Firing up the Hot Stove in chilly Indy

Indianapolis – Welcome to chilly Indy, where baseball’s hot stove will be stoked plenty this week at the annual swap meet known as the Winter Meetings, and the Braves will move forward in their plans to trade a starting pitcher –- almost certainly either Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez — and get a hitter or two.

But first they will have to find whether Rafael Soriano’s agent is serious about his client accepting arbitration by the midnight Monday deadline for free agents to decline or accept offers made last week by their 2009 teams.

Uh, wait a minute, dude. See, they wanted draft picks, not you....

Wait a minute, dude. They want draft picks, not you....

As most of you are aware by now, Soriano’s agent, Peter Greenberg, was quoted over the weekend by ESPN.com Jerry Crasnick saying that Soriano is seriously considering accepting the arbitration offer the Braves made to reliever affectionately known here as The Scowl.

If he does, well, the Braves will have one hell of a loaded bullpen, but will have far surpassed their budgeted payroll for that area of the team. They’ll have to figure out what to do with a $7 mill (or more) salary they obviously weren’t planning on having when they signed closer Billy Wagner and setup man Takashi Saito last week to replace Soriano and fellow free agent Mike Gonzalez.

(Before we go any further, we remind you to follow breaking Braves news and our idle thoughts and random, scattershot observations on Twitter @ajcbraves. Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog….)

As I’ve said when asked about it numerous times since Greenberg’s comment — I’ve been asked what the Braves will do if he accepts; whether they could they trade Soriano, could they cut him, could they sign him to a long-term deal with a lower annual to lessen the immediate payroll hit, etc. – I tend to believe this will all become a moot point sometime before midnight Monday when Greenberg or the Braves announce that Soriano has declined the arbitration offer.

But I could certainly be wrong, and the Braves certainly will have miscalculated badly if that’s the case and Soriano accepts. Because believe me, they didn’t think there was almost any chance the intense right-hander would accept arbitration and a non-guaranteed, one-year contract that takes him off the free-agent market before that market even has time to develop. They wanted the compensatory draft picks, not this potential headache.

They didn’t think he’d take arbitration, even considering that his arb-set salary would be at least $6.5-7 million (and I think it would be closer to $7.5 million), exceeding what he’s likely to get next season if he signs a free-agent deal with another team.

Their reasoning is pretty sound, too. Because while Soriano, who had a $6.1 mill salary last season, would get at least $6.5 million if he takes the arb offer, most people around baseball believe he’ll get offers for at least two years from some clubs as a free agent, and that those offers could exceed $10 million total.

And if you’re Soriano, who had elbow problems (two surgeries) that limited him to six, seven and 14 appearances in three of the past six seasons, would you have enough confidence in your long-term health to turn down a two-year, guaranteed contract in order to take a one-year deal for 2009? And a non-guaranteed deal at that, meaning if he didn’t pitch well in spring training, the Braves could cut him and only have to pay a percentage of the contract.

See, here's the thing. They already got another closer....

See, here's the thing: They already got another....

Not to mention that if he does take arbitration and does pitch for the Braves in 2009, he would get few if any save opportunities, now that the Braves have signed Wagner to close and Saito to be a setup man and the backup closer.

In that scenario, Soriano could be going back on the free-agent market a year coming off a season in which he had no saves and worked mostly in, say, the seventh inning. As opposed to now, when he’s coming off a career-best 2009 in which he amassed 102 strikeouts (with 27 walks) in 75-2/3 innings, a 2.97 ERA, and a 1.06 WHIP and .194 opponents’ batting average, including an otherworldly 0.80 WHIP and .138 opponents’ average against right-handers.

Would he really not take those stats to the free-agent market this winter? Like the Braves, I tend to doubt it (though I don’t think I doubt it quite as much as they do, because I wouldn’t have offered him arbitration last week, just on the slim chance he’d take it and end up with, say, an $8 million salary).

And if I were them and did offer him arbitration, well, I sure don’t know if I’d have had the stomach to then sign both Wagner and Saito even before the Monday deadline for free agents to accept or decline the arb offers.

But, hey, they signed both of those guys to reasonable deals. In Wagner’s case, I’m quite sure the lefty with 385 career saves could have gotten more, maybe quite a bit more, if Wagner had just waited around to sign with the highest bidder this winter.

He didn’t want to wait, and neither did the Braves. So he’s their closer for 2010, and quite possibly for 2011 if he finishes 50 games and his vesting option becomes guaranteed (by the way, that $6.5 million option has a $250,000 buyout, which is why Wagner’s one-year contract is officially for $7 million, even though his 2010 salary is actually $6.75 million).

So does Soriano want to come back to pitch the seventh inning for a team that has moved on, so to speak, and found another closer and setup man? I guess we’ll find out by Monday midnight.

I was just thinking about how we  sure haven’t heard Boras say that Gonzalez might take arbitration. Everyone would scoff if Boras said something like that, because we all know full well that he’ll get the max contract for his client, a deal that will probably exceed all expectations, as is so often the case when it comes to Boras’ clients. I’m guessing Gonzo ends up with a three-year guaranteed contract worth … oh, I’m not even going to say.

And just one more thing about Soriano. If he does surprise a lot of us by accepting arbitration, would it put a huge wrench in the Braves’ plans, the way that Greg Maddux (Boras client) did when he accepted arb years ago and the Braves had to hastily trade Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada to make Maddux’s salary (it ended up being $16 mill) fit into the payroll?

OK, raise your hand if you miss Maddux (mine's raised)

OK, raise your hand if you miss Greg Maddux. (Mine's raised.)

No, I don’t think it would. Because as some on the blog have correctly pointed out, the Braves could always trade Soriano between now and opening day (even if they’d wanted to they couldn’t have traded the great Maddux, who was a 10/5 guy), though they would have to have Soriano’s written permission in order to trade him before June.  (If they go to him and tell him he’ll pitch the sixth or seventh inning and get no save opps this season unless Wagner is hurt, then I’m thinking the proud Soriano, who wants to close, would accept a deal.)

Or, if he didn’t pitch well in the spring, they might have cause to release him, though that might lead to a grievance being filed by the player if they didn’t have clear cause to release him (you can’t just release a guy because you don’t like his contract).

