2:28 pm December 1, 2009, by David O'Brien
December 3rd, 200912:49 pm
3 month rental or not …..casey kotchman.
TnBrian-The Twins are in the process of attempting to sign their stars long term and in order to do that, they have to make it look as if they actually want to win. Trading Cuddyer would not send the signal that they are attempting this. It won’t happen. Cuddyer needs to remain in MInnesota or they won’t get Maurer or Mourneau to stay.
December 3rd, 200912:50 pm
Phils sign Polanco which means his average 8-10 HR’s a year will turn into 18-20 HR’s a year in that park. He’ll probably rebound with his average too because he’s surrounded by an All Star lineup.Definite upgrade from Feliz. Get on it Wren, fu** the pen, get some offense.
December 3rd, 200912:51 pm
Here’s an article by Jeff Passan about LaRoche, Lowe, and other players who use legal stimulants
December 3rd, 200912:57 pm
Kotchman was a good hitter – around .290 average in his first 2 full seasons, hit a lot of doubles and had 20 homer potential. Once Tex was gone the Braves had people like Greg Norton or Ruben Gotay to play first, and they needed an ML ready first baseman.
Considering the circumstances, I’d say we did alright with Kotchman. You’re talking like we traded Tex for a toilet brush.
December 3rd, 200912:58 pm
Excuse me-Mourneau is signed. However, Cuddyer is signed reasonably through 2011 with the option and I just can’t see them trading him for a pitcher with one year left on his contract and that for several mil more than they’d pay Cuddyer, if nothing else.
TnBrian, i wouldnt expect polanco to hit any more homeruns, but his style of hitting is a good addition to that offense.
December 3rd, 20091:01 pm
I thought DeRosa was heading to Philly, now I have a feeling Atlanta will sign him to play 1st & possibly trade for an OF. Just a feeling, but maybe they could package a trade around Lowe to the Angels for Rivera. I don’t think he’s much of an OF, but I’d go ahead & say he’s much better out there than Loaf.
P. W. Hjort
TnBrian (December 3, 2009 12:43 PM EST) Would Javy waive his no trade clause to play up north?
His no trade clause restricts trades to the AL and NL west. He has no say in any hypothetical trade to Minnesota.
civilized white trash
December 3rd, 20091:02 pm
the wagner siging is so huge cause for the first time since smoltz there is a legit closer in the bullpen
[Striking out] is one of the Braves problems is coming thru with at least putting the ball in play when there is a runner in scoring position to give us a better chance of scoring.
Three teams in the NL struck out fewer times than the Braves last year. Oops.
December 3rd, 20091:06 pm
Corsicana Daily Sun is a favorite. DOB, gonna make it back to back nights at the Attic for Slaid Cleaves?
December 3rd, 20091:08 pm
I really don’t like all these names being thrown around here.
-Juan Rivera didn’t have a good season until he was 31.
-Cuddyer has had one above average year and one average year (which were 3 years apart)
-Mike Cameron has decent power but is aging, has a terrible average, and strikes out about 50 more times than Jeff Francoeur
-Derosa is average, but is also aging and didn’t find his power stroke until he was 33
None of these guys is the answer, in my opinion. I don’t know what Wren has up his sleeve, but I don’t see the Braves making too many strides with any of these guys.
December 3rd, 20091:10 pm
Schafer was injured last year, prior to that he played pretty well especially at the dish..
scoots – you like the Wagner buy
December 3rd, 20091:14 pm
I understand that your job is to cover the Braves and not necessarily their broadcasters. However, do you expect Chip Caray to fill the void of Boog’s departure?
NC Braves Fan
December 3rd, 20091:15 pm
Javy or Lowe would not be a part of a Cuddyer trade I would think. The match doesn’t seem to be so good between the Braves and Twins for that kind of transaction. Perhaps a three-way trade would open things up on that front (?).
December 3rd, 20091:17 pm
A manageable risk. Cons are 38 and coming off surgery; pros are “He’s Billy bleepin’ Wagner” and left-handed gas. Price is right, he should fit the clubhouse, and the Braves must feel that some of their youngsters such as Kimbrel are close enough, if Wagner does faceplant.
So, yes, I can live with Billy Wagner.
