heh. *blows nolie a kiss*

RHR

November 18th, 2009
11:58 pm

kinda creeped out by you guys who just happen to have photos handy that show how tall KJ is.

Oh hey, his son was born last night. I guess thats been reported here, but I was astounded when I heard they named him Cole. Surely StevenWayneScoots is his middle name. DOB can you confirm that? :D

nolie

November 18th, 2009
11:59 pm

Of the 2…………..I would take Soriano 10 out of 10 times………….so thats why im glad he now is one of boras guys.

I prefer Soriano too, but box of chocolates is the norm with 90%. Gonzo was scary, I agree, perhaps more so cause we expected more, but he was still better than a lot of guys. I too think that his signing with Boras is a sign that he won’t be back.

jeffrey d

November 18th, 2009
11:59 pm

Just thought I’d inform the blog that my friend said “walah” tonight. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was “voila”

nolie

November 19th, 2009
12:00 am

. *blows nolie a kiss* RHR

I will treasure it forever ;)

nolie

November 19th, 2009
12:04 am

have the heart to tell her that it was “voila” Jeffrey D

well, to be technical it is voilà

RHR

November 19th, 2009
12:04 am

She’s just from the south, jeffrey. She probably said ‘voila’, it just sounded like ‘walah’.

And why dont you have any crops on your farm? How’d you get to level 72 without crops?

Norton2010

November 19th, 2009
12:07 am

I don’t think Norton did that bad. He was just put into a lot of situations that made it difficult for him to succeed. He was struggling batting left handed but not so much right handed, and Bobby kept putting him in against righties even though he had kelly on the bench. Also he never got a whole lot of at bats to keep him fresh. He didn’t get to start hardly at all so he didn’t get a chance to really get his swing in a groove. I think he will be a valuable player off the bench for another team if they are willing to give him a few more at bats.

jeffrey d

November 19th, 2009
12:08 am

I knew there was an accent there somewhere.

How’d you get to level 72 without crops?

lol, I’d just been real busy and preoccupied recently. Since they expanded everything, I’ve been working little by little to adjust and make everything symmetrical and such

RHR

November 19th, 2009
12:09 am

I like the G. Good job on that.

jeffrey d

November 19th, 2009
12:13 am

Took FOREVER. After awhile, I was like “this is taking too long. It’s not worth it.” But I had already started so I had to finish.

jeffrey d

November 19th, 2009
12:13 am

And about a week later, I did…

jeffrey d

November 19th, 2009
12:16 am

Anyway, isn’t Kelly Johnson great?

Steve from OH

November 19th, 2009
12:17 am

I’m no econ major, and I really know nothing about that stuff (except that I myself have no money to worry about), but isn’t Boras forgetting about all the tax dollars the Braves must surely have to pay?

Steve from OH

November 19th, 2009
12:21 am

Anyway, isn’t Kelly Johnson great?

Yes. Haven’t we already established that, though? Oh well, it bears repeating…

nolie

November 19th, 2009
12:31 am

Oh well, it bears repeating…

of course it does :roll:

P. W. Hjort

November 19th, 2009
12:41 am

Relievers are like a box of chocolates. I like it.

nolie

November 19th, 2009
12:47 am

Relievers are like a box of chocolates. I like it. PW

me too, Doc got it just right

Steve from OH

November 19th, 2009
12:50 am

RHR

November 19th, 2009
12:54 am

He’s almost as great as Tebow. Almost.

If that G took forever I can’t imagine how long it took my friend who spelled out Roll Tide on hers.

Church(Still a Brave!)Man

November 19th, 2009
12:56 am

More than a few teams out there looking to acquire a Starter through trade rather than Free Agency.

Lowe’s suitor is out there .. Braves just need to find a match and get it done.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
1:44 am

StevenWayneScoots……got a nice ring to it!

Cole “StevenWayneScoots” Johnson welcome to Bravedom!

(as he secretly hopes that Prado must be included in a deal to land a 40 HR first sacker, so that KJ gets a reprieve!)

nolie

November 19th, 2009
1:47 am

V Is For Value-Posnsnski

Every so often in this crazy sports racket, you can’t help but feel like the conversation has changed ever so slightly … and changed for the better. Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award on Tuesday. More than that, he breezed to the award. He was named first on 25 of 28 ballots. He was the runaway winner.

And he did it with only 16 victories.

This is kind of amazing, if you think about it. Before I begin, I should probably explain quickly to those who have missed it that I cannot stand the pitcher’s victory as a prominent baseball statistic. I quote victories more often than I should because they are inescapable. But crediting the pitcher for a victory has always been somewhat absurd and also — as Crash Davis said in Bull Durham about strikeouts — fascist. Why would you give one guy a “victory?” A pitcher has only so much control over how many hits/runs he allows, and he has almost no control over how many hits/runs his team scores. If a third baseman hits three home runs and makes two great plays, shouldn’t HE get the victory?

As ridiculous as the pitching victories thing was in the 1970s and before, when pitchers threw complete games with regularity, it’s even more ridiculous now because they don’t. Starting pitchers generally go five, six or seven innings … why in the hell should they get a VICTORY for that?

But I digress. Before Greinke, only one starting pitcher in the history of the American League Cy Young had won the award with as few as 16 victories. That, surprisingly enough, was also a Kansas City Royals pitcher — David Cone in 1994. Of course, the big difference is 1994 was a strike year. Cone went 16-5 in only 23 starts that year.

Four National League starters have won the Cy Young with 16 or less. Fernando won 13 in the 1981 strike season — a season which mostly exists to force sportswriters to use the words “Except for the 1981 strike season” in their stories. Greg Maddux won 16 in the 1994 strike year. Rick Sutcliffe went 16-1 after being traded to the Cubs in 1984 and won the National League Cy Young (he actually won 20 games with the Cubs and Indians). And then there was Brandon Webb in 2006 — he too won the Cy Young with 16 victories, but that was a weird year because Webb’s 16 victories actually LED THE LEAGUE (well, it was part of a six-way tie at the top).

So, this is a little bit different — this is the first season, I think, when a starter with 16 victories won the award over a viable Cy Young choice with more victories. And there was a very good choice — Felix Hernandez went 19-5, had a great 2.48 ERA, pitched incredible baseball in the second half and so on. There’s little question in my mind that King Felix would have won the award in years past, and I’m not even saying that’s wrong. I’m saying it’s fairly incredible that the way we watch and study baseball has changed so much that he did not win it this time around.

No, the winner was Zack, with 16 victories. He had a great, great year as we have written here many, many times — led the league in ERA, WHIP and homers per nine, was second in strikeouts, shutouts, complete games and hits per nine. On top of that, he won the Cy Young while pitching for a terrible hitting and fielding team. He won the Cy Young while pitching in a Kansas City market without much media exposure*. He won it while pitching for a team that lost 97 games.

*Even as I typed those words, I realized that the whole “not much media exposure” cry for Kansas City is probably as obsolete as judging a pitcher by his victories. I would guess that for a young fan raised on the Internet, the Royals probably feel preposterously OVEREXPOSED, what with Rob Neyer and Rany Jazayerli and Bill James and Jeff Passan and Sam Mellinger and, you know, others, having a Kansas City slant.

In fact, I wonder — and you can email me your answer if you like — who you think are the five most overexposed teams in baseball. You can include everything — TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet, people in your office who will not shut up, etc. Rank the teams in order, Top 5. And if you are just about to send me an email with this …

1. Yankees
2. Yankees
3. Yankees
4. Yankees
5. Yankees

… you don’t have to. Really.

The Greinke award — especially him winning so easily — feels something like progress. Or at least it feels that way to me because (A) I have been in the tank for Greinke since before the season began and (B) I probably am a hard-liner when it comes to using victories as a way to measure pitchers. Of course, I have been saying for weeks that he WOULD win the Cy Young. But was I as confident as I wrote? Probably not. I kept looking at King Felix’s 19-5 record and thinking: That could definitely change things.

And in other years, yes, I think it would have changed things. There are a few examples of great pitchers getting little or no Cy Young support because they did not win games.

– Kevin Brown lost the Cy Young to John Smoltz in 1996 by a landslide despite his remarkable 1.89 ERA. That ERA was a full run better than Smoltz (2.95). Brown walked just 33 batters in 233 innings, he led the league in WHIP (.944), shutouts (3), fewest homers per nine innings (.309) and his 216 ERA+ that year is the 11th best since the deadball era. But Smoltz had 24 wins for a 96-win Braves team while Brown only had 17 victories for an 80-82 Marlins team. And Smoltz has mentioned, won the Cy Young running away.

*Brown hit 16 batters and walked 33. I had to believe this is a W/P (walk-to-plunk ratio) record (min. 200 innings pitched). Pedro Martinez in 2000 walked 32 and hit 14 (2.29 W/P). Bronson Arroyo in 2004 walked 47 and hit 20 (2.35). And David Bush in 2006 walked 38 and hit 18 (2.11). But Brown’s 2.06 walk-to-plunk is special.

A bonus mention should be given, however, to Orel Hershiser’s 2000 season. It doesn’t count because he only pitched 24 2/3 innings. But that year, his last year, Bulldog walked 14 and hit 11.

– Dave Stieb went 14-13 with a league leading 2.48 ERA in 1985 — and he finished seventh in the Cy Young voting. Admittedly, it’s hard to understand how he could have gone 14-13 with a league-leading ERA while pitching for a Blue Jays team that won the American League East … well, it was hard to understand then. Looking back now, you can see that six of his losses and eight of his nine no-decisions were what we now call quality starts. His team also allowed 16 unearned runs. So despite pitching 30 more innings than Cy winner Bret Saberhagen and allowing fewer earned runs, despite allowing the fewest hits per nine in the league, he got practically no Cy support.

– In 1993, Cincinnati’s Jose Rijo was second in ERA (2.48), first in strikeouts (227), second in innings pitched (257), third in strikeouts to walk ratio, and third in hits per nine innings (7.6) but finished a distant fifth in the Cy voting. He had only 14 wins.

– In the American League in 1993, Kevin Appier led the league in ERA (2.56) and home runs per nine innings, was second in WHIP … but he won 18 games and finished third in the voting. Jack McDowell won 22 and took the award.

– In 1978, Jon Matlack had a 2.27 ERA for Texas (second in the league) and he was Top 5 in WHIP, walks per nine, complete games (18, if you are counting at home) and strikeout to walk ratio. He did not get a single Cy Young vote. His record was 15-13.