Anyway, something tells me that at some point Monday or Monday night, this whole discussion is going to become a moot point. By then I’m guessing that a team or three will have either made offers to Soriano’s agent, or at least indicated what they’re likely to offer, and the official rejection of arbitration will be made.

But if I’m wrong, my misreading the situation sure isn’t going to cost me like it could potentially cost the Braves.

♣ The hitter they seek: Once that Soriano matter is resolved, our attention can be focused squarely on the bigger matter at hand, right? And that is, can the Braves find someone willing to take at least the bulk of Lowe’s contract off the Braves’ hands so they’ll have plenty of cash to pay a big (or semi-big) bopper, either a free agent or one acquired via trade (did someone say Nelson Cruz? Or  Josh Willingham? Or maybe you think the Braves should or will aim for the moon and cough up the prospects it would take if San Diego were to trade Adrian Gonzalez? Anyway….)

Or, rather than finding a trade partner for Lowe, will the Braves leave the meetings convinced that it’s not going to happen, that no team is going to be willing to trade for him without demanding that the Braves eat more of his contract than they are willing to consume?

Did you hear this guy might be available?

Did you hear? This guy might be available for multiple top prospects. Operative words: might, multiple, top, prospects.

And in that case, would they immediately suspend thoughts of signing Vazquez to an extension and start taking serious offers for the righty who had a 2.87 ERA and 238 strikeouts in 219-1/3 innings in 2009, his third consecutive season with at least 200 strikeouts and 10th consecutive season with double-digit wins (15)?

If you do trade Vazquez, then do you insist on a quality young hitter you can control for at least a couple of years, and maybe a solid prospect or two?

Oh, it’s going to get interesting soon, folks.

Here’s what Wren said last week when asked whether he thought John Lackey, the top free-agent starter on the market, needed to sign with someone to set the market before the other pitching dominoes would start to fall.

“I think teams have to have some sense of what the market is,” Wren said. “It’s the unknown that makes it difficult for clubs. I think once they get a sense … the top guy doesn’t necessarily have to sign, but the top guy has to have kind of a market established, because that will obviously create some players and create some non-players [for his services].”

About that aging closer: Wagner will turn 39 right after the All-Star break next season, but the Braves obviously weren’t too concerned about his age or the fact he missed most of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Braves are expecting him to be the most consistent closer they’ve had since John Smoltz was in the role.  (Smoltz had 44 saves in 2004 at age 37, for those wondering.)

“When you look at a closer whose career is 86-percent efficiency, that’s extremely high numbers for a closer,” Wren said, referring to Wagner’s career save conversion rate. “Anytime you get over 80 percent you’re really good, and for his career he’s 86 percent.”

The Braves are really pumped about having a guy as accomplished as Wagner coming in to close games.

“He’s everything you’d want him to be,” Wren said. “He’s fearless. He’s a guy who goes out there and has quality stuff. And I think we felt even considering the good job that our guys [Soriano and Gonzalez] did a year ago, we had Billy ranked higher in our evaluation.”

On old guys as closers, Wren said: “That role’s a little different. You see what Trevor Hoffman is doing. Obviously he’s a different type of guy [than Wagner], but those guys can pitch later in their caree. The one inning at a time, and Bobby takes care of him… We don’t have any doubts that he can still be a top-notch closer.”

Speaking of Boras… Don’t know how I forgot to share this with you, but I did. It was during a conversation I had with Boras a couple of weeks ago, when I called him to ask about Gonzalez and the lefty’s switch to Boras as his agent late last season.

I got to talking to Boras about Lowe possibly being traded — “He’s a veteran player; he understands when you sign contract without a no-trade clasue that you’re going to be talked about [in trade rumors],” Boras said — and then I asked him about another of his Braves clients, Jair Jurrjens.

Many of you have wondered, as I have, whether the Braves might approach the 23-year-old pitcher about a long-term contract extension well before he reaches free agency (he’ll be arb-eligible for the first time after the 2010 season).

I asked Boras, and his response might surprise you. (Even the fact that he did respond might surprise some of you.)

“You let him know the opportunity exists, and when a club approaches we’ll go over it,” Boras said. “We have signed players to multi-year contracts before they’re free agents – [Mark] Teixeira, Matt Holliday, Prince Fielder….”

Boras sings the praises of Jurrjens, just as Bobby Cox and the Braves do. Great kid, very intelligent, hard worker, blah blah blah. (Hey, and it’s all true, from everything I’ve seen of Jair, and from everyone I’ve talked to about him.)

Did I mention Penelope Cruz stars in two new movies?

Oh, and did we mention Penelope Cruz stars in two new movies?

It’s kind of scary to think what kind of contract figures Boras might be looking for if the Braves came to Jurrjens about an extension. But the kid seems to enjoy pitching for the Braves, and even when they were providing him with almost no run support for much of last season, he handled it with maturity and never blamed anyone.

He ended up with just a 14-10 record and sparkling 2.60 ERA. For his career, Jurrjens is 30-21 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.276 WHIP in 72 starts (seven with Detroit, 65 with the Braves). Just as a reminder, he’s seven months older than Tommy Hanson.

“Jair’s doing great,” Boras said. “I think Frank’s put together a phenomenal starting pitching staff, and that’s always been the core of Atlanta’s’s success. Obviously they’re a bat away from being the team they want to be, but you’ve got to remember, they were in a lot of games [in 2009]. Just offensively, they fell short.”

OK, let’s close this with one from a great band that not enough people have heard (and here’s a video of them doing this tune).

