2:28 pm December 1, 2009, by David O'Brien
December 1st, 20095:26 pm
To be fair we would prob have to give them KJ or some sort of 2B prospect as well.
December 1st, 20095:27 pm
Nolie, not as confident that a 38 or 39 year old Wagner is going to have what it takes to close effectively, notwithstanding finishing the past season solidly.
There’s a lot of age and wear and tear on his arm. It’s a mighty slim reed for Wren and Cox to lean on.
December 1st, 20095:28 pm
TnBrian: You’re right. It was poorly written. And crude. And it’s gone.
December 1st, 20095:29 pm
Come on- Wagner (assuming healthy) is clearly a step up from either of those guys. Anders
not according to Keith Law for one
I think “assuming healthy” can be said for all 3 pitchers (Wagner, Soriano, and Gonzalez). As a matter of fact, it can generally be said for any relief pitcher. Given the risk associated with any closer, I think Wagner on a 1-year deal is a MUCH safer bet than Soriano or Gonzalez on a multi-year deal. By signing Wagner, you’ll have to find a new closer for 2011. By signing Soriano or Gonzo, one injury (which they both have a history of) means you’ll have to find a new closer for 2011, and have about $7-8 million less to do it.
December 1st, 20095:30 pm
RC… who’s the 1/2 Kotchman – 1/2 LaRoche on the free agent market or available for trade?
December 1st, 20095:31 pm
Nick Johnson wasn’t offered Arby
Jeff, I was disagreeing with Anders that Wagner is necessarily a step up. There are health questions about all three of them to some extent. I do think both Gonzo and Sori will leave and Wags could be the best available if that happens. Course there is always the possibility of a trade instead of a FA signing.
THIS JUST IN: Braves offer arb to Soriano and Gonzo, but not to LaRoche.
RC, your argument about letting Soriano and Gonzo go is pretty strong.
It’s 5:30 and no news from the Braves. How long do you think their “pros/cons” list for offering LaRoche and Soriano arbitration is by now?
December 1st, 20095:32 pm
I gotta agree with ugaaccountant, the has to replace all those departing players. That’s not going to be easy. The team is gonna have to acquuire one legitimate closer and a descent setup guy. The team could obviously use some depth in the middle infield, especially if KJ is cut loose. Neither Schaffer nor Heyward can be counted on to contribute much offensivley this year, so the team has to acquire another starting outfielder. Even re-signing Laroche would be a downgrade at first base becasue of the disparity in his first half /second half numbers. The team would need him to play the whole season the way he did the last two months of 2009 and that’s not going to happen.
i think the starting pitching will be about the same in 2010, and I think Wren can patch up the bullpen in one way or another. But, I just don’t see an easy fixes for the inconsistent offense.
December 1st, 20095:33 pm
DOB, thanks! No arbitration for LaRoche. Any line on the thinking about LaRoche? It’s surprising.
wow. no arb for laroche.
Should have offered it to all 3. But at least they offered it to the 2 type A’s.
Haha, beat me by seconds DOB! I was actually just looking at the list of available 1b and about to post that they might not offer arb to LaRoche since there were so many 1b available (including Nick Johnson).
December 1st, 20095:34 pm
RC – I understand what you’re saying, but here’s my comments
RP – I also think we’re done shopping after we get 1 closer. We’ll do ok with what we have, but it was a real strength over the entirety of 09.
IF Backup – I’ll admit, I expect to lose Chipper to a major injury for a long period of time. That would work out ok with Infante, but what if we had 2 injuries that Infante needs to cover? Happened quite a bit this year and I just don’t think Chipper’s getting any healthier. Maybe i’m doubting him too much, but that’s my idea.
OF backup – Not a problem at all once Heyward and/or Schafer is ready. Only a 2 month problem so I expect we’ll just make do.
1b – We got the good half of Laroche though. Not sure the stats, but taking a guess we might have averaged a .300 hitter with 850 OPS? Kotchman held in there ok on the avg. and OBP, and Laroche had the run of his life while he was here. I think the actual stats achieved here are pretty dang good.
Sweet we offered the two Type A guys. Draft picks here we come!
December 1st, 20095:35 pm
I was actually just looking at the list of available 1b and about to post that they might not offer arb to LaRoche since there were so many 1b available (including Nick Johnson).
Meaning that he’d likely accept and get paid more in arbitration than the Braves might be able to get him to sign a 1-year deal for (just finishing my thought).