December 3rd, 20091:18 pm
jeffrey d , dude get off the 20 homer potenial,thats not going to happen..how many did he have last year 10?
December 3rd, 20091:23 pm
Wow I’m surprised at how many of you undervalue McLouth. Granted he’s hit around .260 his whole career but we found out he’s had trouble seeing the ball. I’ll take a guy who hits over 20 hr’s, a good outfielder, has a very high success rate stealing bases anyday. Wren gave up a pretty good prospect for him and we were raving about the deal so I don’t think he’s going anywhere. He’s coming into his prime years and I bet he’s working his azz off this offseason to make up for a sub-par year for him. This guy is a ballplayer in every sense of the word and a great teammate to have in the clubhouse as was displayed by giving up his number. I think those of you wanting to get rid of him will eat those words after the 2010 season.
Could you call Nate and find out what number he’s going to pick? I
December 3rd, 20091:26 pm
Did I say Kotchman was a slugging powerhouse? My point was that the Braves wanted to get a ML ready first baseman instead of a draft pick since they obviously wouldn’t have a first baseman after Tex left for free agency. Kotchman was a steady player. Boring, but steady. He’ll get you average, doubles, and a little power (he was on pace for about 20 when we traded for him).
December 3rd, 20091:28 pm
Matt Diaz OPS > Cuddyer OPS by a teensie bit last year in a tougher home park
December 3rd, 20091:29 pm
PWHjort, ok. I was just making sure it wasn’t just the west coast teams that maybe it went to other areas.
white trash, how can you say we haven’t a legit closer since Smoltz? Did you watch the early/mid ‘09 season when Soriano was untouchable? It was Smoltz-like in the way he attacked hitters & the feeling you got when he came in was like “ballgame”. Problem with him I think was his attitude or maybe he just wore down. Wagner can only match what Soriano did most of this season, imo. That’s fine, but I can’t imagine him being any more dominant.
December 3rd, 20091:32 pm
My point is that it was a bad trade for the Braves because kotch is gone and hardly was a factor at all for Atlanta..atleast we should have gotten some prospects.
December 3rd, 20091:48 pm
Buster, then it was a bad trade for the Angels as well. Tex is gone and they didn’t win anything.
December 3rd, 20091:51 pm
They got compensation picks, more than the Braves.
Nate from NCState
DOB what kind of relationship do the GMs have with each other, especially during these Winter Meetings? I assume that most of them are friends but it is competition so they can’t be all buddy-buddy with each other all the time, right?
December 3rd, 20091:54 pm
i was knew someone would bring that up but heres the thing if he was so dominant then why did him and gonzo flip flop so much last year. the last person that was consistent consitency was smoltz. going into spring training this year there will be no doubt who is going to get the ball in a save situtation
i am not saying there werent days when soriano and gonzo and wickman and retisma were not brilliant but what i am saying is now the braves have a proven closer one who is consistnently dominant
this is big! it may be the one common thing with all the good mlb teams…. they have a guy who can shut it down in the 9th consistently
December 3rd, 20091:57 pm
McClouth has been a regular for only 3 years, he missed 35 games and still hit 20 hrs and had 19 sb’s(despite constant leg issues)…he has hit 26 hrs and drove in 94 in one of the 3 years…you really think he is a 50-60 rbi guy…that is nuts, that would be his worst year by far…you don’t hink he can knock in 80 when he knocked in 94 while healthy? He can’t steal 3o when he stole 20 on one leg despite missing 35 games??? I don’t think I’m the one that’s off here!
December 3rd, 20092:04 pm
dmack, Atlanta got LaRoche for Kotchman. There’s not a player/group of players they could’ve traded Tex for that would have saved the 2008 season. Getting LaRoche this year was far more valuable.
Hey, it’s something.