NightwatchBottlerockets

“INDIANAPOLIS” by the Bottle Rockets

Got a tow from a guy named Joe

Cost sixty dollars hope I don’t run out of dough

Told me bout a sex offense ‘put him three days in jail

Stuck in Indianapolis, hope I live to tell the tale

*

Can’t go west, can’t go east

I’m stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that’s deceased

Ten days on the road now I’m four hours from my home town

Is this hell or Indianapolis with no way to get around

*

Called my girl to tell her of the trouble that I’d had

First time I called her in ten days, guess that made her mad

Far as she’s concerned I belong in this Hoosier state

Stuck in Indianapolis with no way to set things straight

*

Can’t go west, can’t go east

I’m stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that’s deceased

Ten days on the road now I’m four hours from my home town

Is this hell or Indianapolis with no way to get around

*

Sitting in this bar is getting more than I can stand

If I could catch a ride I really think I’d ditch this van

Who knows what this repair will cost, scared to spend a dime

I’ll puke if that jukebox plays John Cougar one more time

*

If I ever leave here I hope never to return

If I get that van back, Man, the road I’m gonna burn

Right now my future’s in the hand of them boys down at Firestone

Stuck in Indianapolis feeling all alone

*

Can’t go west, can’t go east

I’m stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that’s deceased

Ten days on the road now I’m four hours from my home town

Is this hell or Indianapolis with no way to get around

Is this hell or Indianapolis with no way to get around

2,844 comments Add your comment

N8

December 7th, 2009
12:55 am

I’m copying my last two posts into one on the new blog. Fire away:

“You’re trading for 1 year of a 2-to-3-win player (Dunn)….”

Are you really, honestly, no bullsh!t telling me that there is a stat out there or a stat analysis system, that claims that a guy like Adam Dunn is only worth about 2-3 wins per year for a team that has no cleanup hitter, and plenty of pitching if they rid themselves of Derek Lowe’s contract?

Dunn hit 38 HR, slugged at a .529 pace with an OPS of .928 last year.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that he would have helped us win more games than 2 or 3 last year if inserted in our lineup.

Because, if a cleanup hitter with those numbers is only good for 2 or 3 wins, WTF is everybody so damn desperate about adding a cleanup hitter for?

Wren should pray to his god that Soriano AND Gonzalez accept arbitration, keep all 6 starting pitches and just pitch our way to the WS.

I’m not the biggest Dunn fan in the world. But I’m also not stupid enough to believe any stat that states he’s only “good” for 2 or 3 wins.

What about what he’d do for Chipper? What about making the lineup deeper with McCann and Escobar dropping lower in the order?

I love stats as much as the next guy, but I swear the morons that come up with these stat systems and theories have never actually watched the game before.

Just counting HR, our cleanup and 5th place hitters hit 43 HR last year. Mac had 21 HR (20 batting cleanup, 1 batting 5th).

Insert Dunn at cleanup and drop Mac to 5th. Assuming the stats remain the same, that gives us 59 HR in the 4th and 5th hole of the lineup.

Anybody out there honestly think with all the low scoring games last year that we choked away, that 16 more HR in the middle of our order are only good for 2 or 3 more wins?

Now on to OPS. Our cleanup hitters had a combined OPS of .808 last year, and the 5th place hitters had an OPS of .739.

If you put Dunn 4th (.928 OPS) and Mac 5th (.834) for the majority of those AB’s, I’ve got to believe that the results for the offense, change drastically.

Not to mention all the people blaming poor protection on Chipper’s bad year, his results would have been different, not?

Nolie, you’re a scout. Would Adam Dunn batting cleanup for the Braves in 2009 helped them win more than 3 games, in your opinion?

nolie

December 7th, 2009
12:55 am

Good blog. thanx

N8

December 7th, 2009
12:56 am

Hey…. I was FIRST!!! Don’t know if that’s ever happened.

Brave's Next Power Hitter

December 7th, 2009
12:59 am

I hope for Mike Cameron, and LaRoche, If you get higher than sweet.

TnBrian

December 7th, 2009
1:00 am

DOB, I like your little comment under the picture of Soriano. Very true.

Just the thought of seeing “Braves land Gonzalez” makes you excited. After that Tex mess I doubt they’d do another blockbuster requiring so many good prospects to be traded. Never know though.

Steve

December 7th, 2009
1:02 am

Somehow, if it comes to the point Soriano actually accepts arbitration, I doubt teams will be lining up for him in this market for relief pitchers.

And I’m still not sure trading Soriano is allowed by MLB rules until June 15th.

David O'Brien

December 7th, 2009
1:03 am

Don’t forget to check out the video link to that Bottle Rockets song….

TnBrian

December 7th, 2009
1:05 am

DOB, I probably won’t like Bottle Rockets, but I’ll not judge just yet. If I say it’s good then it’s good music. Gimmie a minute.

Bad Scooter

December 7th, 2009
1:06 am

a good late night blog DOB

Goldenglove002

December 7th, 2009
1:10 am

Thanks for new blog DOB. Should we expect another one if there is a big move mid-week?

Can’t wait to see what FW has up his sleeve this week. Should be fun

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:10 am

P.W. from the other blog:

“Well, he has a 6-win bat, but there are other things involved in production. Like fielding, where he’s a -2-3 win player, and baserunning, where he sucks, and position scarcity, and he plays a position with a very high replacement level.”

Oh, I get it and understand it. But I think it’s all relative to each specific team.

If you replace Tex on the Yankees roster with Dunn, he might be worth negative wins, when you factor in his defense and what not.

But we’re talking about a guy who in 2009 would have been signed INSTEAD OF Loaf. So, essentially, the defense and baserunning is a wash. And then what you’re left with is the offense.

Which is exactly what the Braves were lacking in the middle of their order.

I think saying Dunn would have only been worht 6 more wins had he been on the team instead of Loaf, is even an understatement.

For the 2009 Atlanta Braves (in hindsight of course), with Adam Dunn’s bat from the get go in LF, we go to the playoffs.

Of course, money wise it changes everything last year. Perhaps the McLouth deal doesn’t happen, more than likely the LaRoche deal doesn’t happen.

But with his (Dunn’s) bat in the middle of the order, perhaps those deals are never necessary? No way of knowing.

I hope this clarifies where I’m coming from.

As for 2010? I think trading Adam Dunn even up for Derek Lowe would be a steal.

It would rid us of 2 extra years (30 million dollars), and get us our bridge to Heyward and Freeman. While giving the Nats a proven veteran to anchor one of 5 spots in their rotation for the next 3 years.

This team doesn’t need Lowe, especially if Vazquez stays, and I’ve questioned whether we need either of them if the right bats are added, and the bullpen is fixe (which it appears to have been).