And so on. This is not to say that these players got cheated — my feeling on it is that you either win the Cy Young or you don’t. Second or third place, while fun to talk about, are not especially memorable for most. And I would say the only one of these five who SHOULD have won the Cy Young was Kevin Brown. I’m just saying that wins have always played at least some role in the voting. But with the game changing — there were no 20-game winners again this season, just like 2006 — and with people (fans, writers, analysts, everyone it seems except a few former players) attempting to go deeper with pitching analysis, I think this year wins played very little role in people’s thinking. And that’s why Zack Greinke won.

Of course, because of my crazy mind, I do wish we could come up with something like wins and losses (but better) that would tell us at a glance just how effective a season a pitcher had. Bill James’ Game Scores and Season scores are fun. Win Probability Added — which, to wildly oversimplify, adds up an entire season’s worth of winning/losing plays to estimate how many wins a player adds to a team — is extremely helpful.

Pitchers with the Top WPA in 2009
1. Zack Greinke, +6.07
2. Chris Carpenter, +5.41
3. Tim Lincecum, +4.26
4. Justin Verlander, +4.19
5. Adam Wainwright, +3.60
6. Roy Halladay, +3.52
7. Jair Jurrjens, +3.35
8. Felix Hernandez, +3.26
9. Ubaldo Jiminez, +3.16
10. Matt Cain, +3.14

But, yes, I can see why people would be drawn to pitchers wins (and losses). It’s simple, it’s clear-cut and appeals to the certainty we want from baseball. Who is the best winner? If he was so good, why didn’t he win more? If he was so bad, how did he win so many? And so on. Wins have had a powerful pull on the American baseball fan and writer for a long time, and I do not doubt that it will again. But for now, the win is humbled. Zack Greinke wins the Cy Young — a rare victory without many victories.

nolie

November 19th, 2009
1:54 am

jeffrey d

November 19th, 2009
2:00 am

Nobody cares about Alabama, so I doubt that “Roll Tide” took a long time

Bob

November 19th, 2009
2:03 am

“In 2008, Vazquez pitched 13 consecutive games for the White Sox from July through early September where he p[itched at least 6 innings per start (many of them 8IP and at least one CG). Then Guillen had him start three games in a nine day period on three days rest and griped when he never went more than 5IP in the first and only four in the next two. Correlation perhaps? or would you prefer Guillen’s explanation?”

Also in 7 of those starts he had at least 6 days of rest and one break of nearly 2 weeks. Point is From August to the End of september in a playoff run he was 4-8.

And really your case of his usage is really moot in the fact that a kid who never pitched at the Major league level, comes in mid june delivers 21 starts, and going 6 or more in all but 4 starts and 3 of those were 5 inning appearances.

Or Jair Jurrjens who kept his play up although going 6 or more in 29 of his 34 starts.

Or 23 of his starts last year.

sure he had a great season. Sure he was part of our success but he imploded just as he did in Chicago. 4 of his worst 5 games came from the mid August til the last start Vazquez made. He gave up 5 runs in 3 outings to end out the season,

August 16, 6 hits 4 runs in a loss to Philly
August 21 10 hits 5 runs in a loss to Florida
September 2 7 hits 5 runs in a loss to florida again
then he had 3 starts against rather meaningless teams, shut out the Phillies, began to look good again all of a sudden
then he gives up 8 hits on 5 runs to Florida yet again.

I count that 4 games down the stretch that were very important games for the Braves that this one guy blew. It goes back to what Ozzie Guillen did say. Maybe you find it a little radical but we tend to think that when people tell us an inconvenient truth. We don’t want to think that because of all the good he did but he just simply cannot get it done when the pinch is on.

Jay212033

November 19th, 2009
2:33 am

I may be in the minority but I really think we could get good value for Vazquez *IF* he were to be traded. I really hope Wren sticks to his word and waits the market out because after Lackey the market really starts to thin out and the Braves would get a far greater return for either Vazquez or Lowe.

I also think the Braves would trade Vazquez for Minor League talent that has some ML experience something like the Renteria deal. Maybe if we could swing a deal with a team like the Indians who’s looking for pitching and has a surplus of OF guy. Something like Vazquez for Matt Laporta and Rafael Perez/a Minor League pitcher. That would be the power hitting RF the Braves are looking for and they’d have him for the next 6+ years.

nolie

November 19th, 2009
2:54 am

I kinda doubt they are gonna take minor leaguers for Vazquez. If they are willing to go that route it would be better if they could trade Lowe and get more money off the books. It would be a big risk to trade a guy who was arguably your best pitcher last year for unproven talent. LaPorta does at least have a couple hundred MLB at bats but since they aren’t all that good a team I can’t imagine why they would trade a young cheap prospect of that level for one year of an 11million dollar pitcher. Doesn’t make much sense to me anyway.

nolie

November 19th, 2009
3:03 am

count that 4 games down the stretch that were very important games for the Braves that this one guy blew Bob

yeah they were so much more important than any of the other loses down the stretch. Whatever, dude. Cast whatever blame you need to help you feel better. Enjoy!

Jay212033

November 19th, 2009
3:34 am

nolie

I was just giving a senario to what the Braves could do. Most people on the board keep saying the Braves would not trade Vazquez for a minor leaguer but I’m giving a senario in which I think the Braves would consider taking a minor league player in return. Also a team within our division the Phillies have a similar player in Michael Taylor although he doesn’t have any ML experience he would be one of those power RH chaep bat options but would the Braves trade Javy within the division is another story.

nolie

November 19th, 2009
3:49 am

Anything is possible Jay, and Wren might indeed approach it from a different slant than John S did. Just saying I’m gonna be surprised if he trades Javy for prospects; somewhat less surprised if he does that with Lowe. That is the interesting aspect of this time of year, what might happen.
g’nite to anybody who might still be hanging ’round

Random

November 19th, 2009
6:28 am

AdirondackDave (November 18th, 2009 10:12 pm): “Please don’t take offense, but I have a sister-in-law that ‘reasons’ like you. (imagine a smiley face in the space)”

My reply to you contained no reasoning — just a couple of questions which you declined to respond to.

The reasoning for my position has been laid out in half a dozen posts over the last two months.

Go back to condescendingly patronizing your sister-in-law if you cannot carry on a dialogue here.

doug

November 19th, 2009
7:05 am

i would like to introduce a new blog rule. i have been lurking since the beginning of this blog, yes, that long (think about one of Latwan’s mommas pies). anyways, the new rule is, before you go spouting off ideas of player for our outfield, lets make sure the players are better than what we have. we’ll call it the “Matty D” rule. If said player doesn’t compare favorably to Matt Diaz, then don’t bother posting.

If all we add is a good first baseman, i think we’ll be ok. the outfield with schaefer, mcclouth, diaz and heyward would be more than adequate. if shaefer isn’t ready then Brandon Jones gets a chance. i think we need to start heyward in the ATL and by mid-season he will be a middle of the order monster.

the only left fielders out there worth a flip would tie our hands financially for years.

one more point though, should we add that player that would tie our hands financially and eat up a quarter of our salary, think about this. if all our young talent pans out (shaefer, heyward, freeman, jjj, hansen, medlen, minor, escobar, kimbrell…) our payroll could take that kind of hit because we have an affordable right fielder, center fielder 3/5ths of our rotation…

Tell It Like It Is

November 19th, 2009
7:21 am

Is it me and my pessimistic point of view or is MLB headed for a war of agents/players vs owners? Boras and the other agents are on the revenue kick thus impying that the players are not being paid according to their agreement with the owners. Since everyone concerned is full of avarice and greed, then the outcome does not bode well for us fans. We had better enjoy the next few years before MLB goes the way of our economy. IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Doc Holiday

November 19th, 2009
7:26 am

How about KJ for LF and cleanup hitter?

nahhhhhh………..God aint that bad with us.

CB

November 19th, 2009
7:36 am

doug,I like your rules. I also agree with your logic that we can afford to pay for the big free agent signing if Lowe goes,or make a trade for Cabrera,Fielder type. Mark Bowman seems to feel that Heyward will start the season with the Braves making the outfield Diaz,McLouth and Heyward. That is only 7mil,we then can afford to go big at first base with a salary. Make it happen,Frank.

Doc Holiday

November 19th, 2009
7:37 am

How about picking up Jason schmidt for the minimum and use him in the pen?

owl hunter

November 19th, 2009
8:34 am

Jason Schmidt is retiring.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
8:58 am

Mark Bowman’s latest:

The Braves may also spend the next couple weeks and months searching for an outfielder. But because it seems likely they will be willing to give Jason Heyward a chance to begin the 2010 season in their outfield, this doesn’t seem to be as great of a concern.

Matt Diaz and Nate McLouth are in place to fill the other outfield spots. To provide some insurance in the event that Heyward isn’t able to make the successful jump to the Majors, Atlanta may at least attempt to find an affordable veteran outfielder.

I hope Wren doesn’t go about it that way. If an upgrade to the team is available by way of the outfield, then Wren needs to go that route. And the part about Heyward not “making the successful jump the majors”, well, how about we don’t find that out in April? I just don’t like the idea of bringing him up in April and having to send him back down in June similar to the Schafer situation.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
8:59 am

I really think we need to go for a couple of guys like Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton for cheap options for the pen. They are a bit long in the tooth, but I bet the old folks can still bring it?

They might not be too serious about that retirement thing.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
9:01 am

But wait, there is MORE:

Gonzalez and Soriano, who will draw attention from a number of clubs seeking a closer, are also Type A free agents. It now appears the Braves may be comfortable offering arbitration to both of these veteran relievers. By doing so, they would put themselves in position to gain the draft-pick compensation that would come if they were to sign elsewhere.

If they do end up offering arb to both, you know that Wren has gotten enough of an indication from the industry that they are both going to get multi year contracts, potentially with a higher average annual salary.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
9:04 am

And the way the market is moving, or will move, it puts a lot of pressure on the players who are offered arbitration by their clubs. They have until December 7th, presumably one week after being offered arbitration, to accept or decline the offer.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
9:09 am

bobhe just simply cannot get it done when the pinch is on.

you went through javy’s game log and thats what you came away with? unbelievable. in september he pitched 2 complete games for wins, 2 others where he pitched 7 shutout innings, with one bad start at the beginning of the month, and a quality start in his last outing he ended up getting a loss for. and you say he cant do it in a pinch? the braves couldnt have been in more of a pinch in september, and this guy went 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA. he was awesome in a pinch for the braves this season.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
9:14 am

Efrim

When you are a team with somewhat limited resources (if you think 95 million per season is limited?), then sometimes if you have a talent that has been identified as being a lock for a sure thing, maybe you have to roll the dice on that guy.