December 3rd, 20092:05 pm
VJ, here’s a link to the Woody column that richbrave mentioned – welcome to our pain! (Though as deserving as Laycock may be, I think you’ve got an easier job holding onto him than we do London, for a variety of reasons. I hope I’m wrong on the latter and London decides to be king of the hill for a while like Laycock has – we’ve got a nice new stadium coming that we’d love to name after him, too …)
On the brighter side, T-D reports that MidAtlantic Sports Network has picked up both our games, if you get that – if not, it’s $24 on ESPN GamePlan. And check out this quote from our former defensive coordinator, who now coaches Chattanooga and was interviewed about Richmond’s likely game plan against Armanti Edwards (he played ASU earlier in the year), whom he calls the best player in the FCS:
“I shouldn’t talk this way because I am involved with the Southern Conference, but to see a William and Mary-Richmond game in the championship would be unbelievable. I’m so close to the people at William and Mary, and so close to the people at Richmond, that would be something else.”
December 3rd, 20092:18 pm
Saito close to a deal with Braves
Quotes about the Kotchman/Teixeira trade – not as bad at the time as some of you seem to think.
Baseball America: “But while Kotchman represents a downgrade when compared with Teixeira, he’s markedly better than any other player the Braves could have installed at first base this season, and as such, the trade does not completely sabotage their efforts for 2008. Plus, now rather than having Teixeira for two more months—and a very slim chance at the playoffs—they’ll have Kotchman for at least the next three years and added payroll flexibility…Like Teixeira, Kotchman is a premium defender at first base. He’s also one of the better contact hitters in the game, with strikeouts in just 9.5 percent of his career at-bats…”
Beyond The Box Score: “Yes, Teixeira is an excellent player. The problem for the Angels is that, in order to get him, they had to give up a pretty darn good player.”
BleacherReport: “The Braves receive two players that will definitely help them in the long run. But the big question is whether the Angels need Teixeira.”
Oh, and sorry for the long post…
December 3rd, 20092:19 pm
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports says, “Saito close to deal with Braves.”
December 3rd, 20092:20 pm
Braves close to signing Saito?
December 3rd, 20092:23 pm
Wow….what if Soriano accepts arbitration….that’s one heck of a bullpen but that’s ten mil for two relievers and no mention of a bat
Saito for $3 million?!?! That’s pretty awesome. Wagner and Saito are the same salary as Gonzales and Soriano.
Long time Braves fan
December 3rd, 20092:24 pm
Braves already have 40 men on their roster (including Wagner), so if they do sign Saito, someone has to go now, while non-tender decline is over a week away. Hmm….
DOB have you heard anything on Saito yet?
December 3rd, 20092:25 pm
Hot dog, CBS Knobler reports we are close to a deal with Saito. Way to go, Cobra!
Braves must be very confident that neither Soriano or Gonzalez will accept arbitration. Maybe they already have handshake agreements with them.
December 3rd, 20092:27 pm
I still say Canizares is going to open the season at first.
Looks like KK is gettin a friend.
December 3rd, 20092:30 pm
“Phils sign Polanco which means his average 8-10 HR’s a year will turn into 18-20 HR’s a year in that park.” TnBrian
I know that that park is known as a hitter’s paradise, but why would you assume that those numbers would happen to take that big of a jump?
Is it that Ibanez’s HR total jumped from 23 to 34 from 08 to 09? Well, if you dig deeper, you’ll see that of those 34 HR, 21 of them were on the road. 13 at home.
Same for Howard, 27 of his 45 HR on the road, 18 in Philly. Even Utley was about even. 16 at home and 15 on the road.
To assume that Polanco is going to double his HR total by being a Philly is just silly.
December 3rd, 20092:32 pm
I don’t think Bobby Cox should have traded Soriano and Gonzalez for Billy Wagner. That’s a bad trade because he gave up two guys for only one. And he’s pretty short. Also, why is McLouth being such a jerk and refusing to give the new guy the number 13 jersey? He’s even shorter than Wagner, that drunk little redheaded Scotsman. I wonder if Bobby Cox will also trade LaRochie and Garret Anderson for just one player in return?
December 3rd, 20092:33 pm
I sure do love the Brave’s pitching staff now – solid all the way thru. I wonder who is off the roster now (Conrad or Canizares?). Now Wren and company can focus on 1b and OF.
December 3rd, 20092:35 pm
Got to hand it to Wren, he has already replaced Gonzo & Soriano with what may be an even better pen with Saito/Moylan setting up Wagner. We’ll see, but hopefully he can deal Lowe next for a hitter or use that money for one.