Steve

December 7th, 2009
1:10 am

The market just is not there; a good number of players with decent save numbers are available, and on top of that only a few teams (Nationals, Orioles and the Cubs) have the money available to spend on a “premium” closer. Gonzalez, Gregg, Lyon, Putz, Rodney and Valverde, are all competing with Soriano for a limited supply of available money from a limited supply of teams. And that doesn’t include closers like Matt Capps and Heath Bell whose teams have made it known they’re also available.

The market is bad for relievers and Soriano might be absolutely right to take arbitration for the highest salary he can get for 2010.

Mainer

December 7th, 2009
1:11 am

Hey DOB, its 1:10 my time no news or Soriano. Safe to say we can now pursue a bat?

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
1:11 am

N8,
I replied on the other thread. Basically, he’s a 6-win bat at a -1 position with a -2-3 glove.

TnBrian

December 7th, 2009
1:11 am

Not terrible music at all. Sounds like a bar song that people karaoke to, but I can listen to that over rap any day.

TnBrian

December 7th, 2009
1:11 am

Not terrible music at all. Sounds like a bar song that people karaoke to, but I can listen to that over rap any day.

Mainer

December 7th, 2009
1:12 am

I’m hoping for a first day of the WM deal :D

Bobby Hill

December 7th, 2009
1:12 am

So what’s the most likely scenario with regard to the “big bat.” With all of the different possibilities is there anything to indicate what the most probable outcome is?

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:13 am

P.W., I saw it. Scroll up to 1:10 to see my response, if you haven’t already.

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:14 am

you’re a scout. Would Adam Dunn batting cleanup for the Braves in 2009 helped them win more than 3 games, in your opinion? N8

they won 86 without him surely they could have won three with him. j/k
stats are used to assess past performance and predict future performance and the most effective ones are as clean as can be. I love stats too, have since I was a kid, and i am a believer in many of the newer ones-including park adjustments. :)
However, I’m not a true believer in the more speculative ones. When they start saying that such and such is worth so and so that starts to get more subjective than I am comfortable with due to assumptions being made, and each system created by someone brings their own personal set of assumptions. That’s why there are differences in the results.
For cripes sakes when Bill James originally brought out WinShares I think it was it had a fudge factor built right into the equation. If it didn’t work out the way you thought it should just modify the fudge factor, thus coming up with Biggio being one of the 50 greatest players of all time.
That’s a blatant example but all are less reliable than I am comfortable with.
In general they help some, but like the predictions that we see for what a player will do next year, they can be very close or not even in the park. there are just too many variables in the game for stats to ever be anywhere near perfect, and there are “intangibles’ that can not be measured in any way. They are laughed at by statguys but anybody who has actually played for a long time knows that they occur at least sometimes. Even if they are nothing more than coincidence, stats can’t measure coincidence either.
All that is to say that there is no way to really know how many games Dunn would have added to the win total. I would guess that in that specific situation given those hitters involved that he would probably have added more than 3 wins to that team’s totals, and I am not a Dunn fan.

David O'Brien

December 7th, 2009
1:14 am

Mainer: The deadline is nearly 23 hours from now. Wrong midnight.

David O'Brien

December 7th, 2009
1:17 am

Can you believe the Falcons must now go 3-1 the rest of the way to snap their unbelievable streak of never having consecutive winning seasons?

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:17 am

And I’m still not sure trading Soriano is allowed by MLB rules until June 15th Steve

you can’t understand the difference between free agents and guys who accept arb? It was quoted out of the book that they are not the same. Free agents can’t be, but if a guy accepts arb he is never considered a free agent so it does not apply to him. It might be a challenge to get him traded, but it is legal.

Mainer

December 7th, 2009
1:18 am

ahh sorry man i was mistaken, thought it was today.
Well he is one of the top arms out there i hope he is just trying to pry offers from other teams.

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:18 am

Thanks nolie. Well explained. Plus it sounds like you kind of, sort of agree with me. Which makes me like the response even more. LOL.

Mainer

December 7th, 2009
1:19 am

The Falcons are pissing me off, if they don’t get a winning season this year and i have to hear about this for another 2 years im gonna blow. Just pathetic.

jed

December 7th, 2009
1:22 am

N8: agreed, man. 2-3 wins is a ridiculous estimate.

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:24 am

P.W., have you bothered taking all of the Braves players that were on the team last year for various amounts of time, and calculating their +/- win totals with the actual amount of wins (86) the Braves had last year, and see how it calculates?

I’m curious to see how accurate it is or isn’t. Or at least how accurate it was going into last year, and how the year turned out. I realize that that might take time, I also realize you might say screw off and don’t want to figure it out. But if you do calculate it out, let me know how it turns out. :-)

Zack Jones

December 7th, 2009
1:25 am

Go braves & saints :)

Mainer

December 7th, 2009
1:26 am

you’re a braves & saints fan? Thats just sickening bro ham

jed

December 7th, 2009
1:27 am

nolie: nice job of breaking that down and articulating it.

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:28 am

ou kind of, sort of agree with me. Which makes me like the response even more N8

kinda sorta.
the system is very theoretical and can provide guidelines, but when applied to specific situations the possibilities for variance are great. The stats say “this is what will happen” which means that the odds are in favor of that, but anything can and does happen under a modified bell curve, and although 90+ percent happen within + or – 3 standard deviations-which within itself can cause major differences, there is always the possibility that the specific event might be one which falls even farther from the mean.
True believers believe -obviously -like PWH, realists realize the limitations inherent in a system with so many variables, skeptics scoff. That covers most things in life including statistical analysis

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:30 am

“It might be a challenge to get him traded, but it is legal.” nolie

I don’t really think it will/would be a challenge to trade him outright. But it might be a challenge to trade him for prospects that are equal in Wren’s mind to the value that those two picks would have been worth at some point.

But each step of the phase has to be taken into account as he goes. Wren assumed Soriano wasn’t going to accept arbitration, and thus Wren was salivating over the draft picks.

If Soriano does accept, he either has to accept that he accepted (LOL) and use him in the pen. Or unfortunately, take what he can get for him.

But wouldn’t it suck, if Soriano accepts, and we get zero draft picks for him upon trading him. Then if Gonzo is signed by a team who signs a higher rated Type A free agent, meaning we’d get a sandwhich and a second, along with losing our first for Wagner?