I was hoping for a Penelope Cruz photo in the blog again. Either that or a Nelson Cruz photo.
No such luck.
December 1st, 20095:36 pm
I think Wagner on a 1-year deal is a MUCH safer bet than Soriano or Gonzalez on a multi-year deal. By signing Wagner, you’ll have to find a new closer for 2011. By signing Soriano or Gonzo, one injury (which they both have a history of) means you’ll have to find a new closer for 2011, and have about $7-8 million less to do it. RC
I disagree, but anyway if they accepted arb it would be a one year deal, while many rumors are saying that Wagner wants a multi-year deal.. I would be really wary of giving Billy more than one year.
I think no arb for LaRoche is a good sign they may be negotiating a contract with him.
December 1st, 20095:37 pm
arbitration to soriano but not laroche? hmm intersting. sounds like the braves really want to trade for a 1st baseman and fear that laroche would accept the arbitration….
An OF of Upton – LF, McLouth/Schafer – CF, Heyward – RF would be one of the best if not the best in baseball.
THIS JUST IN: Braves offer arb to Soriano and Gonzo, but not to LaRoche DOB
aha, just like I said last night! I’m soooo great!!!
December 1st, 20095:38 pm
ugaaccountant… The Bravos lose a Type A draft pick if they sign Wagner.
I just sold my soul to the devil as well and created a twitter account a few days ago. The updates are nice. They come right to my cell phone. Thanks!
Why wouldn’t the Braves offer LaRoche? Even if he accepted, they could probably land him for $8 mil in arb, which is reasonable. I guess they’re worried LaRoche and Soriano both accept, and they’d be out of money.
Well that or (more likely) they have some additional information we don’t.
December 1st, 20095:39 pm
…and no, I don’t think Soriano will accept…
December 1st, 20095:40 pm
Great point about possibly losing Chipper to injury. I definitely hadn’t considered that, and the team might be best served by finding a backup-IF who is not as good with the glove, but better with the bat, and can play the corners. A Casey Blake-type (or just to get creative, Mark DeRosa, while letting him start the season in LF and moving him to an infield corner if necessary).
As for the OF-backup, I actually think that Blanco will be at least as good as Church in that role, and probably better based on his defensive abilities. The only thing he can’t really do is hit for power, but for a 4th OF that’s not as big of a deal if you can get a starter that can in LF or RF (DeRosa?).
December 1st, 20095:41 pm
Tim from MLBTraderumors predicted the arbitration offers correctly for the Braves.
think no arb for LaRoche is a good sign they may be negotiating a contract with him. CB
might be so. I would have been surprised if they had offered arb to him. He’s only a B so the payback is not all that great, plus they can still negotiate with him if he is interested which could very likely end up cheaper than an arb ruling would be. Just doesn’t make all that much sense to offer it to him.
December 1st, 20095:42 pm
DOB were they waiting on news of johnson before declaring
December 1st, 20095:43 pm
I missed your prediction last night about LaRoche, so please explain the rationale for this non-move. I thought a year of LaRoche’s services would have been the ideal bridge to Freeman.
I think LaRoche would have accepted it. Good call from the Brass IMO!!
December 1st, 20095:44 pm
Most people did.
Well DOB, thank you for the news (4 minutes faster than Mark Bowman, btw)
I’m off to play Far Cry 2…
Didnt think they might be trying to work out a deal with Laroche
December 1st, 20095:46 pm
Looks like they didnt offer arb to Garret Anderson either. I thought they would…
December 1st, 20095:47 pm
Incorrect. IF the Red Sox offer Wagner arbitration (which they certainly will), the Braves would lose their 1st round pick if they sign him. Since they wouldn’t sign him until they know Gonzalez and Soriano aren’t coming back anyway, they would be losing 1 first round pick, and potentially gaining 4 (1 each for Gonzo and Soriano, and 1 compensation round pick for each). At WORST, they would receive 2 supplemental round picks, a 6th round pick, and an 8th round pick. This is doomsday scenario…in order to happen a team that finished in the bottom 15 last year would have to sign Matt Holliday, Jose Valverde, Jason Bay, Johnny Damon, Gonzalez, John Lackey, and Soriano. In other words, there is NO WAY it’ll get that bad, unless Congress gives the Washington Nationals 70ty billion dollars .