N8, ok, ok. It was a little silly to say Polanco’s HR totals will jump that much, but I still think he could hit a few more & I feel certain that hitting in that lineup his avg. will be better than .270 like in ‘09.
December 3rd, 20092:36 pm
Can we add Papelbon next?
December 3rd, 20092:37 pm
I wonder if the Braves are concerned at how old these guys are. 39 and 40, or something like it. I hope their durable (Saito only pitched 55 innings last year.) We all know how Bobby likes to burn through relievers.
December 3rd, 20092:38 pm
MVH (December 3rd, 2009 12:23 pm): “Random question: is there anyone the Red Sox are not interested in?”
December 3rd, 20092:40 pm
While a bat is an obvious need, I do have to give kudos to Wren for identifying that the BIGGER need was to solidify the back of the bullpen. Had he not taken steps to address that, I think we’d be looking back on 2010 next offseason complaining about how to fix the bullpen, and the holes on the team would just keep rotating. Hopefully there will be enough bats out there for use to acquire a good one at a resonable cost, but good job so far.
That’s one heck of a pitching staff Wren has put together. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t drop the ball on offense for the second year in a row.
December 3rd, 20092:42 pm
Another Positive with Signing Saito is that both Saito and Kawakami can use the same Interpreter and save money Not sure how much but there is a saving right there…,
Just looking at the start of this free agent signing period positively, the Cobra has gotten a closer, setup man, and 4 draft picks in the first round. He turned Gonzo and the Scowl into Billy the kid, Saito, and 4 draft picks. Impressive.
December 3rd, 20092:43 pm
I love Frank Wren. That dude does not play around.
Macdaddy, good point about Bobby’s use of the pen. That has o be taken into consideration. He’ll need to tread carefully with Wagner if possible, imo. Don’t know much about Saito, but he’s up there in age, but he’s been good for awhile now.
Ha, sorry Random, not you. My bad.
COSTS of Gonzo and MFIKY >> $14M next year versus Wags and Saito at $10
Good play Mr Wren
Now how about we trade KJ for some brekky cereal and a bat
December 3rd, 20092:44 pm
Can we please get OFFENSE NOW? A HR hitter…That was the GLARING weakness of this team last year
Sounds like Saito is about to become a Brave.
Random, I just heard a report that Theo Epstein was impressed with your blogging range, and will be making you an offer to join the Sons of Sam Horn site.
December 3rd, 20092:45 pm
Wonder how many of those praising Wren now, were actually calling for his head last year this time. I don’t blame.., We were in horrible shape this around last year
December 3rd, 20092:46 pm
The Braves will keep all the Pitching Staff they will used KK in long reliver and sometime starter to give Lowe some rest and then they will add Delgado for One Year Deal & Cameron 2 year deal….& Chipper will have a Good Season.
BRAVES WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES..AGAIN THE EVIL EMPIRE.
“Sounds like Saito is about to become a Brave.”
Proctor, Saito, Moylan and Wagner is a filthy back of the bullpen combo. This is going very, very well for us.
December 3rd, 20092:47 pm
Saltalamacchia + Elvis Andrus + Matt Harrison + Neftali Feliz + Beau Jones = Teixeira = Kotchman = LaRoche = nothing.
December 3rd, 20092:48 pm
We have KK and probably Saito. Now let’s sign Hideki Matsui and we get the Japanese media to sell out every game
December 3rd, 20092:50 pm
Escobar >> Andrus
McCann >>>>>>>> Saltalamacchia
Harrison + Jones = 0
Okay, Feliz hurts a little bit. Get over it.
December 3rd, 20092:51 pm
Knobler says “The Braves offered arbitration to both Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez, and sources said they would have no problem with either one of them accepting”
December 3rd, 20092:52 pm
Wren plays for keeps and isn’t here to mess around. In a matter of like 36 hours Wren replaced his two of his relievers with pretty good replacements. Our entire pitching staff will be dominant in 2010.
December 3rd, 20092:53 pm
with gonzo and soriano leaving, the braves ACUTALLY upgraded on the back end of their bullpen as long as wagner and saito stays healthy. and to think, scouts said he could have been a closer next year for a team. the guy still throws mid 90’s. and of course with wagner, he still brought it up to 97 mph last year for the red sox last year. it’s pretty unbelievable getting both of these guys.