As for Schafer last year, one of three things happened. He started off well, and supposedly hurt his hand within a week or so of opening day. 1) He was hurt and didn’t get a true chance to show what he is capable of, 2) He isn’t what we thought he would be, and probably never will be, or 3) He truly needed some more seasoning at AAA before breaking onto the scene.

This is the thing, as much as we were excited about Schafer, I don’t think he is in the same prospect category as Heyward.

I see Freeman as being in the Schafer category, so we can’t really count on him.

But Heyward, if he is as good as they say he is going to be, penciling him in to start the season in RF is not a stretch.

I still think we need one more outfielder to start the season (Church? KJ? new guy?).

I really think a lot depends on what we can get for Lowe or Vazquez. Patience is a virtue for GM’s. Frank should be patient. BUT, if a chance to get an OK guy quick, for a lower price, then he should pull the trigger.

Bottom line is this: we could use a player who can handle the cleanup slot.

In my heart, I think McCann could do the job. He seems to put a lot of pressure on himself in that slot, but if he could just relax, play his normal game, his numbers are good enough to suffice there.

A better option would be a non-2009 version of Chipper. Chipper is hurt by not having a confident slugger behind him for protection. Would Diaz or Escobar or McLouth be good enough to hit 3rd?

Now, we are in some decent trouble if 2009 was not an abberation for Chipper Jones. If it was a sign of things to come, then we will be in trouble this year. We could be good, but not great.

CB

November 19th, 2009
9:14 am

Efrim,the Braves would have to be very brave to offer Soriano or be willing to pay the type of salary he could win in arb. I don’t see it happening,but I would rather pay him that salary than take a chance with Wagner.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
9:18 am

efrimIf an upgrade to the team is available by way of the outfield, then Wren needs to go that route

right on man. ill be honest, if wren has a chance to do a abreu type deal this offseason, or he can get cameron or willingham or gomes or dye or nady, and ends up with a guy like anderson or randy winn, im going to be ticked. there are plenty of guys out there that would be upgrades, and the braves need at least one of them.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
9:18 am

Yeah, Ozzie was right. The guy just isn’t a big game pitcher!

Give me a break…..

:?:

beekay

November 19th, 2009
9:19 am

Recently saw the Hoop Dreams 2 movie…Arthur Agee is the narrator and it focuses on Patrick Beverly who went to Arkansas for a year…pretty good flick but not as good as the first one….one cool thing is that it showed some of the opposing players in the clips like Collins from Kansas, Derrick Rose,Scheyer from Duke,Jordans son….definitely worth a $1 rental from Redbox if you are a hoops fan.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
9:22 am

DAP

The big question is going to be this: Which one of those guys will come at an affordable price, considering we also need a first baseman, and a couple of bullpen arms.

As much as MFIKY was inconsistent through the year, I would be OK with him at a fair salary.

I think Gonzo is a goner.

As amped as we are about the LF/1B positions, the bullpen is going to really be interesting to see how we fill it out. I just don’t see us counting on the Medlens/Hydes/Kimbrels to carry a heavy load in the first half. Medlen maybe more than the others, but not as a closer.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
9:30 am

I still think we need one more outfielder to start the season (Church? KJ? new guy?).

Wayne, I agree with most of what you said, but when it comes down to it, I think most people feel that we need to get an outfielder. I know Matty D had a great year offensively, but he still has a platoon split, so getting him a left handed caddy would be beneficial. If the Braves feel Heyward is ready, then go for it. But I just would rather them go into the offseason not thinking that he’ll take the RF job in spring. Just my feeling on that subject. I like to play it cautious with prospects, whether they are elite or not makes no difference to me. Heck, Heyward being THE elite prospect in baseball might mean we need to be extra careful.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
9:31 am

Wayne, i honestly see cameron getting the most out of the guys i just listed. i bet he gets $7-$8mil maybe even multiple years. dye could be had for a little less than that, id imagine, and nady will be a gamble so he will get a little less than those guys. for a trade i really like jonny gomes. willingham would force us to trade pieces that could come back and haunt us in the future, so i wouldn’t do that unless we had to. im thinking gomes could be a really big pickup for us if we could get him.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
9:32 am

I don’t see it happening,but I would rather pay him that salary than take a chance with Wagner.

So would I.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
9:33 am

Bob that is one of the worst analysis on a player month ever! Vazquez had one of his best months in September. You base your whole anaylsis on one start. All the others he was pretty damn good.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
9:36 am

I just posted what Bowman stated about the arbitration offers. I’m really not sure what to think. I do know that Soriano and Gonzo are going to attract A LOT of teams on the free agent market.

And I also know that John Grabow just got a two year deal for 7.5 million from the Cubs. That’s 3.75 million per year for an average lefty out of the bullpen(if that). He just finished up a year where he walks 5.0 batters per 9 innings and was just awarded 7.5 million over the next two seasons. Gonzalez, and other less talented left handed relievers, should be doing cart wheels right about now.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
9:37 am

My thought on the OF situation is why not use Schafer as the insurance? I know he did horrible last year, but most believe that was due to the wrist injury. This may be the best chance to see if it was the wrist or if it is just him. If he succeeds great, we fill a void within the organization. If he fails, within a month or two we can bring up Heyward. Regardless Heyward gets a little extra minor league experience and we save some money on OF which we can now invest in a 1B or closer.

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
9:42 am

(Paul Lentz November 18th, 2009 11:52 pm: No more Buddy Carlyle. Some dumb ass Japanese team signed him. One less BUM available for Bobby to be tempted to use out of the bullpen.Best news so far for the Braves this off season.)

Haven’t we all learned by now, there will always be a bum for two for Bobby to torture us with. There are hundreds of Jeff Bennetts, Buddy Carlyles and Greg Nortons out there waiting for a job. I’m sure we’ll see someone on the opening day roster that doesn’t belong there.

beekay

November 19th, 2009
9:43 am

Mets plans
The Mets have identified Matt Holliday and Jason Bay as top candidates to fill the power void in left, John Lackey followed by Joel Pineiro and Jason Marquis for the No. 2 spot and Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas at catcher.

Aubrey Huff or Carlos Delgado on an incentive-laden deal (assuming he proves he is healthy) are among the options at first, and there are many possibilities for the setup role — maybe even re-signing J.J. Putz.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/holliday_bay_lackey_bIfub1XK4p5IU374SrmQ9J#ixzz0XJg59DPU

Random

November 19th, 2009
9:46 am

doug (November 19th, 2009 7:05 am): “i would like to introduce a new blog rule. i have been lurking since the beginning of this blog, yes, that long (think about one of Latwan’s mommas pies). anyways, the new rule is, before you go spouting off ideas blah blah blah schaefer, mcclouth, blah shaefer blah shaefer blah blah blah.”

Here’s a rule for ya:

Before you go spouting off ideas about Braves players, learn how to spell the names of the players on their 40-man roster.

How’s that sound to ya?

McFann O

November 19th, 2009
9:54 am

Wayne In my heart, I think McCann could do the job. He seems to put a lot of pressure on himself in that slot, but if he could just relax, play his normal game, his numbers are good enough to suffice there.

I’m with you there…and it would be int’resting to see how he’d do in that spot for a full season without the added annoyance of playing half-blind…I mean, it would prob’ly have been easier for him to relax in that spot if he wouldn’t have had the specs to adjust to. But I could be wrong…

Either way, FW needs to get a big bat this time. No more Garret Andersons (no offense, GA)…let’s not have to worry about whether or not BMac cann relax in the cleanup spot. :)

DAP

November 19th, 2009
9:54 am

eric from MOIf he fails, within a month or two we can bring up Heyward.

that strategy likely cost us the wild card in 2009.

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:02 am

“He (Vazquez) just simply cannot get it done when the pinch is on.” Bob

You mean the five starts Javy made in September, where the Braves went 17-10 to put themselves squarely in the WC race? You mean those five starts where Vazquez gave up 0,2,0,1 and 3 runs? YOu mean those five starts where he pitched 7IP twice, Complete Games twice and six innings (in his loss-still a quality start) one time. You mean those five games where he went 4-1?

Yeah. Vazquez can’t pitch under pressure-at least not on three days rest. However, didn’t we just have this discussion in terms of the past World Series? Didn’t we see that the winning percentages did down radically on three days rest? Yeah, Javy was dogging it for not being able to go on short rest. He and most pitchers in MLB. He’’s in good company. Unfortunately, Ozzie Guillen isn’t. There are few jerks in management with his people skills, willing to throw someone under the bus when he puts them in a bad position and they don’t perform.

Can we think of at least ONE manager in MLB that would NEVER do that to one of his players?

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:05 am

He also lowered his ERA from 3.18 to 2.87 during that stretch. Definitely folding under pressure.

RC

November 19th, 2009
10:07 am

Lew, you just summed up my thoughts on Javy (and Guillen) exactly. And don’t forget the bad starts he had in Chi-town because his manager (Guillen) left him in for more than 7 innings when it was obvious he didn’t have anything left…that’s where a lot of the “one bad inning” label came from. Everyone would have one bad inning if it was their last and they’d thrown 120 pitches already.

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
10:08 am

Speaking of McCann’s eyesight…DOB has anyone talked with Mac after his lasik? I’m curious if he’s taken batting practice yet and how things went.

I had lasik 6 years ago. It’s still some of the best money I’ve spent, but I lost a lot of depth perception, especially at night. I can’t play outfield anymore during night games, I misjudge fly balls and look like a douche. Or maybe I look like a douch to start with and missing a fly ball just brings attention to that fact. That’s not for me to judge.

CB

November 19th, 2009
10:09 am

Lew,I started laughing when I saw that post,I knew that would wake you up this morning,lol.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:11 am

DAP I highly doubt one 8 for a month would cost us a playoff start. Especially if we invest the money in a closer and a really good 1B. We dont have enough money to get a good closer, a really good 1B, and a really good OF.

So why not get what we know we will not have next year, a closer and a 1B, and take a chance with Schafer and Heyward. Most believed last year Schafer was going to be good. Now after an injury you believe he is a bum? That is ridiculous. Plus most believe Heyward is going to be a beast.