To go from the possibility of a week ago, of maybe capping out at two 1st and 3 sandwhich picks from Soriano, Gonzo and LaRoche, to basically having a no firsts in next year’s draft?

That’s why draft picks should be allowed to be traded.

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:35 am

BTW I was nor denigrating PWH in that last statement.

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
1:36 am

So, essentially, the defense and baserunning is a wash. And then what you’re left with is the offense.

Well, actually, Adam Dunn is phenomenally bad in the field and Loaf is only bad. For instance, Dunn’s 2009 UZR was -36.3. Loaf’s was -11.8. That’s actually a two win difference. (…By the way, holy sh!t, I can’t believe there is someone 2-wins worse than Garret Anderson in the field. That is amazing to me…)

Loaf was a +1 bat in 2009. -1 fielder, and -1 position.

Dunn was a +6 bat in 2009. -3.5 fielder, and -1 positional.

Loaf was a -1 win player in 2009. Dunn was a ~+1.5 win player in 2009.

Given that Dunn would’ve fixed the biggest systematic weakness of the team in 2009–the inability to hit for power–it’s fair to assume he’d be more than a +2.5 win upgrade over Garret Anderson. Especially given the Braves scoring and allowing tendencies (teams with low scoring and allowing tendencies disproportionately improve by adding offense, teams with high scoring and allowing tendencies disproportionately improve by adding defense/pitching).

The discussion I intended to engage was (not one that had anything to do with Loaf, but) the one regarding trading Lowe, Schafer, and $15 million for Adam Dunn, stating it was a lop-sided deal and the Braves shouldn’t do it. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Dunn or anything, I just wouldn’t make the deal. Purely in terms of value, the Braves give away far more than they receive. No matter how much I like Dunn, that’s a stupid trade.

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
1:43 am

I’m pretty sure I’m a realist, if not a skeptic.

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:44 am

Loaf was a +1 bat in 2009. -1 fielder, and -1 position.

Dunn was a +6 bat in 2009. -3.5 fielder, and -1 positional.

Loaf was a -1 win player in 2009. Dunn was a ~+1.5 win player in 2009. PWH

only if you accept all the assumptions that are built into those systems. It’s a guideline, it ain’t God’s word. and it is almost never exactly right.It it could even be close we could forgo playing the games and just analyze each team and present trophies all in a few days. I like it better playing them all out. ;)

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:46 am

’m pretty sure I’m a realist, if not a skeptic.

I think you’re a true believer like Shaun. We need all kinds and I ‘m not putting you down.

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
1:48 am

P.W., have you bothered taking all of the Braves players that were on the team last year for various amounts of time, and calculating their +/- win totals with the actual amount of wins (86) the Braves had last year, and see how it calculates?

I’m curious to see how accurate it is or isn’t. Or at least how accurate it was going into last year, and how the year turned out. I realize that that might take time, I also realize you might say screw off and don’t want to figure it out. But if you do calculate it out, let me know how it turns out.

I’m not entirely sure I understand what you’re talking about, but I think you mean taking all the Braves players win values (WAR, WARP, or whatever comprehensive win-value metric you want to use) and comparing them to the 2009 Braves actual win total?

I haven’t. I could probably accomplish that rather quickly using BPro’s stats page. The problem is, I’m really never clear on their assumption of replacement level. Everyone seems to have their own idea. Anywhere from .250-.330 winning percentage.

If I assume the replacement level is a .300 winning percentage and it’s actually a .270 winning percentage, this is a problem.

I’ll see what I can do.

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:49 am

P.W., that’s cool. I know I jumped in on the discussion and kind of changed directions with it.

I can’t get on board with giving up Lowe and Schafer for Dunn. Like I said. I’m not actually a fan of Dunn’s. Last winter I wanted Abreu or Ibanez, and said it repeatedly while everybody wanted Dunn or Burrell.

Add to that, I was ALL ABOUT getting Lowe, LOL! But Lowe was exactly what the 2009 Braves needed to NOT be like the 2008 Braves. A pitcher that remains healthy and eats innings.

Dunn might very well be a guy that’s exactly what the 2010 Braves lineup needs to not be like the 2009 lineup. Raw power. Hard to say.

But I’m with you on the defense.

My argument was that you just can’t take that stat analysis system and predetermine that Dunn would have only been worth 2-3 more wins for the 2009 Atlanta Braves, had he replaced Loaf.

I’m just not buying it. Call me stubborn, call me unwilling to accept the theory and stats being thrown out there, but in a “one for one” trade of Dunn for Loaf I think he’s worth more than 3 more wins. Not to mention (again) what he would have done in terms of relieving pressure off of Chipper and Mac.

Hell, maybe with Dunn batting cleanup, Jeff would have had more success. LOL!

I just think in hindsight (I wasn’t that worried about the lack of power in our lineup last off-season), that Dunn’s 38 HR put us in the playoffs last year. Assuming that all other pieces remained in place and came at the times they did (Hanson, McLouth, Church and LaRoche). Financially that’s a lot to assume, and I realize it wouldn’t have happened that way.

But strictly swapping him for Loaf nets us more than 3 more wins, imo.

Thanks for the back and forth in a civil manner. :-)

nolie

December 7th, 2009
1:53 am

I could probably accomplish that rather quickly using BPro’s stats page. The problem is, I’m really never clear on their assumption of replacement level. Everyone seems to have their own idea. Anywhere from .250-.330 winning percentage. PWH

that is one ofthe main subjective problems that I was referring to. don’t get me wrong I find that stuff interesting and enjoy your posts

N8

December 7th, 2009
1:54 am

“If it could even be close we could forgo playing the games and just analyze each team and present trophies all in a few days. I like it better playing them all out.” nolie

Post of the night. LOVE IT! I like the games too. I need all 162 games to gripe with “in game” blogging. No way I could bitch that much over a 3 day period. :-)

P.W., that’s pretty much what I was asking. If you have a way of calculating it quickly (using any system or theory you’d like), that’s cool. Go for it.

I’m just curious how accurate they are.

Like baseball-reference’s site uses the “Pythagorian W-L” comparison, which had us as a 91-71 team, compared to the actual 86-76 record.

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
1:55 am

only if you accept all the assumptions that are built into those systems. It’s a guideline, it ain’t God’s word. and it is almost never exactly right.It it could even be close we could forgo playing the games and just analyze each team and present trophies all in a few days. I like it better playing them all out.