December 3rd, 20092:54 pm
Doyle Alexander = Smoltz = nothing
Awesome. Saito and Wagner, for very affordable short term deals. Great job Wren.
* There are two big relievers off the market.
* It’s going to be a little harder for other teams to put together a bullpen.
* Starters who can pitch 200+ innings are going to be needed a little more.
…… now where could a team find a starting pitcher who can pitch 200+ innings????
December 3rd, 20092:55 pm
oh and on paper, the braves will definitly have the best pitching staff on paper heading into opening day in the NL, unless a team picks up halladay and/or lackey with a deep bullpen themselves.
CALM DOWN FRANK, JEEZ.
Does anyone think Kawakami did some lobbying for Saito? I mean, he could have gone somewhere else and gotten more than 3 Million due to the reliever demand this year…Nonetheless I’m glad he choose us
THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum
December 3rd, 20092:56 pm
“the Cobra has gotten a closer, setup man, and 4 draft picks in the first round. He turned Gonzo and the Scowl into Billy the kid, Saito, and 4 draft picks. Impressive.”
The Braves give up one first round draft picks by siging Wagner so their net gain is three draft picks, one first round and two sandwich picks.
I believe that is correct and if not will someone please correct it?
Look, if both Gonzo and Soriano accept arbitration they can be traded. They’ll probably be more attractive with a shorter commitment anyway. If indeed half of baseball wants those two guys, Wren won’t have a problem getting an excellent return.
Side note – If Wren gets solid players for LF and 1B he should pretty much win some award for the last two offseasons, no?
Hey Daslied , Nice reply
BTW Salty is hurt and was pulled out of a winter league game..
We had 2 pretty good half seasons from Teix in return for what we gave to Texas.., I am happy with that.
December 3rd, 20092:57 pm
We have KK and probably Saito. Now let’s sign Hideki Matsui and we get the Japanese media to sell out every game sidslid
Too bad Ichiro doesn’t hit for power.
I think it’s good that Wren is going ahead and getting the bullpen set before he concentrates on finding hitters for the lineup. You look at it this way, the starting rotation is set from the basis that there are at least five proven starters ready to go, the bullpen is set, with the possibility that it can only get better if either Soriano or Gonzo accept arbitration (unlikely), so now he can focus on first base and the outfield. I do echo some of the concerns expressed here about the age and recent health histories of the two new Braves pitchers. That, added to the way Bobby handles the bullpen could make things interesting.
December 3rd, 20092:59 pm
I figure that the Braves payroll is now close to $90 million even if they non-tender Johnson and Church. So, surely a trade(s) are coming with one of their starters. .
If the Saito thing does come to fruition (and after what happened with Furcal last year, I think it’s reasonable for all of us to be a bit gunshy until the deal is finalized), this is a masterful performance by Wren. He trades two back of the bullpen pitchers for a pair who offer similar performance at a cheaper rate than what Gonzo and Soriano would have offered. He also picks up three draft picks in the process. We’re not out any pieces in the short term and we strengthen our organization in the long term. That’s exemplary front office maneuvering.
Would give the Braves a powerful, albeit old and somewhat injury-plagued, 1-2 combo at back of bullpen. If healthy, Saito’s a perfect complement to Wagner, with a lot of proven closer experience and setup experience.
December 3rd, 20093:02 pm
I am very happy that FW is acting quickly and getting the guys that he wants for this team and not waiting around and taking what’s left or looking for bargains.
If Saito is signed, FW can focus all of his attention to trading a pitcher, and obtaining a LF, 1B and bench player.
Good work again FW…..
December 3rd, 20093:03 pm
Okay Billy Wagner(Type A 7 million) and Takashi Saito(3 million). Replace Mike Gonzalez(3.36million), Rafael Soriano( 6million) both are Type A FA’s that means they still have to extra picks. Plus Saito and Wagner have much more experience, and have better control than Mike and Soriano.
Hopefully Bobby won’t have to use them as much as he did mike and Soriano last year.