So best case Schafer turns out to be really good to go along with a really good 1B and a good closer. Worst case scenario we learn Schafer was overrated, which we dont know yet, and shortly after that Heyward comes up becomes the beast he is to go along with a really good 1B and a good closer. This is the best gamble considering we cant get a really good 1b, closer, and outfielder with our payroll. Just not enough money, unless you think somebody like GA is a better gamble than Schafer.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:12 am

*meant one 8 hitter

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:14 am

CB-Nah, the first mile I walked is what woke me up. Idiocy is more an irritation (kind of like a mosquito buzzing around your head) than a motivational force.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
10:20 am

Eric from MO, you might be right, or you could be wrong. in 2009 the bottom half of the order certainly did cost us later in the year. i just see no need to do what your proposing. the braves have the ability to bring someone in, and thats what they should do. they arent going to be forced to start a rookie. plenty of players out there that can help us out.

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:21 am

Eric-Not too sure why you think we can’t get those pieces you mention.

Gonzo and Soriano made a combined $10 mil last year-more than enough to get a good closer without having to find more $$$$$..

Kotchman and LaRoche made a combined $5 mil last year. Even if we have to go double that, it’s only an additional $5 mil, easily covered by non-tendereing KJ and Church (saves about $7 mil or a bit more that they’d make in arb).

Then you trade a pitcher. That saves you approximately $11.5-$15 million, depending on whether you can trade Vazquez or Lowe, plus/minus? (player vs. payroll) what you get in return in the trade.

You don’t think that leaves enough $$$$$ to get a decent bat for the outfield and a couple of relievers? Why?

Random

November 19th, 2009
10:21 am

Paul Lentz (November 18th, 2009 11:52 pm): No more Buddy Carlyle. Some dumb ass Japanese team signed him. One less BUM available for Bobby to be tempted to use out of the bullpen.

Best news so far for the Braves this off season.

SOD OFF, WELCHER.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
10:23 am

Haven’t we all learned by now, there will always be a bum for two for Bobby to torture us with. There are hundreds of Jeff Bennetts, Buddy Carlyles and Greg Nortons out there waiting for a job. I’m sure we’ll see someone on the opening day roster that doesn’t belong there…..dpelfrey

At least we have a couple of smart guys (I was thinking of another term) who can tell us all who those guys are that don’t belong on the opening day roster, since Frank and Bobby aren’t good enough baseball men to get it done.

Go back to your fantasy baseball ideas along with your soulmate Paul Dense!

DAP

November 19th, 2009
10:28 am

lew Kotchman and LaRoche made a combined $5 mil last year.

i dont think this is right. my understanding was that the red sox were paying all of laroche’s salary over what kotchman would have gotten paid, so the braves basically paid $2,885,000 for the first base position last year.

but your point is still valid. to the salary relief you mentioned from losing gonzalez and soriano, add norton, and anderson, the pay cuts that hudson and kawakami are getting compared to last years salaries (i think thats like $8mil right there), the possible release of KJ and/or church, and a traded pitcher, and the braves are actually in a very good place financially, if payroll at least holds steady, which we have been assured it will. the braves have plenty of money.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:32 am

DAP that was the whole bottom order. That was KJ, Francouer, and the hurt Schafer. Plus Im talking about a much better 1B than Kotchman. I am talking about one spot that may not be good, two completely situations.

Lew I know some of the players are making more this year than last. I dont know how much, because frankly Im busy and dont have time to look. I dont believe we can get rid of Lowe unless we eat 4 or 5 a year and Vazquez make 11. So basically with Soriano and Gonzo being gone and the starting pitcher that would be about 20 mil. Say a really good 1B takes 10 and a closer takes 6-7 that leaves us 3 or 4 to get an outfielder. I dont feel like you can get an OF much better than GA for that and personally I feel like a healthy Schafer is a better option than that. Not to mention you may want to use some of that money for another reliever and maybe bench player.

Now if Wren makes a trade for a young player to fill one of the 3 voids, obviously that changes my mind, but that is going to be hard considering most teams are going to hold onto young good players, especially with the way the econonmy is.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:33 am

DAP that is right. The Sox did pay the difference.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
10:33 am

And if FW comes in under budget, I bet he could be talked into having a blog party. Friday night game, BBQ, fly anybody in who doesn’t live w/ in 200 miles (pay for your gas if you are from Spartanburg or somewhere like that). Everybody gets a Heyward jersey, a cap and a coke! Hey, I would even pay for my own lodging down at the Super 8!

Sounds like a plan!

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:34 am

DAP insurance picked up some of Hudsons contract. So I dont know if that really is a paycut, from the Braves stance.

Jimmy Joe

November 19th, 2009
10:36 am

If you’re Soriano and you have a history of health issues, which deal would you take:

Three years and 18 million

or

One year and 8 million(arbitration offer)

That’s what Wren should be asking himself when he considers offering Soriano arbitration. He should do it. Soriano is going to be the most sought after free agent reliever in baseball. More than Valverde and Gonzalez.

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:42 am

Eric-Given the pitifully small pitching market among Free Agents, I doubt the Braves will have anywhere near the trouble trading Lowe and his entire salary. Dude DOES have some bona fide selling points and is a proven, healthy starter-something in short supply. We may take a lower return for the other team eating the salary, but it will happen, IMO. In addition, the Braves will NEVER eat salary. That just won’t happen.

Greg Olson Homers

November 19th, 2009
10:43 am

If they dump Lowe, I wouldn’t mind Soriano and Gonzo accepting arb offers or leaving them on the table. I think that is really a Win-Win for the Braves. Now, if Lowe is still on the books then it would hamstring the budget pretty bad on getting a 1B and OF.

Gary O

November 19th, 2009
10:44 am

Dont know if this has been mentioned or posted before, but its from Mark Bowman on mlb.com

“The Braves may also spend the next couple weeks and months searching for an outfielder. But because it seems likely they will be willing to give Jason Heyward a chance to begin the 2010 season in their outfield, this doesn’t seem to be as great of a concern”.

I hope the Braves get an outfielder with some pop, because I’m just not convinced that Diaz, Nate and Heyward will be enough in the outfield (although they would still add a veteran just in case). Not to mention that we could lose LaRoche too.

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:45 am

Eric-I don’t think the insurance company has paid anything on Hudson’s claim yet. I think I had heard something to the effect that they were still dicking around on the situation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard. Apparently this insurance deal for injured players isn’t quite as cut and dried as we would have it. Thought I heard they’re still arguing over Hampton’s last year, too.

P-Town Brave

November 19th, 2009
10:45 am

Wayne-

LOVE the idea! Follow that up with a nice post game hotel blog party and give me a ballpoint to sign up!

Positive thing for me is my airfare will certainly be cheaper than BAS or CA…I can get a nice cheap direct flight to the ATL.

BTW, anyone thought of doing a blog weekend trip where a bunch of us out of towners can all make a trip down to the ATL and meet up? Well, those of us that get along…I mean I wouldn’t want Random to show up just to kick my *ss.

RC

November 19th, 2009
10:45 am

Lew,

There is a problem with referring to “saving” money that KJ and Church would make in arb….all we’ll save by non-tendering them is what they made this past year. Also, Kotchman/LaRoche combined to make $2.885M, because BoSox sent over cash to even out the salaries. On the same note, Francoeur/Church combined for $3.375M, because Braves sent cash to Mets to even out contracts. So below is what the Braves would actually “save” by letting go of Soriano, Gonzalez, LaRoche, Church, GA, and KJ next year:

Soriano: $6.1 M
Gonzalez: $3.45 M
LaRoche: $2.885 M
Church: $3.375 M
Johnson: $2.825 M
Anderson: $2.5 M

That’s $21.135 million potentially coming off the books in 2010. Add to that the savings from trading Lowe/Vazquez, and you are approaching $33-$37 million less in payroll (minus raises to arb eligibles, plus McCann and McLouth). That MIGHT be enough to fill the 3 holes you mentioned, but I don’t know that you can get a “very good” closer, 1b, and OF for $10 million a piece…just seems a bit low to me.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
10:46 am

Soriano is going to be the most sought after free agent reliever in baseball. More than Valverde and Gonzalez.

I get your point, but Valverde with no pick attached might be more valuable to teams than Soriano with a pick attached.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:48 am

Lew I do agree we wont eat any of Lowe’s salary, which I dont think he will be the one traded. However, no one wanted him last year for 15 a year. Now with everybody having less money you believe someone will want Lowe’s salary. Hmmm… You are optimistic. I will give you that.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
10:49 am

eric in MO yes, clearly a different situation, but if we have the ability to get a better player why not do it?

you said: I dont believe we can get rid of Lowe unless we eat 4 or 5 a year and Vazquez make 11. So basically with Soriano and Gonzo being gone and the starting pitcher that would be about 20 mil. Say a really good 1B takes 10 and a closer takes 6-7 that leaves us 3 or 4 to get an outfielder.

not that this is completely accurate, but lets try to be a little closer if we are going to make assertions like you just did. ill name players and how much salary relief we are getting from them. gonzalez $3.45mil, soriano $6.35mil, 1st base $2.885mil, anderson $2.5mil, pay cut to hudson $6mil, pay cut for kawakami about $1mil, greg norton $.8mil.

all that equals $22.985mil. add to that $2.8mil if they non tender church and $2.825mil if they non tender johnson, and that equals $28.61mil. then add in at least $11mil for a traded pitcher, and you get $39.61mil.

there are some raises to current players, but that still leaves alot of money for the braves to work with. like ive said, the braves are in good shape financially.

RC

November 19th, 2009
10:50 am

If you’re Soriano and you have a history of health issues, which deal would you take:

Three years and 18 million

or

One year and 8 million(arbitration offer) – Jimmy Joe

Soriano is probably also asking himself what other closers will be on the free agent market next year? Because right now he is one of about 8 closers available, and would likely be offered LESS than 3 years/$6 mil per if the team signing him knows it would lose it’s 1st round pick in 2010. If he took the one year arb offer, he could re-enter the market next year when there may only be 2 or 3 closers available (I don’t know how many will be FAs, just throwing out the scenario). Soriano could also believe that he’ll be fine in 2010, and get a bigger 3-year deal the next season. There are just too many factors to consider here.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
10:50 am

jimmy joe has a good point on soriano.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:50 am

RC agree with you last piece. Does seem a bit low.