Everything you said is true. I feel like you and N8 are familiar with me enough to realize that I also know this and assume yall do too and I don’t explicitly state it for the purposes of saving time. You ain’t gotta tell me what I already know. In fact, I’m oft making the same argument you just did to people who are slaves of fangraphs.

’m pretty sure I’m a realist, if not a skeptic.

True believer? Nah. Realist or skeptic. Skeptical realist, really.

Cherokee

December 7th, 2009
1:56 am

Wow, very good hour there my friends.
Right or wrong that is what this board should be about for the most part

N8

December 7th, 2009
2:01 am

“only if you accept all the assumptions that are built into those systems.” nolie

Earlier you talked about coincidence and intangibles. I always think back to Bonds’ “16 hopper” to the plate in the 92 NLCS attempting to get Bream at the plate.

That was an absolutely horrible throw, by a guy that was generally thought of as a good to great OF (he won his 3rd straight GG – on his way to winning 8 total), trying to get one of the slowest runners in MLB at the time.

My assumption (right or wrong) is that if you give Bonds 100 attempts to get Bream on that play, he probably throws him out more than he doesn’t.

Stat analysis systems and theories can’t predict pressure, nerves, etc… Which is why it’s so hard to buy what they’re selling.

Dunn might very well be a horrible defender. But who’s to say he doesn’t make a “season saving” catch or throw on defense at some point?

I know those are small sample sizes and what not. But…..

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
2:02 am

Vazquez 8.9
Jurrjens 8.6
Yunel 7.5
Hanson 5.1
McCann 4.6
Chipper 4.2
Soriano 4.2
Ross 3.5
Prado 3.6
Kawakami 3.5
Daiz 3.0
Gonzalez 3.1
LaRoche 2.8
Lowe 1.9
Moylan 2.0
Kotchman 1.7
Hudson 1.4
Infante 1.4
Johnson 1.5
McLouth 1.3
Bennett 1.2
O’Flaherty 1.1
Medlen 0.9
Acosta 0.7
Loaf 0.9
Sammons 0.2
Francoeur 0.6
Parr 0.1
Conrad 0.1
B. Jones 0.1
Valdez 0.1
Brian Barton 0.0
Boone Logan -0.1
Vladimir Nunez -0.1
Ryan Church -0.1
Jorge Campillo -0.1
Reid Gorecki -0.3
Gregor Blanck -0.3
Barbaro Canizares -0.4
Greg Norton -0.4
Jo-Jo Reyes -0.7
Buddy Carlyle -0.7
Diory Hernandez -0.6
Blaine Boyer -1.0
Jordan Schafer -1.8

There’s your WARP3 values, N8.

nolie

December 7th, 2009
2:02 am

Nah. Realist or skeptic. Skeptical realist, really. PWH

Ok. good talk with da both of youse

nolie

December 7th, 2009
2:06 am

There’s your WARP3 values, N8. PWH

I always think that they set the replacement player level too low :(

wilymo

December 7th, 2009
2:06 am

Sounds like Valverde is considering accepting arbitration as well… http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/12/valverde-may-accept-arbitration.html

P. W. Hjort

December 7th, 2009
2:07 am

That’s a total of 73.2 WARP3. Which is obviously a problem, since a .250 win team wins 40 games, and the Braves aren’t a 114 win team.

N8

December 7th, 2009
2:08 am

“I feel like you and N8 are familiar with me enough to realize that I also know this…” P.W.

Totally man. I wasn’t trying to jump down your throat. Just talking. Nothing more. Hell, 3 weeks ago I wasn’t sold on the whole park adjustment stuff. Still not completely sold on it. But understand it more than I did a few weeks ago.

It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. In the end, I just love talkin’ baseball. Especially when it’s at a time of the year where EVERYTHING is assumption and predictions based on past results.

Once the games start getting played, all that’s out the window. The results speak for themselves. This is the time of year for skeptics to be skeptical, and hope to run rampant with every move or non-move.

I’m a different blogger in the off-season. I love this time of year. Love the games too, but for a team that has missed the playoffs 4 years running, as fans hope is what fuels the anticipation of the upcoming season.

Wayne in Utah

December 7th, 2009
2:48 am

Very interesting back and forth for the past few hours.

Great blog DOB.

I am a throw back. I know that a lot of the new fangled stats have merit, but dang it, I like the old stuff too. I get a bit turned off when I read that a guy like Dunn was only good for 1.5 wins last year. Just ain’t buying it. When someone wants to hang their hat on that, then I shake my head and start to question the validity of that stat.

Maybe in a few years, we can get to a point where we don’t play the season at all. We just throw out fan graphs, park adjusted and Obewankanobee (sp) and just go straight to the playoffs.

I am being a bit facetious, as most of you know, but when I start feeling like the stats thrown out are more intended for fantasy baseball than actually playing the real game, I get a bit turned off.

Let’s hope Soriano declines arbitration, as I believe he will, so we can get on with building the 2010 Atlanta Braves!

One of the reasons I get frustrated with Scott Boras is due to his penchant for dragging the negotiations out so far, that he affects how some teams end up building their team.

Soriano rejects, Braves non tender Church and KJ, and do not resign LaRoche. Deal Lowe for some prospects for a first baseman. There would be enough $$$ or a Jason Bay signing. Offer 18 million per for 4 years w/ a generous 5th year option if he gets over 500 plate appearances averaged for his last 2 years……

Would that be enough to get it done?

I will check in tomorrow for your thoughts.

Coach (2011 or Bust)

December 7th, 2009
2:51 am

N8 just give it up man, the stat heads are always right, or didn’t you know that already :)

W.A.R, WARP, VORP or FART if that’s what they wish to call it, the game on the field is what really counts. As for Adam Dunn, I still wouldn’t want him on my team for the simple reason that he is a one dimensional player (all offense, No defense).However great his offensive contribution, it is overrated due to all the opposing offense he gives up in RF and 1B due to his total lack of defense.