I think Heyward may be mashing before expected. Is he not the top rated prospect in MLB? His power numbers may not be in the 40 hrs range the first year but if he plays from the spring he will hit between 20-30 his first year. I guarantee it. By mashing I mean hitting seeds around the ballpark not just homers. This kid is ready and has proved with each call-up. Free Heyward!
Robins Green Drink!
December 1st, 20095:48 pm
im with you jerry i dont think the braves plan to make a deal with adam at this point. maybe if he has not signed in january or feb there is a chance his back is against the wall and he will sign a 1 yr deal with a 2nd yr option maybe. however i dont think teams will leave adam on the market that long.
i think everyone here is with me when i say “love the guy but i dont think he is in the plans just yet”
December 1st, 20095:49 pm
they can still negotiate with Adam. which could easily turnout cheaper than waht an arb hearing could probuce. If he went to arb it might turn out around 8-9 mil and they have already kinda indicated that they think that is too high for him plus that would be a one year deal. With Freeman coming along slower and with more injuries a two year deal at a lower figure might be more interesting to them. The real thing though is that they do not really gain anything by offering.Also with as little as they spent on the draft this year a B compensation might not mean much to them since they will get all those picks from Sori and Gonzo.
December 1st, 20095:50 pm
I’m thinking Wren’s #1 1B target is Xavier Nady. He can probably be had on a one year deal for a good big less than LaRoche. He can also handle the corner outfield positions quite well. He just makes too much sense for Wren not to be all over him.
Jeff R – I hate the idea of signing Wagner, but alledgedly he’s our #1 target.
Here’s my guess at expected draft picks.
18th or so (Braves natural pick) – given to red sox for Wagner
25th or so (Sox natural pick) – given to Braves for Soriano
35th or so (sandwich) – Gonzalez
37th or so (sandwich) – Soriano
60th or so (Braves 2nd natural pick)
70th or so (Yankees natural 2nd pick) – given to Braves for Gonzalez after they sign Holliday
We lose the highest pick of the bunch, but not by much. This year the draft’s stars were gone before the 18th pick. So we were never in line for a star pick, but instead have an abundance of picks that are in the zone where I trust we can still get very good players.
The Braves have a great track record of picking locally and picking young, and I have faith that the organizational philosophy will not change there. Seeing a guy like Heyward just shoot up through our ranks, I trust the organization will look for more like him, local and HS with superstar potential as opposed to drafting 3rd and 4th year college guys. I saw more college guys than I liked in 2009, but if not for the Minor pick I wouldn’t have complained. Hoping for a reversal in 2010.
Hmmm… hadn’t thought Wren may pursue some sort of deal with LaRoche outside of arbitration, and for less dough than arbitration. Makes sense.
As to Chipper Jones, some of us have been saying for a while that the Braves need to be thinking about who’s going to replace Chipper. Yes, he’s under contract for a while, but if he starts to decline (and he may have this past season), or is sidelined for an extended period, then what? The Bravos have Infante and Prado, both capable. But where’s the talented third sacker in the pipeline?
December 1st, 20095:51 pm
I missed your prediction last night about LaRoche, so please explain the rationale for this non-move. I thought a year of LaRoche’s services would have been the ideal bridge to Freeman. – Mr. J
Had the Braves offered LaRoche arbitration, he would have likely received at LEAST $8 million had he accepted. Based on the number of free agent 1bs on the market, it’s unlikely he’ll get an $8 million a year offer this offseason…that’s simply the current economics of baseball. As it stands now, the Braves can continue to negotiate with him and see if they can reach an agreement at or around his “true” market value, instead of the artificially inflated value he would have had in the arbitration process.
DOB, you speak of “trading” Lowe, do you think we could get someone to just take him and his contract for a low level, mediocre minor leaguer? I’m serious, I don’t think it can happen.
December 1st, 20095:53 pm
They also will wait to the last minute to decide on KJ and Church,hoping for a trade candidate.
ugaaccountant… thanks for info. Makes the picture clearer.
December 1st, 20095:56 pm
If you want to read a bloodcurdling and fabulous book, check out Corman McCarthy’s early work “Blood Meridian.”
December 1st, 20095:58 pm
It was smart of the Braves to wait until late to announce who they were offering arbitration to. Had they gone earlier in the day, the decisions might have been different since they wouldn’t have known that Valverde was offered arbitration (making it easier for them to offer to Soriano) and that Nick Johnson was not offered arbitration (informing their decision to not offer to LaRoche).