Lew

November 19th, 2009
10:53 am

Greg Homers-Not so. They are considering trading Vazquez or Lowe. Lowe would save $15 mil on the payroll, but Vazquez would save $11.5 mil-plenty to still accomplish what needs doing-especially since Wren will come up with a great deal that no one even saw coming.

Klaus

November 19th, 2009
10:55 am

Bowman’s piece seems to be speculation more than anything else. Wren has said boo as of late other than his usual political non-comments. :)

Also Bowman is the only one I have seen that continues to say the Braves OF may be set b/c Heyward may start in April. He actually said in a piece they might not have to get a RF if Heyward is ready. RF? Since when do they need a RF with Diaz there as a bandaid. They have no LF!

His whole rap seems dubious and speculative.

Heyward did not play AFL ball and is nursing an injury. What could have possibly happened since he was shut down that leads Bowman to believe they are ready to start him in the OF and pass on getting a big bat?

Nothing.

Team reporters have zero to write about now but they have quotas to meet and deadlines. Everything that gets said until early December is pure rump derived fodder. :)

No offense but all these guys are thrashing like fish on a hot side walk.

We do know the SP market is light and that there is no rush for the Braves to do anything but let the market come to them for either Lowe, Vaz or KK.

We do know they have no LF and no 1B. Both spots need to be filled and one at least with a bopper of sorts.

We need a closer and may offer arb to one or both of our former closers.

After that its total wild west speculation on how any of this goes down. That is why this is called the silly season. Fun to ponder what could happen but ulcer inducing if you believe everything reporters write.

Personally I find Bowman’s blog & articles a complete buzz kill and if you believed every word you would be hitting the sauce nightly. :)

He could be right but no one knows how this will all shake out.

I do hope the Braves FO is patient this off season b/c it may not be the year for the pre-emptive strike move. Caveat: Unless that move is a trade for Adrian G or Fielder where we don’t get fleeced. :)

If Wren watched the same games we did and he is not being asked to cut payroll he is not going to pin the seasons hopes on Heyward and a Tier 3 RF/LF.

If he does they we have bigger problems.

bravesgrl4life

November 19th, 2009
10:57 am

McFann and Soph, good to hear from you both. I’ve been around. Reading fairly regularly, but not much posting. Things are good. Heading to NYC this weekend – treat of my hubby for my October birthday. Going to see Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig in “A Steady Rain.”

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
10:59 am

DAP and Lew you two do realize you have to pay the guys coming in to replace the guys not going to be back. Do you expect to pay everyone league min that are replacing them? Come on, not that much is coming off. After trading the starting pitcher we are probably talking 30 million and I agree with RC that your not going to get a really good closer, 1B, and OF with that. Might as well agree to disagree but if you look back on the past year you will find I was right over 90% of the time. I was right on who we would get, Lowe Kawakami GA, who we would not get,Peavy Burnett Furcal, who would get traded, Francouer, when Hanson would get called up, if Heyward would get called up, and where the Braves would finish.

The only time I think I was wrong was I predicted on opening night the Braves would finish 3rd with 87 wins behind the Phillies and Marlins and they finish 3rd with 86 wins behind the Phillies and Marlins…My bad…I was bashed last offseason as being a moron and Im sure I will be this offseason. I just wished people would start looking at my track record and realize Im normally right. Oh well.

Lew

November 19th, 2009
11:00 am

RC-$33 million (plus you just saved $3 mil on re-signing Hudson and a mil or so on KK’s salary going down) should be more than enough to fill those three spots and pay raises (which won’t be all that large-especially if you dump KJ and Church cause they will cost more than you budgeted from 09).

Do you seriously think we’ll spend $10 mil per position? I’m betting we may spend that much for ONE (either closer or 1B-though I doubt they go that high on either, but certqinly NOT all three. There’s plenty of $$$ to get what we need..

Lew

November 19th, 2009
11:02 am

We’re just not going to get Holliday, Bay or Cabreara with their huge price tags-no matter how much many here seem to think that’s our only chance (it isn’t).

Lew

November 19th, 2009
11:04 am

I think that given the market the last two years and considering that many clubs are claiming a drop off in payroll, that at least some of the FA class will take one year deals in hopes that the economy will improve and they can try it again next year.

CB

November 19th, 2009
11:06 am

Sounds like some of you guys are using “creative accounting” when figuring payroll. Sure you are not working for the govt. on the health care plan?

Rick

November 19th, 2009
11:06 am

It makes no difference whom the Braves have on their roster for the coming year. As long as that constant loser Cox is the manager the Braves won’t be worth a whittle!

DAP

November 19th, 2009
11:07 am

eric from MOyou two do realize you have to pay the guys coming in to replace the guys not going to be back. Do you expect to pay everyone league min that are replacing them?

i mentioned 8 guys being gone. gonzo, soriano, norton, johnson, anderson, church, a 1st baseman and 1 starter. only three of those 8 departures need to be filled with someone not making the minimum, closer, LF, 1stbase. the starter doesnt need to be replaced, we have in house options we could use to set up our new closer, a 4th outfielder will eventually be replaced by heyward, both will make the minimum, and it wont be hard to find a better pinch hitter than norton, and a 25th man.

Bobby's Belly

November 19th, 2009
11:09 am

Eric, you are right, sorry.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
11:09 am

lew (plus you just saved $3 mil on re-signing Hudson

braves saved $6mil on hudson over last year’s $15mil salary.

RC

November 19th, 2009
11:09 am

After trading the starting pitcher we are probably talking 30 million and I agree with RC that your not going to get a really good closer, 1B, and OF with that.

I think it’s more of a question of “who are the really good closers, 1b, and OF on the market?” Because when you look at it that way, there aren’t a lot available unless it’s through trade (which will cost us in ways other that money). I see it like this:

Really good OF: Holliday and Bay. Not getting either for anything less than $16 million a year, probably higher.

Really good CL: Sadly, Soriano is probably the best on the free agent market. He’ll cost you around $9 million, as would someone like Wagner. You’ll also have to commit multiple years to someone with a very high breakdown rate (almost all closers are risky, aside from Hoffmann and Riveria).

Really good 1b: LaRoche is likely the top guy on the FA market. He’s going to cost at least $9 million/year over 3 years.

I’m sure we’ll fill all the holes we have in some adequate way, but it’s going to have to be through creative trades, not through “going out and getting X” as a free agent, because there simply isn’t a lot on the market.

Bobby's Belly

November 19th, 2009
11:11 am

DAP – Did you review Eric’s track record?

reagan

November 19th, 2009
11:13 am

vabrave (your 10:45)…… I WISH!!!!!!!!!!!

RC

November 19th, 2009
11:14 am

Also, McCann and McLouth are combining for and extra $5.5 million in raises next year. Just make sure to include it in the math.

CB

November 19th, 2009
11:14 am

Random, we need you to review Eric’s track record. You out there,friend? :-)

N8

November 19th, 2009
11:15 am

“I just don’t like the idea of bringing him up in April and having to send him back down in June similar to the Schafer situation.” Efrim

Are you of the belief that Schafer sucked and thus his send down? Or that it was due to the injury he has since admitted to hiding?

I’m not trying to argue. But I’m of the belief that without the injury, he probably holds his own all year, and thus was ready for the callup at the beginning of the year.

The fact that they pretty much shut down his AAA season due to the injury, tells me it wasn’t fake.

I’m less concerned with the team going with Heyward at the beginning of the year with an affordable veteran backup as insurance, than I am with them going into 2010 with Diaz penciled in as a fulltime player as Bowman’s article states.

Let’s not forget about Schafer, while we’re at it too. A strong spring puts him back in the mix, imo.

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
11:18 am

Wayne in Utah @10:23am

What are you talking about. I don’t play fantasy baseball and do I really have to justify what I said. I’ve never said Wren and Bobby aren’t great baseball guys. I like them both and I’m glad they’re in charge. But I have history on my side to back up my statement that Bobby typically has a guy or two that make us all scream when he calls on them too much. If you need to see the list, here goes…

Dave Gallagher – 1994
Bill Pecota -1994
Dwight Smith – 1996
Ed Giovanola – 1996
Keith Lockhart – 1997-2002
Dennis Martinez – 1998
Terry Mulholland – 2000
Trenidad Hubbard – 2000
Kevin Grybowski – 2002-2004
Darren Bragg – 2002-2003
Jessie Garcia – 2002-2004 (just a continuation of Lockhart, although I liked him)
Shane Reynolds – 2003
Ken Ray – 2006
Chris Woodward – 2007

And the three recent ones I mentioned…
Buddy Carlyle – 2007-2009
Jeff Bennett – 2007-2009
Greg Norton – 2008-2009

The defense rests…

Coach (2011 or Bust)

November 19th, 2009
11:21 am

Lew is correct, most of the big name free agents and rumored to be traded are far beyond the Braves budget. As for trading Derek Lowe, it shouldn’t be a problem. John Lackey is rumored to potentially cost around 17-18 million per season which makes Lowe a bargain. Especially when considering how consistent and durable that Derek Lowe has been over the last eight seasons (He’s averaged 15 wins and 10 losses with an ERA around 4.0 since 2002).

And as for the the free agent bargain bin, there are some cheap rehab projects to be had. Players like Troy Glaus, Khalil Greene and Adrian Beltre are coming off injury plagued seasons and the Braves infield needs help too. I would sign any of the three to a minor league contract with a million dollar base salary if they made the big league team out of spring training.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
11:27 am

But I’m of the belief that without the injury, he probably holds his own all year, and thus was ready for the callup at the beginning of the year.

N8, I was for a different option than Schafer prior to 2009. Now, I was kind of hoping that different option would of been someone other than Josh Anderson or Gregor Blanco, but that’s a ways back. I think he probably would of been okay. But there really is no way of knowing how he would of done. Would .250/.320/.380 warrant Schafer staying here the entire year in CF? Would he of been better or worse than that? No way of knowing, imo. I’d like to keep Heyward in the minors until June, but that’s just me. I’d rather find an outfield solution and have Heyward push his way to a platoon role with Matt Diaz by June. I think Diaz is a good player, but I still think he is better suited as a platoon corner outfielder, not an everyday guy.

18 Wheels of Love

November 19th, 2009
11:29 am

dpelffrey,

How could you leave off Travis Smith?