As an aside, USA Today lists Mike Gonzalez as earning $3.45 million in 2009 while Rafael Soriano made $6.35 million. That’s a total of $9.8 million we spent on the co-closer spots this past season. For 2010, Wagner is scheduled to make $7 million and the CBS Sports guy is saying Saito (assuming he really does sign) will get about $3 million. So, we’re only talking about spending a few hundred thousand more on those positions, not giving away anything in terms of talent/historical performance, and gaining three very useful draft picks.
Seriously, take a bow, Frank Wren.
December 3rd, 20093:05 pm
It has been suggested here on the blog that the Braves should trade two pitchers,Lowe and Vazquez,in order to strengthen the everyday lineup and free salary to go out and get the hitters that we need. I love this idea with the depth of our bullpen. I know Mitchie-san and I believe my friend Random made this suggestion. We can get the big bats we need if we were to do this,Wren is doing a great job so far.
The Braves signed Billy Wagner, a Type A Free Agent who was offered arbitration by his former club. If the Braves don’t sign anymore Type A Free Agents (highly unlikely they would), the Red Sox get the #20 overall pick from the Braves.
The Braves will get picks number 35 and 41 if all the Type A FA’s sign with a new team. These are the supplemental round picks.
They also get a pick back from whichever team signs each of them, but it’s not necessarily a 1st-rounder. It’s a function of two variables. The first 15 (16 this year, because the Rangers have an additional pick for failure to sign 2009 first rounder Matt Purke) draft selections are protected. If a team that picks 7th overall, for example, as the Braves did in 2009, signs a type A Free Agent, they forfeit their second round pick. So 2009 standings is the first variable. The 2nd variable is how many Type A Free Agents the new team signs. For example, in the 2008-2009 off-season, the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and AJ Burnett, 3 Type A Free Agents that had been offered arbitration by their previous club. They only had 1 first round pick to forfeit, though. So the order that their picks were awarded is the order they were ranked by Elias. In this case, the order they are listed above is the order they were ranked, so the Angels got the Yankees’ 1st rounder, the Brewers got the Yankees’ 2nd rounder, and the Blue Jays got the Yankees’ 3rd rounder.
December 3rd, 20093:06 pm
Random December 3rd, 2009 2:38 pm
Random, don’t sell yourself so short…the interest the Red Sox might have in you would be a bit uh, well random, but there nonetheless! Keep your chin up!
If healthy, Saito’s a perfect complement to Wagner, with a lot of proven closer experience and setup experience.
Well, one guy nearing 40 is a manageable risk, I think, but counting on two of that age, for end-game responsibilities, seems a little adventurous, LOL. No four-in-a-row outings there, for sure.
Nova Scotia Steve
December 3rd, 20093:07 pm
Are we going to sign Tommy John to pitch out of our bullpen next season as well.
The way Bobby taxes our bullen a 38 year-old Wagner and 40 year-old Saito.
DOB, throw in Moylan and O’Flaherty as very viable 7th inning guys and I think that has the makings of a very formidable bullpen.
December 3rd, 20093:08 pm
You are right about it being a net gain of 3 picks. I was just excited bout the Cobra’s work.
December 3rd, 20093:09 pm
The way Bobby taxes our bullen a 38 year-old Wagner and 40 year-old Saito. I’m worried…AGAIN
December 3rd, 20093:11 pm
Hmm, with the signing of Saito, we would have 41 on the 41-Man. Maybe a possible KJ trade must happen before we sign him?
December 3rd, 20093:12 pm
the back of the bullpen has gotten alot older, but i dont think its gotten better. these moves are good and they meet needs, but lets not act like wagner/saito is better than soriano/gonzalez.
I like the signing of Wagner being followed up quickly by the signing of Saito to be a setup man. I don’t think that they’ll be as strong as the combo of Gonzo/Soriano were last year, but I think that they’ll be a very strong pair that will make for a strong bullpen. I’m not betting on Proctor doing much, at least not early, but it’ll be interesting to see how his role plays out.
I like how FW doesn’t f*** around!
December 3rd, 20093:13 pm
Saito + Wagner > Gonzalez + Soriano
As Sugar Hill Gang would say…GO ON FRANK WREN, JUMP ON IT!
Killing off one need completely
Then onto the next need: A BAT
BTW, anyone have any more thoughts on Rosenthal’s article about the “have to” trade Vazquez?
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