December 1st, 20095:59 pm
Had Valverde not been offered arb, he’d likely be a more attractive target than Soriano or Gonzalez. But since they all will cost a pick, Soriano and Gonzalez’s value is significantly higher.
Steve from OH
When is the deadline for offering arb to guys still under team control?
December 1st, 20096:01 pm
CB – I’ll eat some crow on KJ. I thought even with the economic situation that he had at least minimal trade value. I appear to be wrong.
Jeff R – you’re welcome and I hope I have all my facts straight. That’s all very speculative as it matters who signs our players and who we sign in return. We might wind up signing a 1b or LF that would cost us our natural pick in the 2nd and or 3rd round as well.
December 1st, 20096:05 pm
I almost forgot about KJ today.
How long to they have to “wait” on Church and KJ?
CB I thought the team control guys were under a differant deadline
December 1st, 20096:06 pm
this is a free agent deadline
December 1st, 20096:08 pm
Don’t know if I’d classify ‘Blood Meridian’ as early work…. ‘The Orchard Keeper’ was published in the mid-60’s and McCarthy had already received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a McArthur Genius Award prior to publishing ‘Blood Meridian.’
December 1st, 20096:10 pm
December 12th to tender contracts to non-free agent players.
December 1st, 20096:12 pm
P. W. Hjort
December 1st, 20096:13 pm
Thanks for the arb updates, DOB.
December 1st, 20096:14 pm
December 1st, 20096:18 pm
DOB, my bad. I thought back to a word I wrote in that post which was wrong for people of all ages to read. I’ll choose my words more carefully.
If they declined arb. to LaRoche than that means he’s a goner, right? Could they already have a deal in place for a 1st baseman or a signing of one? Guess we’ll find out soon.
December 1st, 20096:22 pm
Aren’t the team control guys on a Dec. 12 deadline to tender…Isn’t that right DOB
December 1st, 20096:24 pm
Those hoping the action we’ll pick up, sounds like you’re about to get your wish. When I asked Wren whether the Braves were ready to make some offers now or if he thought they’d wait till they get to Winter Meetings, he said: “We’re prepared. Prior to Indianapolis, we’d like to be aggressive on some things.”
December 1st, 20096:25 pm
No arb for Cameron. That makes him a bit more interesting.
TnBrian: Not at all. As I said last night, Braves can continue to negotiate with all their free agents, regardless of whether they offered arb. That rule changed recently.
December 1st, 20096:26 pm
That’s Wren code for Ryan Braun will be a Brave!
December 1st, 20096:27 pm
Steve from OH: That deadline is not until Dec. 12, after Winter Meetings.
I bet Braves will make an offer to LaRoche which might be less than the arb figure they were thinking he might get but tell him privately that they need to wait to see if they can move Lowe so they can have more $ to offer him than they can now in arbitration and it will be a shorter contract than he probably would prefer. Adam just might wait a bit to see what Braves can do.
December 1st, 20096:29 pm
any ideas on who or what since that conversation DOB
Haven’t chimed in in a while, but this comment from one of Bowman’s stories seemed like a bit of a slip to me:
“Still, before next week’s Winter Meetings begin, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wren make a trade, and by that, I mean one more significant than the one that could involve Kelly Johnson.”
I hadn’t found any reference to a KJ trade rumor anywhere in any of Bowman’s articles, so I think KJ might be gone soon. Unless I’ve missed something, which I probably have.
December 1st, 20096:30 pm
Thanks Dave, nick, newcars!
December 1st, 20096:31 pm
Nice quote from Wren! I’m pumped now
Wren said the Braves declined arb offer for LaRoche because they’re not sure how the 1B market is going to develop and how their own team is going to be constructed, so they couldn’t commit to paying him the raise he’s going to get through arbitration, even though they might try to re-sign him depending how other situations develop.
(So many ways it could go — they could trade a pitcher and get a 1B, or trade another pitcher and not get a 1B but clear up a lot of payroll, or a 1B might become available they hadn’t anticipated, etc. But bottom line, LaRoche could get at least $8 mill in arb, and they’re not ready yet to commit that much to him or the position.)
December 1st, 20096:32 pm
Good Grief! already today, Trade Lowe for Hart, aben after their GM said most likely would NOT come to fruition.
Sign Cameron, Nady,trade for Swisher, OHHH MY Aching head!