DAP

November 19th, 2009
11:33 am

available closers:

Mike Gonzalez
Kevin Gregg
Fernando Rodney
Rafael Soriano
Jose Valverde
Billy Wagner
Chad Cordero
Jason Isringhausen
Brandon Lyon
J.J. Putz
Troy Percival
Takashi Saito
Eddie Guardado

a few ofr these guys are probably washed up (percival, guardado) but they all have closing experience and have been successful doing it at one time or another. the braves ought to be able to find a guy to close for a decent price tag.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
11:33 am

I would sign any of the three to a minor league contract with a million dollar base salary if they made the big league team out of spring training.

Coach, you could be right about the other two, but I’m pretty sure Adrian Beltre is going to get a multi year deal worth millions and not a minor league deal/spring invite.

Wayne in Utah

November 19th, 2009
11:34 am

dpelfrey

Has there ever been a team in the history of baseball who didn’t have a player or two on the opening day roster, or who joined to fill in during the year, that didn’t have an off year???

And the fact that you list the last three with 2-3 years inclusive, does that mean you didn’t appreciate Buddy’s relief and emergency starting work in 2008? How about Bennet in 08? And I guess since Norton sucked last year, that negates the great season he had the year before.

Damn friend, hindsight is 20/20.

I just get tired of the inferences of some that the Braves like to hang onto guys who suck. I guess Conrad would have fixed all ills last year, huh.

Keep it real man.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
11:39 am

bobby’s belly Did you review Eric’s track record?

haha no. im not random or i would go back and check. ill have to take his word on it, but i dont really care weather he thinks he is some sort of braves prophet.

wjones

November 19th, 2009
11:39 am

One thing to look at when teams cry about their bottom line:

There is a little reporting benefit available to teams who have long-term contracts. They can depreciate the contract over the life of said contract, while also expensing the salary as a payroll expense. In other words, a double deduction. Let’s say, for instance, a player was signed to a 4-year, $60 million contract. I know we would never do such a thing, but humor me. So we deduct the depreciation on the contract, let’s just assume straight-line, since that would be lowest. So that’s 15 million. In addition, there would be a 15 million deduction for salary. So a team that earns $20 million could claim to have only earned $5 million, while a team that earned $10 million would be claiming a $5 million loss. And that’s only one contract. What if you also have a $27 million, 3-year contract, a $30 million, three year contract, and a two-year $8 million contract? That’s an additional $38 million in paper losses, assuming straight line, that a team could claim. So a team that actually earned $30 million could claim a loss of $8 million. Interesting, huh?

dmack2027

November 19th, 2009
11:40 am

I’d like to see the Braves take a flier on Delmon Young. He is young, athletic, and right handed. They might be able to get him for Kelly. Wouldnt that be a good flier to take? Kid still has talent, there is no question about that. Plus, he is relatively inexpensive and would not cost much in terms of prospects.

Klaus

November 19th, 2009
11:54 am

wjones – Lowe has a 4 year $60mm contract. :) Interesting analysis. I think the players and the owners need more transparency on the financial side.

The next labor agreement is going to be messy and it could be the owners get hung out to dry if any of the Boras’s claims are even remotely true.

More transparency would be good for fans as well. It will keep people honest and provide season ticket holders in particular with info they need before they make a major investment.

Owners and GMs will hate this b/c if they are squirreling away money the gig will be up and fans will vote with their feet.

Given the money fans pour into MLB they have a right to know where its going if not into the product on the field (re: their team).

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
11:58 am

dmack2027, yeah, cause the Twins would really want kelly for D Young, come on now.

Random

November 19th, 2009
12:04 pm

CB (November 19th, 2009 11:14 am): “we need you to review Eric’s track record. You out there,friend? :-)

HAI! P&AF.

You talkin’ about Eric from MO?

There may be a conflict of interest — we two have clashed before. I may not be unbiased. :roll:

(It ended up with me pointing out to him that his blognomen was invalid — it should be Eric out of Mo by Bo, iaw the international guidelines of animal husbandry nomenclature.)

PS: Oh, my — I see what you mean. He’s Lentzed us: “if you look back on the past year you will find I was right over 90% of the time. I was right on who we would get, who we would not get, who would get traded, when who would get called up, if who would get called up, and where the Braves would finish.”

Well, I might see what I can do. :?:

dmack2027

November 19th, 2009
12:04 pm

It may take more than just Kelly. What I do know is that they have talked of non-tendering him. Also, he would require a LOT less than Nellie Cruz.

jed

November 19th, 2009
12:12 pm

at 24, delmon young’s not a bad idea at all. certainly seems to have more upside than willingham. what’s the story on delgado? is he fully healthy? what does he expect money-wise? his 2008 numbers are pretty great: 38 hr/115rbi/.271 .353 .518 .871.

BravoMan

November 19th, 2009
12:31 pm

It wouldn’t surprise me if Wagner was the first of the Braves off season acquisitions..

njbraves

November 19th, 2009
12:35 pm

Billy Wagner will enrage this fanbase by the first week of June. He isn’t very good, never was very good, and isn’t getting any younger or better.

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
12:35 pm

Twins GM said they will tender Young a contract

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
12:37 pm

It wouldn’t surprise me if Wagner was the first of the Braves off season acquisitions..

Yeah, lets just hand over a first round draft pick. Who needs those……

BravoMan

November 19th, 2009
12:39 pm

Hey im jst reporting what im hearing from research, but we are going to be getting our fair share of picks from Gonzo leaving and possibly Soriano if they decide to offer him arbitration which Bowman thinks they will

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
12:46 pm

So, if we offered arbitration to Gonzalez and he signs elsewhere, we get first round picks, and if we sign Wagner and the Sox offered him arbi, then they get first round picks, right? Question is, who would get the first pick? If its us, I say sign Wagner even if they offer arbi because we would still pick before the Sox.

N8

November 19th, 2009
12:46 pm

DOB, what is MLB’s reasoning behind not allowing draft picks to be part of trades? Seems to work in the NFL. I think teams sometimes would rather have a draft pick than a prospect, because it’s just more guys to draft that fit their approach and they can be in complete control of their development, rather than taking on somebody with upside, but who was maybe taught to do things in a way which they disagree with.

Never have understood why they don’t allow draft picks to be traded.

rammerjammer

November 19th, 2009
12:47 pm

Interesting how Schafer’s wrist is healing ahead of schedule (according to Wren last week) and now Bowman says the outfield “doesn’t seem to be as great of a concern.”

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
12:52 pm

Yanks are letting teams know that Swisher is available.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
12:56 pm

Yanks are letting teams know that Swisher is available.

get ‘em wren.

Insane blogger who thinks Lowe is tradeable

November 19th, 2009
12:57 pm

Swisher for Lowe!!!!

18 Wheels of Love

November 19th, 2009
12:57 pm

Lowe for Swisher/prospect
Sign Wagner
Trade for Willingham

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
12:59 pm

Wayne, I’m not talking about guys that had off years. And I didn’t say these guys didn’t contribute at all. I could have included Reitsma in that list, but he had 2 pretty decent years.

I’m talking about guys that it was painfully obvious were not to be relied upon in key situations, that were consistently put out there in key situations. They did okay sometimes, but they were definitely guys that made you say…”here we go again.” I’m sure a lot of other people on this blog would agree.

You’re reading too much into my comments. I think the loyalty Bobby shows to struggling players is admirable. It’s just tough to watch sometimes, that’s all.

Canadian Braves Fan

November 19th, 2009
1:00 pm

that purposal doesn’t do enough to make playoff

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
1:00 pm

Yanks are letting teams know that Swisher is available.

Let’s see, Cashman traded Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez for Swisher last season. My guess is that it’s going to cost a tad more for him this time around.

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:01 pm

Am I wrong for thinking that Matt Diaz could put up similar numbers as Willingham, but with better hustle and better defense.

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:01 pm

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
1:00 pm
Yanks are letting teams know that Swisher is available.

Where did you read this

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:03 pm

DOB, what is MLB’s reasoning behind not allowing draft picks to be part of trades?

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I remember reading before that the reason was that MLB was afraid of small market teams “selling” picks to larger market teams in order to help their bottom line. If that is the reason, it definitely is outdated at this point, because small market teams routinely pass over the top available talent due to “signability”, meaning that the best prospects end up with the large market teams anyway. In my mind MLB should either a)set up a slotting system for draft bonuses (which won’t happen unless the union realizes that veterans are the ones suffering when high school kids get paid $10 million just to sign) or b)allow trading of picks so that small market teams can at least get SOMETHING of value out of a top pick. If you are a team like San Diego with the #2 pick, would you rather be able to trade down and get another couple of prospects, or be forced to use it on the 20th best player available, because you can’t afford to sign 1 thru 19?

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
1:03 pm

It’s a twitter feed from Bob Nightengale that MLBTR picked up.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

Rob from SC, mlbtraderumors.com. It’s a rumor. One of the hundreds this time of year.

Robert

November 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

“Billy Wagner will enrage this fanbase by the first week of June. He isn’t very good, never was very good”

So, being one for fifteen in playoff opportunities qualifies one for sainthood and the Hall of Fame, but allowing only one baserunner per inning and having a career ERA of 2.39 isnt very good?

Gotcha

McFann O

November 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

bravesgrl4life

Good to read from you, too! Glad things are going well. That trip sounds exciting–and a late Happy Birthday! :)

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
1:00 pm
Yanks are letting teams know that Swisher is available.

Where did you read this

It’s on MLBTR, citing a Bob Nightengale story on USA Today.

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:05 pm

Sorry, citing a Bob Nightengale Twitter posting.

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:08 pm

“Billy Wagner will enrage this fanbase by the first week of June. He isn’t very good, never was very good”

Agree that he CURRENTLY isn’t very good (when talking about top tier closers), but to say he never was very good is really ignorant. He was incredible in Houston, and shut down the Braves many times (when the Braves offense was actually a powerhouse).

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:09 pm

I would pass on Swisher. He does not make enough contact. Power is overrated if you strike out too much. Unless you have 40-50 HR power

abwright

November 19th, 2009
1:10 pm

Wayne in Utah, 11:34 am … “Has there ever been a team in the history of baseball who didn’t have a player or two … that didn’t have an off year???

I just get tired of the inferences of some that the Braves like to hang onto guys who suck.”

Wayne,
Surely you know that the guy who didn’t play would have had a better season than the guy who did play and had a poor season. In an alternate reality, of course. Since the guy who didn’t play, didn’t play.

I’m sure that Brooks Conrad, the savior of the universe, would never have struck out on a check swing to end the ‘09 season if he had not been sent down to AAA. Had Ol’ Brooksie played the year out in the bigs, he would’uv had his break out season and hit a home run on that last AB.