Bobby's Cox

December 7th, 2009
2:59 am

Wanna bet? Gentlemen’s wager. I say he declines arbitration, and that his agent said what he did because he’s doing his job and trying to gauge interest and get teams interested in Soriano to call with at least preliminary offers by tomorrow DOB

I hope you’re right and I’m wrong DOB ;)

This should be an exciting week. Thanks in advance for all the updates. I’ll be checking your twitter updates from my phone constantly.

Redstick19

December 7th, 2009
2:59 am

Coach- exactly what stat categories would FART stand for? Sounds like something Andruw Jones probably led the Braves team in, wouldn’t you say?

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
2:59 am

ROLL TIDE

SAINTS RULE

Good night and may God Bless you all.

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:08 am

Redstick19

You wouldn’t be from Baton Rouge would you?

Moby Grape

December 7th, 2009
3:08 am

N8 just give it up man, the stat heads are always right, or didn’t you know that already Coach

you either didn’t read or were incapable of comprehending what was being said. Nobody claimed that stats were perfect. You’re still just as big an idiotic jerk as you always were I see. Oh well, that can be fun for me too.

Bobby's Cox

December 7th, 2009
3:17 am

I’m liking Boras’ responses about the Braves and in particular Jurrjens.

Agents can have an influence in players, as I’m sure Boras does. But his response kinda indicates that they’re open to a long-term Jurrjens contract. Jair grew up a huge Braves fan, & I’d bet he wants to stay & Boras kinda knows it. Agents for the most part, work on behalf of their client, so if Jair wants to stay, he will, regardless of his agent’s reputation. If Jair has another strong season, they’ll probably discuss “locking him up” next offseason.

Bobby's Cox

December 7th, 2009
3:26 am

I’m hoping for a Nelson Cruz trade this week. C’mon Wren.

Redstick19

December 7th, 2009
3:27 am

D-back Mac- yes, I would. You?

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:30 am

Nawlins by way of south Alabama.

Redstick19

December 7th, 2009
3:35 am

D-backMac- good to hear of other South Louisiana people on here. Born and raised and live first 31 years of life in ‘the stick.” Traded that in for beaches of NW Florida and a wife 4 years ago. Still miss that place, though. It’ll always be home. Geaux Tigers and March on, Saints! However, I cannot run with you on Alabama. Louisiana/LSU boys do not pull for the Tide- but sure looks like your boys have good shot at a national title. Just remember: Saban was our coach first… Take it easy, D-Back.

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:36 am

Born in Renton, WA, now living in NW Florida. A great many stops in between.

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:37 am

I live in Jay, FL. You?

Redstick19

December 7th, 2009
3:38 am

D-Back: What part of NW Florida? I’m in Panama City Beach.

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:39 am

You’ve got to pull for the SEC though. I always do, no matter who comes out on top.

Grape Moby

December 7th, 2009
3:39 am

Idiotic Jerk?

Go look in the mirror. Hypocrisy loves itself.

Redstick19

December 7th, 2009
3:41 am

D-back- That’s cool, just an hour or so away then. Time for me to hit the sack, man. About to fall asleep at keyboard. Take care, I’ll try to watch for you from now on when I’m on here…

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:42 am

As much as it pains me to admit it I even pulled for Saban’s Tigers.

DiamondbackMac

December 7th, 2009
3:43 am

Good night and God bless, see ya later.

Redstick19

December 7th, 2009
3:44 am

SEC, yes… but I don’t have to like it when it comes to Alabama. Just yanking your chain, of course I’ll pull for the Tide to win a title. (he says grinding his teeth)

Moby Grape

December 7th, 2009
4:05 am

Go look in the mirror. Hypocrisy loves itself Grape Moby

you should know jackass.Coach.Like usual comes on here and throws out a totally worthless remark that shows his ignorance and inability to comprehend what he reads. Why do you think he’s always copy/pasting thinks and claiming them as his own. Guy is a loser, as are you if you can’t see it. If you aren’t coach it had nothing whatsoever to do with you.

Dopey Ape

December 7th, 2009
4:20 am

Why come around once a day to belittle bloggers while never providing content or insight yourself? That’s all Moby Grape ever does.

Moby Grape

December 7th, 2009
4:31 am

Why come around once a day to belittle bloggers while never providing content or insight yourself? That’s all Moby Grape ever does.

so I can have the pleasure of talking to jerks like you hypocritical azzwipe. I do contribute when I have time but like Coach you are probably incapable of comprehending it. I have an idea instead of being a cowardly POC who uses a fake fake name, who not just be man enough to post to me in your usual blog name so all can see who the cowardly POC is.Keep throwing out your stupid comments in your silly little cowardly noms de idiot. pitiful pathetic little person who can’t let the rest of the blog know who is such a hypocrite. man up little bitty bubba

ncgary

December 7th, 2009
4:58 am

heres hoping wren cleans up at the winter meetings and fleeces a couple other gms out of some low priced future superstars

little bitty bubbu

December 7th, 2009
5:29 am

Somebody needs a hug…..LOL

OMG, I haven’t laughed this hard in a while while reading the comments from our anonymous and fearless blog CAPTAIN. Go head on Dude! You rule the sandbox HAHAHAHA!!!!

Cherokee

December 7th, 2009
6:00 am

Somebody needs a hug…..LOL

LBB

I’m not sure if you are the same poster as the other one who was too craven to use his normal name, but one or both of you hiding behind a double blind of anonymity would have to be an excellent poster to provide half the meaningful content and insights that Moby has over the years.

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 7th, 2009
6:27 am

CB and McFann,

Bob Rathburn rumor isn’t true…

MitchC

December 7th, 2009
6:47 am

Dave, the Braves were completely foolish for offering Sori and Gonzo arbitration. This team isnt.. the Yankees, where we can afford to sign any player we want. We either shouldnt have signed Wagner, or we definitely shouldnt have offered arb to Sori and Gonzo. It will be a disaster if either of them accepts it.

As I see it, we definitely have enough starting pitching, and the pen with Wagner and Sakito is set/ What this team needs, badly, is one more hitter, especially with Chipper on the decline, and so often injured, and Mccann being our only other true power threat.

Hopefully, such a scenario with Gonzo or Sori accepting arb will be moot. We’ll say goodbye to them, and can then focus on trading a starting pitcher, to get that one more bat that should propel us to the playoffs in 2010 if everyone else is healthy and performs as they should

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 7th, 2009
6:53 am

and Mccann being our only other true power threat.