Cameron? really dude is 38 years old, do you really want Cameron, see Chipper Jones, things happen naturally at 37-38 that start taking the toll, eyes not as fast, legs not as fresh etal.
Billy Wagner? Really another geritol kid huh? 39 years old, Jeez, you guys are really grasping here.
I get told OH NO to a 32 year old 1B like Konerko, oh and did I see someone using park adjusted stats on a player earlier? Hmmmm,Johnny Damon I believe, yes it was, for that short porch in Stankee Stadium, but you would sell the farm for a one Park hitter in Dan Uggla?? I am glad Wren is in control of this or we would have the all NURSING HOME TEAM on the damn field Next year!
December 1st, 20096:34 pm
Mekons: It sure does.
By the way, Wren had just left the office and said 16 teams had reported with their offers. He said he was surprised by some who weren’t offered arb, but not by those who were offered arb.
December 1st, 20096:35 pm
Like the turn of a switch, the offseason excitement has begun.
I hope Wren trades Lowe, SCHAFER, and Freeman to Detroit for Miguel Cabrera just to pi$$ off the masses!
December 1st, 20096:36 pm
glorydays: I don’t know on Lowe, whether they can deal him, whether they can deal him by eating a little of his contract, whether they can get anything back in such a deal, etc. All remains to be seen. It’s simply too early to say. Teams develop needs or get desperate the deeper we get into winter.
December 1st, 20096:37 pm
Then maybe wrangle say oh Spilborghs to play RF
December 1st, 20096:38 pm
and then sign Beimel, and Valverde to shore up the pen. offseason done and the freakin Philthies and Mutts can eat CROW!!!!
Did you get a sense that Wren was talkng about trades or free agent signings that could take place before the Winter Meetings?
December 1st, 20096:40 pm
If Lowe goes and that is a BIG IF, it won’t be before Christmas
December 1st, 20096:43 pm
Here’s a scenario:
Red Sox trade for Halladay as a result, Yankees sign Lackey.
Angels, desperate for SP, trade for Lowe.
Maybe they are saving first base for Gonzalez or Cabrera?
December 1st, 20096:44 pm
Well, good, sounds like the Braves have at least something cooking for Wren to say they’d like to get some things done before next week. I guess it doesn’t matter whether or not they make a trade/signing tonight, tomorrow, or a month from now… spring training doesn’t start until March, but it gives us something to talk about a little sooner.
December 1st, 20096:45 pm
“We’re prepared. Prior to Indianapolis, we’d like to be aggressive on some things”
I may be crazy, but that sounds like stuff that’s gonna go down before they get to Indy.
December 1st, 20096:46 pm
and here is DOB showing out lol
as i mentioned last night, to avoid a complaint and damages from the players association, the team cutting the player has to prove that the player being cut is worse than all their other options. teams cannot just cut a guy because they decide they dont want to pay him, because they will end up paying anyways. (read: they will get sued) DAP
this is about the third guy in the last week who has come to the conclusion that one of the stronger unions around would leave their players open to that behavior. the fact that it happens no more than a few times a decade seems to have no appeal to their common sense.
there is an opening to protect the teams if a player falls apart, but it is strictly monitored. if it could be used like they seem to think it can, teams would be taking advantage of it regularly.
I too seem to remember DOB writing about it last year.
December 1st, 20096:48 pm
Vin Sculy in 3 minutes? You can’t do that.
It’s not the action that makes him great, it’s the way he calls the game in between the action that makes him great.
December 1st, 20096:49 pm
Also, WIll Ohman wasn’t offered arby, not that it matters because he’s a type B, but he should be picked up by the Bravitoes
Jurrjens4NLCY – Probably best that N. Johnson wasn’t offered Arby. Dude needs to lay off on the beef and cheddars for a while from the looks of things.
December 1st, 20096:50 pm
If they declined arb. to LaRoche than that means he’s a goner, right? TnBr
there have been a half dozen posts explaining the possibilities, can you read?
December 1st, 20096:51 pm
Rob – your guy’s on the cover of ChopTalk this month.
December 1st, 20096:52 pm
Actually, Cameron not being offered arbitration doesn’t really change much if anything from the Braves’ perspective since he was a Type B.
December 1st, 20096:53 pm
“there have been a half dozen posts explaining the possibilities, can you read” Moby Grape
I don’t understand that gibberish stuff you wrote there, Moby.
Rob - in pain (from SC)
December 1st, 20097:08 pm
where can I find it in stores soph
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