And the “Wheels of If” spin on and on.

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
1:13 pm

Keith Law just put up an article on ESPN.com(Insider only):

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4670463&name=law_keith

He thinks Gonzalez and Soriano are the top two free agent relievers on the market. In the comments section below he was asked if the Braves should offer both arbitration and he stated that he’d absolutely offer on both and take either back on a one year deal. But I’m really not sure if he is thinking about the Braves finances/needs when making that reco. I do agree with him about Gonzo and Soriano being the top two relief pitchers on the market.

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:14 pm

as much as Greg Norton sucked, he was not the reason we missed the playoff’s

rammerjammer

November 19th, 2009
1:15 pm

Here’s a quote from a Monday MLB.COM article about the Yankees:

“Landing a right fielder would allow them to deploy Nick Swisher as a full-time DH who wouldn’t have to come out of tight games for a defensive replacement.”

Fruitcake

November 19th, 2009
1:16 pm

Jason Bay rejected a contract offer from the Red Sox worth close to $60MM over four years, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. We’ve heard for a while that Bay wants to test the free agent market, so the Red Sox suspected Bay might turn their offer down.

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:16 pm

Soriano just rubs me the wrong way sometimes. I hate how he shows no anger after blowing a game. I like a fiery closer

DAP

November 19th, 2009
1:22 pm

although jonny gomes has more power potential than swisher….swisher is probably more of a sure thing…i like them both.

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:24 pm

Soriano just rubs me the wrong way sometimes. I hate how he shows no anger after blowing a game. I like a fiery closer

Huh? Soriano looks like he’s ALWAYS showing anger. He may not be “fiery”, but he’s at least smouldering

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:31 pm

RC

Soriano looks like he is going through the motions out there.

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
1:31 pm

Agree that he CURRENTLY isn’t very good – RC

HUH, did you check his stats after he came back this year?

He had a 1.72 ERA in 15 2/3rds innings with 26 K’s and a .154 BAA. Yeah, he CURRENTLY isnt very good.

Look up numbers before you post a non factual statement.

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:32 pm

Soriano looks like he is going through the motions out there.

Yeah, but the motions are striking people out with 96 mph heat and then staring them down. What else do you want?

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
1:33 pm

Oh, and he was also throwing 97 mph. 97!!!!!!!! for a left hander is awesome!!!

DAP

November 19th, 2009
1:33 pm

rob from SCHe does not make enough contact. Power is overrated if you strike out too much. Unless you have 40-50 HR power

he had a .371OBP last year. who cares how he made his outs? 126Ks to 97BB is very good.

BravesfaninWis

November 19th, 2009
1:35 pm

I see that this was already posted, and I agree with the others here for the trade.

Lets get Swisher from the Yankees and give them Lowe. We get our power hitting OF who happens to be a switch hitter so we won’t have to worry about the different pitching matchups.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

Random

November 19th, 2009
1:37 pm

P-Town Brave (November 19th, 2009 10:45 am): “BTW, anyone thought of doing a blog weekend trip where a bunch of us out of towners can all make a trip down to the ATL and meet up? Well, those of us that get along…I mean I wouldn’t want Random to show up just to kick my *ss.”

Surely you don’t think that would be my only reason for going?

8)

Rob (from SC)

November 19th, 2009
1:39 pm

RC

November 19th, 2009
1:32 pm
Soriano looks like he is going through the motions out there.

Yeah, but the motions are striking people out with 96 mph heat and then staring them down. What else do you want?

A closer who doesn’t go on homerun binges

10

November 19th, 2009
1:39 pm

Soriano, Gonzalez, Moylan – $18 million projected combined salary, 223 innings combined, 2.74 ERA, 2.97 FIP. They can keep them all for what they were willing to pay Burnett last winter, with about the same number of innings, and a far better run prevention performance. Would you like to let an ace with 225 innings with a 2.74 ERA walk out the door, when you can keep him for $18 million?

If Soriano and Gonzalez walk, and Vazquez gets traded, you’re letting 370 innings of a sub 3.00 ERA walk out the door.

Lowe, Kawakami – $23 million combined, 350 innings, 4.31 ERA

Vazquez, Soriano, Moylan – $25 million projected combined, 370 innings, 2.80 ERA

And somehow Lowe and Kawakami might still be here while the other 3 won’t.

Keeping Lowe and Kawakami and losing Vazquez, Soriano, and Gonzalez is about a 50 run or 5 win loss for the same number of dollars. Foolish. Vazquez better get you back a league minimum making 5 WAR player to make up for that loss.

Trade Kawakami and Lowe, offer arbitration to Gonzalez and Soriano, and keep Vazquez.

10

November 19th, 2009
1:43 pm

Soriano, Gonzalez, Moylan – $18 million projected combined salary, 223 innings combined, 2.74 ERA, 2.97 FIP. They can keep them all for what they were willing to pay Burnett last winter, with about the same number of innings, and a far better run prevention performance. Would you like to let an ace with 225 innings with a 2.74 ERA walk out the door, when you can keep him for $18 million?

If Soriano and Gonzalez walk, and Vazquez gets traded, you’re letting 370 innings of a sub 3.00 ERA walk out the door.

Lowe, Kawakami – $23 million combined, 350 innings, 4.31 ERA

Vazquez, Soriano, Gonzalez – $25 million projected combined, 370 innings, 2.80 ERA

And somehow Lowe and Kawakami might still be here while the other 3 won’t.

Keeping Lowe and Kawakami and losing Vazquez, Soriano, and Gonzalez is about a 50 run or 5 win loss for the same number of dollars. Foolish. Vazquez better get you back a league minimum making 5 WAR player to make up for that loss.

Trade Kawakami and Lowe, offer arbitration to Gonzalez and Soriano, and keep Vazquez.

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
1:43 pm

Swisher wasn’t very good last year when it counted. Situational splits from 2009,

Bases empty: .875 OPS
Runners on: .855 OPS
RISP: .741OPS
RISP w/ 2 outs: .583 OPS

It should be noted that last year was not in line with the rest of his career in these situations.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
1:43 pm

dpelfrey wrote: Speaking of McCann’s eyesight…DOB has anyone talked with Mac after his lasik? I’m curious if he’s taken batting practice yet and how things went.

I had lasik 6 years ago. It’s still some of the best money I’ve spent, but I lost a lot of depth perception, especially at night. I can’t play outfield anymore during night games, I misjudge fly balls and look like a douche. Or maybe I look like a douch to start with and missing a fly ball just brings attention to that fact. That’s not for me to judge.

I haven’t talked to him, but word from Braves is that he’s doing fine, normal. He played in his celebrity softball game (at night) without glasses, which is probably a good indication.

Sounds like you (dpelfrey) had just about as bad an experience with Lasik as possible, man? Who did yours, someone doing out of some strip-center storefront shop?

No, but seriously: I’m not a proponent of Lasik, but that’s just because I’m used to wearing glasses and contacts and don’t want anyone cutting on my cornea or whatever. But the vast majority of what is probably hundreds of players who’ve had it, have no problems or very insignificant problems. Which is why McCann’s problems last year were news — well, that and fact he’s an All-Star and Silver Slugger hitter who had to go on the DL.

I’ll try to call McCann soon to see if he’ll comment. But it sounds like he’s doing fine.

keylargo

November 19th, 2009
1:44 pm

Having read your comments this year, I couldn’t let you get away with your LentzLike claim of being 90% correct.

Here, you and another blog wizzard “Dadgum” discuss the braves outfield situation. Actual HR’s Diaz 13, Anderson 1, Schafer 2 Francoeur 5 in 304 ab’s as a Brave

Eric from MO

February 22nd, 2009
11:05 am

Dadgum,”I like Anderson/Diaz in LF, Shaefer in CF, and Francouer in RF. In fact, that group should have an over/under of 50 homers. I’m taking the over.”

Eric from Mo

I will take the under. I would guess Diez gets 8, Anderson gets 4, Schafer 12, and Francouer (I will give some benefit) 20. That adds up to 44. With all that being said I would still rather have these guys than Anderson, Nady, or Swisher because I still dont believe they would improve us much, if any. With these young guys we get speed and they dont cost us anything.

Eric from MO

February 24th, 2009
11:10 pm

justdoit why would you spend 20 million on Lackey? 4 years ago he was good but his last 3 seasons not so much. Last year he pitched only 108 innings and the 2 seasons before that he had ERA over 3.6. Not saying he is terrible but his last 3 years havent been that good.

Now Lackey is the #1 free agent pitcher in baseball. Great talent evaluation.

Eric from MO

February 20th, 2009
10:39 pm

OldTimer I think many would agree with you that the Braves wont make the playoffs but why will they be worse. Give us something that is going to make us worse. I personally think the Braves will win 80-85 games.

What happened to the 86 you shamelessly told the blog you predicted today?

Eric from MO

March 22nd, 2009
2:45 pm

Just think if we didnt sign an outfielder like I said all offseason we could afford Ohman. Damn! I really wish I wasnt right all the time.

12.1 innings in 21 games in 2009 for Ohman. We sure could have used him.

Eric from MO

March 26th, 2009
6:45 pm

For the record I wanted Anderson to get the job at the beggining of ST.

240 .276 .304 .580 in 118 games. The Braves sure could have used this production out of CF

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
1:45 pm

Macon Braves: yeah, I got into Modern Family after hearing so much good about it. Missed the first few episodes but have seen all the others. This week’s was very good. Ed O’Neil’s got a great character. But his chunky stepson is the best.

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
1:45 pm

That said, Swisher would be a definite upgrade. I’d be interested to see he’s available from a source other than a twitter feed.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

N8: I was just surprised that Bobby finished ahead of Fredi Gonzalez, that’s all I was saying. And, to an extent, Charlie Manuel.

BravoMan

November 19th, 2009
1:47 pm

Personally I think Swisher is a little goofy but Wren was in the race for him last year before he was delt to NY so you never know…

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
1:48 pm

Monty, Prado is a legit 5-11, perhaps a little taller. He’s not 6-1, but he’s also not 5-9.

The reliever, Kimbrel, is also listed as 5-11 and looks to be about an inch or so shorter. Very common in baseball and other sports to give them an inch or two.

Tommy Hanson isn’t his listed 6-6. He’s about an inch shorter than that.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
1:50 pm

Daslied: First time I saw the name Bean Stringfellow, I thought it was a typo. Maybe Ben, I thought.