If even that!
*Gives an evil glare @ McFann!*

Marc in FL

December 7th, 2009
7:05 am

New blog OMG OMG OMG!

Something big is going to happen this offseason. One fact about Wren is he likes proven talent, and I think he’ll go for a proven bat this offseason while making taking a gamble on a one year fill-in at either 1B or OF (depending on what proven bat he gets first).

Should be a fun offseason still, and as long as our bullpen holds up I think we’ll have a legit shot in 2010!

CB

December 7th, 2009
7:19 am

Jurrjens4LCY,thanks for the info on Rathbun. Did it say who might be the next guy?

FoxNoise.net

December 7th, 2009
7:26 am

If Wren overloads the bullpen with salary that will be the second straight season he’s mismanaged the team’s finances. Maybe he should let his wife handle it.

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 7th, 2009
7:27 am

CB,

No. But they said it might still could be him…

He apologized and he won’t get his news from http://www.fakenews.com anymore :lol:

PWHjort,

Here are my top 3 Braves games:

1. June 2 vs. Cubs (Frenchy ties game in 9th, Chips win in 12th, pisses off my silly gay Cubs fans)
2. August 8 at Dodgers (KK pitches like a machine, KJ goes yard in extra frames, Esco’s play)
3. August 7 at Dodgers (Ump blows call, screws Jurrjens, Johnson/McLouth/Loafy win game)

Now I’m off for school!
Go Mondays: “The Happiest Day of the Week!”

PWillie

December 7th, 2009
7:27 am

That was a super blog David. Thanks for the insight and info.

NCBravesFan

December 7th, 2009
7:52 am

FoxNoise: how exactly has Wren mismanaged the finances? If Soriano declines arb, the Braves get a draft pick and if he accepts they get him for a few months and then will trade him (or someone else) for most likely an even better return.

Also, he did overpay for Lowe, but that was due to the fact that the Braves were coming off a 92 loss season. It’s hard to convince prime FAs to join losing teams – and that 4th year for Lowe was the difference maker between him being a Brave and being a Met.

John Tucker

December 7th, 2009
7:55 am

Hey, Davey, if the Braves won’t pay the price to get Adrian Gonzalez, then how about a straight up trade of Lowe and Chipper to Detroit for Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Jackson? Of course, Cabrera needs to promise to attend AAA, but it would allow CHipper to DH and prolong his playing days; and it would allow the Braves a salary dump of about $3 million.You could throw in Clint Sammons, Blanco, Parr, Canizaro and maybe even a real prospect.

sidslidkid

December 7th, 2009
7:58 am

“how about a straight up trade of Lowe and Chipper to Detroit for Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Jackson? Of course, Cabrera needs to promise to attend AAA” – John Tucker

Does Miguel Cabrera have a flat tire or something? ;)

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 7th, 2009
8:01 am

(GASP!!!)

SNOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!

Yey! Glorious snow!

Dawg

December 7th, 2009
8:01 am

If we have to resign Soriano ($8 million), we could still sign Cameron $6 million) and Laroche $8 million. We would have to release Church, Johnson, Anderson, and we could have the $3 million that Laroche cost. That savings would equal $12 million. We have saved $3 million on Hudson compared to last years deal. We could trade Javy or Lowe and still be favorable in salary to last year.

We would have a GREAT starting pitching staff, we would have a GREAT relief staff. We would have an improved offensive team compared to last year, we would have an improved defensive team compared to last year.

We could trade Soriano during the year (save $4 million) and bring up in July Kimbrel, Hyde, Heyward and Jordan S.

That sounds like a great offseason.

David O'Brien

December 7th, 2009
8:10 am

It snowed here overnight. Downtown is covered by what looks to be an inch or so of the stuff.

David O'Brien

December 7th, 2009
8:14 am

Hey, Davey, if the Braves won’t pay the price to get Adrian Gonzalez, then how about a straight up trade of Lowe and Chipper to Detroit for Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Jackson? Of course, Cabrera needs to promise to attend AAA… — John Tucker

You’re going to force Cabrera to join an auto club?

No, but seriously … you think Chipper would approve a trade to Detroit, huh?

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 7th, 2009
8:14 am

2” of snow and 16F low 23F high

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 7th, 2009
8:25 am

OMG! the snow is packin’!

Can anyone say “snowball fight?”

TennesseePaul

December 7th, 2009
8:29 am

they didn’t think there was almost any chance the intense right-hander would accept arbitration and a non-guaranteed, one-year contract that takes him off the free-agent market before that market even has time to develop.

Wouldn’t the signing of both Saito and Wagner start the development of the market for Soriano, especially when considering Wren’s comments (I think once they get a sense … the top guy doesn’t necessarily have to sign, but the top guy has to have kind of a market established, because that will obviously create some players and create some non-players [for his services])? It is rare that the Braves are the ones firing the first shots, but if we were all following some other team, I think we’d view these signings as some what of a bench mark for other relievers. We’d either be happy the bench mark is low, or we’d be cursing Wren for seemingly pricing our prize out of reach… Well, if we were following some other team than say the Dodgers, who have no money despite the size of their market. At that point you are left cursing a parking lot attendant.

TennesseePaul

December 7th, 2009
8:34 am

No, but seriously … you think Chipper would approve a trade to Detroit, huh?

Sure. I remember all those interviews with him where he made comments along the lines of “gee I wish my team played in a colder climate, it’d be great for my toes and obliques.” and “this town is great, but what is really missing, and what I would love to have, is a giant lake, or better yet, several giant lakes within hours of here. And I mean big ass lakes. Look like oceans.”
That and his love of casinos…

fieldofdreams

December 7th, 2009
8:36 am

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ? Matthew 16th chapter

TennesseePaul

December 7th, 2009
8:36 am

With this talk of aiming for Marlon Byrd or Willingham, would a surprise acceptance of arbitration by Soriano really break the bank beyond a stretch? I just can’t imagine the teams high sights on sluggers of Byrd’s ilk really costing all that much.

sidslidkid

December 7th, 2009
8:39 am

DOB, what’s the mood like in Indy this morning? When do you expect the GM’s to start making some noise?

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