Can you imagine the night Mr. and Mrs. Stringfellow decided that “Bean” was a perfect name? Or maybe it’s short for something else, though I can’t imagine what.

Stringbean Stringfellow, perhaps?

dpelfrey

November 19th, 2009
1:51 pm

DOB, lasik wasn’t that bad and I had it done at a reputable place.

Like I said, it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent. With everything in life, there are pros and cons. I don’t have to mess with glasses or contacts (which is good since my eyes were so dry before the surgery I couldn’t wear the contacts). I’ll take the starbursts at night and less than stellar depth perception any day. To me, it’s a fair trade-off. And I don’t typically play outfield (not that I’m playing now with 3 kids under the age of 5), so it’s not a big deal.

lavell12

November 19th, 2009
2:00 pm

DOB

Who gets traded, Lowe or Vazquez? What type of deal could we get in return?

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:03 pm

lavell12: If I knew who was going to get traded between Lowe and Vazquez, I’d write it. I don’t. No one knows yet. The Braves would like to trade Lowe rather than Vazquez. But first they’ve gotta find a taker for Lowe. And if they exhaust that search or think there’s not going to be a good deal out there, someone who’d take all or most of Lowe’s salary, then I think they’ll trade Vazquez. But I the third week of November isn’t when they have to decide that, fortunately for them.

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
2:04 pm

lavell12, DOB knows about as much as you do at the moment, and besides, this has been mentioned and talked about for weeks.

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
2:05 pm

Keylargo I said under, which I was right.

I stil wouldn give Lackey 20 million. Dont know what your arguement there is.I even said he wasn terrible just wouldnt give him 20 million.

As for wins go look on opening night, which is what I said, and you will see I said 87 and they ended up with 86. I made my prediction after ST.

As for Anderson, that was better than Schafer. He was our best option at the beginning of the season. We didnt have McLouth. If we did I would obviously picked him. Wasnt an option.

Nice try though.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:08 pm

Lincecum wins in one of the closest races ever over Carpenter and Wainwright. That’s way I thought it should and would go.

beekay

November 19th, 2009
2:08 pm

We need to offer all three players arbitration….Gonzo will get multi year offers and turn us down, Soriano should most likely get offers elsewhere, and if he doesn’t , I’m fine giving him 8 mill to be our closer over one year vs someone like Billy Wags….Roachie would be worth one year and 8-9 mill to keep the seat warm until Freddie arrives in 2011. Worst case scenario we will have Sori and Roachie for a combined 16 mill and a first round pick for Gonzo, then all we need is a power hitting OF and we have a solid team

O.J.

November 19th, 2009
2:09 pm

DOB, any way of knowing what place Jurrjens and Vazquez placed in the voting?

10

November 19th, 2009
2:10 pm

Who wasn’t predicting something between 82 and 88 wins? So big deal you predicted 87 wins. The whole world was predicting around that.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:10 pm

Only the second time that a pitcher has won the Cy while not having the most first-place votes. Lincecum had 11 first-place votes, while third-place finisher Wainwright had 12 first-place votes.

Only other time a pitcher won without most first-place votes? Glavine in 1998, when he had 11 and Trevor Hoffman had 13.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
2:11 pm

eric from MO if you make a whole bunch of contradictory predictions, a few of them will come true. you are going to tell us now which predictions count towards your being right 90% of the time? just admit that it was a ridiculous thing to say and we will move on.

Daslied

November 19th, 2009
2:11 pm

Dang, DOB on the Q&A assault!

Thanks. :)

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:12 pm

By the way, Vazquez got one second-place vote to finish a (very) distant fourth with three points, and Dan Haren got one third-place vote to finish fifth with one point.

So it was near-unanimous that Lincecum, Carpenter and Wainwright were the top three, in some order.

(voting goes five points for first-place vote, three for second, one for third)

lavell12

November 19th, 2009
2:16 pm

Where did JJ finish?

Eric from MO

November 19th, 2009
2:17 pm

DAP I dont know how I really made a bunch of contradicting predictions but fine. I dont care.

Gary O

November 19th, 2009
2:17 pm

DOB,

Have you seen the article where former football players are complaining about your Jayhawks coach?

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4669621

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:19 pm

O.J.: The only two votes that anyone got besides the top three were Vazquez, with one second-place vote to finish in fourth place overall, and Dan Haren, with one third-place vote to finish fifth.

It’s not the like the MVP race, where voters vote for a top 10. Only three make ballot in other awards, and in the Cy Young race voters clearly almost every voter saw those three — Lincecum, Carpenter, Wainwright — as the top tier.

Too bad Vazquez (or Jurrjens) didn’t get good run support, or they could have won at least 18 games apiece and been a lot closer in the voting.

RC

November 19th, 2009
2:23 pm

Where did JJ finish?

Tied for 5th. He tied with Manny Acosta (technically true).

10

November 19th, 2009
2:23 pm

Soriano, Gonzalez, Moylan – $18 million, 223 innings, 2.74 ERA

Moylan – $3?? million, 73 innings, 2.84 ERA

Imagine if your team had an $18 million dollar making, 225 innings eating beast of ace.

And your team decided to turn him into a $3 million dollar making, 75 innings pitching situational set up man against righthanders (not even a closer!!!!).

That’s what the Braves may do next season by only having Moylan.

ugaaccountant

November 19th, 2009
2:25 pm

I just don’t understand guys who want Heyward and Diaz to be platoon players as our #1 plan. Both guys are everyday guys, unless we choose to keep Heyward down in AAA for bs financial considerations.

And the players union needs to address this issue. Teams should not be playing with inferior players due to a shell game on the “super 2″. Also, teams should not routinely “pass” on better players in a draft in order to get cheaper players. I don’t have the answers, but these two areas need some attention.

Smack

November 19th, 2009
2:26 pm

Im in shock. JJ garnered 0 votes in the CyYoung voting and Javy only had 1 second place vote to finish a far out 4th. Only 5 pitchers got any votes, Lincecum, Carpenter, Wainwright, Vazquez and Haren.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:27 pm

RC, you answered the question about where Jurrjens finished by saying:

Tied for 5th. He tied with Manny Acosta (technically true).

Actually, no, that’s not true. Dan Haren finished fifth, behind Vazquez.

There was no sixth-place finisher, since no one else got votes.

DAP

November 19th, 2009
2:28 pm

eric from MOI dont know how I really made a bunch of contradicting predictions

one example is the above quote where you predicted 80-85 wins, and then said opening night, reportedly, 86 wins. those are contradictory predictions. how are we supposed to know which one counts?

DAP

November 19th, 2009
2:30 pm

DOB There was no sixth-place finisher, since no one else got votes.

i think thats the joke, all the other pitchers in the majors are tied for 6th, thus the JJ being tied with acosta reference.

RC

November 19th, 2009
2:30 pm

I just don’t understand guys who want Heyward and Diaz to be platoon players as our #1 plan. Both guys are everyday guys, unless we choose to keep Heyward down in AAA for bs financial considerations.

I agree with you on Heyward being an everyday player, but Diaz is the definition of a platoon guy. He hits REALLY well against left-handers, and is about replacement level against right-handers (with a lot of Ks).

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:31 pm

Smack, look at it from another angle. As I said, you can only vote for three pitchers for Cy Young, not 10 players the way you do when voting for MVP.

So if you’re one of the 32 writers voting for Cy Young, you’re going to vote Jurrjens ahead of any of those first three — Lincecum, Carpenter and Wainwright? Really? Based on what?

If the voting was 10-deep, or even five-deep, I think Jurrjens and Vazquez would have gotten quite a few fourth-place or fifth-place votes. But how do you vote them ahead of any of those other three guys? The ballot has only three spots.

RC

November 19th, 2009
2:32 pm

DOB, you are correct, I cannot add. I was trying to joke that everyone who didn’t get a vote was tied for last, but I guess it doesn’t quite work that way.

David O'Brien

November 19th, 2009
2:33 pm

DAP: yes, it was clearly a joke. I caught that. But he said they tied for fifth. They did not, they tied for sixth, the way he’s viewing it (by getting no votes at all). There was a fifth-place finisher (Haren) who got a vote. So how could JJ, Acosta et al have tied for fifth? That’s point I was making.

N8

November 19th, 2009
2:34 pm

DOB, it appears that Carpenter and Wainwright kind of cancelled each other out similar to the way Gant, Justice and McGriff did in 93. Too many people spread those votes out.

Almost better sometimes for the personal awards to be the only good one on your team. LOL

Efrim

November 19th, 2009
2:37 pm

Ken Rosenthal:

The Yankees’ direction, at this early stage of the offseason, is not clear.

The team, according to one rival executive, plans to pursue free-agent relievers Rafael Soriano, a right-hander, and Mike Gonzalez, a lefty. The Yankees have liked both pitchers in the past.

However, another source with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking says the team prefers to address any bullpen holes from within, using the same strategy that they employed successfully last season.

I know it’s rumors, but I’m getting the feeling that Soriano and Gonzo won’t be accepting arbitration. It’s like 20 teams are in on these guys. Haven’t heard much on Valverde or other relievers other than maybe Wagner.

RC

November 19th, 2009
2:38 pm

MLBTR has a link that Ken Rosenthal is now reporting that Yankees are planning to pursue Soriano and Gonzalez. However the source is attributed to a “rival executive”, so who knows how much interest they really have. But if the Yankees and Bo Sox get into a p***ing contest over those two, it might allow the Braves to feel comfortable offering them both arbitration (or it could mean that we get the Yanks 4th and 5th rounds picks, after the other Type-A FAs they sign).

DAP

November 19th, 2009
2:38 pm

DOB, ha, yeah i guess im the one that missed something.

N8

November 19th, 2009
2:39 pm

DOB (or anybody), what’s the rule on if you offer a player arbitration, he accepts and then trading that player? Is there a rule against that?

If not, I definitely would offer both Gonzo and Soriano arbitration. In the event that both accept, we could simply trade the one (or both) that we don’t want. But I think it’s a gamble worth going after in the event they both sign elsewhere.

Picking up 4 picks for those guys would go a long way toward re-stocking the farm system in next years draft. Barring Wren not signing a couple of guys that cost US draft picks.

But if you can’t trade those guys, then yeah. Not sure I offer it to both. Though, I could think of worse ways to spend 13-15 million dollars then on those two guys. Tough call.