12:15 pm December 9, 2009, by David O'Brien
December 9th, 20095:28 pm
Given the (in)accuracy of your reports last year, I’ll take all of this with a grain of salt. – Richard Dawson
Bitter, Party of One, your table is now available!
“Thanks! I appreciate the comments… Very insightful…”
My pleasure. On a seemingly unrelated note, please don’t ever visit any of my web sites.
December 9th, 20095:29 pm
DOB- “I was talking to a manager of another team about the Braves trying to trade Lowe and the three remaining years on his contract, and this manager said…”
That was an embracing exchange man. How could a manager not know how much Lowe was making? I mean he is only one of the most talked about names this winter. That’s the definition of not knowing your industry and the “manager” should be pretty ashamed.
ronald millsaps, here’s an idea: the rays should just toss all their players into a glass cage. frank wren sends soriano down the coin slot and gets to use the mechanical claw to grab any player (or players, if he’s really skilled) he desires. if he can get a good grip on longoria, it’s a no-brainer. if longoria slips out of the claw’s grasp before he can be dropped down the chute, frank wren can toss vazquez down the coin slot and give it another go. that’s really the only fair way to make this trade happen.
December 9th, 20095:30 pm
Since there doesn’t seem to be any good Braves news goin’ on tonight….at least I can watch my ‘cats play in the garden tonight. It will be another good test for this really young team.
December 9th, 20095:31 pm
Harden just signed with the Rangers. $7.5 million and an option for $11.5 million.
That’s a lot of money for a guy who can’t stay healthy.
December 9th, 20095:32 pm
“That was an embracing exchange man.” – Braves Lifer
DOB, Stop hugging the managers!!!
December 9th, 20095:33 pm
So 2010 is Pena’s last year in his contract. Will make $10.125 million in 2010 before hitting the free agent market.
He’s a Boras client. I say we trade Soriano for him. Tampa (small market team) will save money. Pena is our 1B for a year, gives Freeman time to season, then we offer him arb next year, and take the draft picks (again, Boras is his client).
Makes perfect sense, especially if Tampa is “balking” over the contract of Soriano, who they could renegotiate with for a 2-year, smaller contract.
Then, when Texas trades Millwood to Baltimore, releasing his $13 mil a year contract, we can send ground ball pitcher Lowe to Arlington (makes sense), eat some of his contract, for Nelson Cruz. Texas saves money, they get a good veteran MLB ready pitcher (that’s what they’ve been looking for), and get to unload Cruz (some say he’s fallen out of favor there.
We get 2 guys who will hit us about 70 HR next year in the middle of our lineup.
so we got wolf signing 28 mil @ 3 yrs. possibly sheets and now Harden? I don’t think we should have to eat that much for lowe than, right?
“That works until the fantasy playoffs in September when most of these guys are injured or resting every few days.”
I’ve never had a problem with it. You just have to pay attention to individual situations. You mention a guy who struggled while Jeter had an OPS over .900 in August/September and 206-year-old Johnny Damon won the World Series for the Yankees by outsmarting his opponents.
“Given the (in)accuracy of your reports last year, I’ll take all of this with a grain of salt.” Richard Dawson
SURVEY SAYS!!! That that was kind of a low blow.
Jimmy Joe – That’s baseball, man. It’s pretty obvious to me: young players aren’t FA eligible and thus are PAID LESS than veterans.. Of course most of our money is going to veteran players.
Young kids are unproven commodities.. Players in their prime are EXPENSIVE as FA and generally unavailable in trades… You have to balance young and old and hope to get the last few good years out of some guys on their way out.
Take a look, instead of what they’ll make THIS YEAR, at the DURATION of our COMMITMENT to those guys… Lowe through 2012… Chip through 2012.. Hudson through 2012… Kawakami through 2011… Wagner through 2011.. Vazquez just this year… Saito just this year..
Lowe we want to trade, (have to trade). Kawakami is a BARGAIN if he pitches like last year (see Wolf, Randy). Saito and Vazquez being just one year aren’t hamstringing us in any way. So it’s Wagner and Hudson and Chipper whom you have to hold you breath and hope they stay healthy.
December 9th, 20095:34 pm
“DOB, Stop hugging the managers!!!” Lol thank you spell check
December 9th, 20095:35 pm
Why would anyone want to trade for KJ…couldn’t they just wait till the Braves non-tender and then pick him up for free?
Texas about to sign Rich Harden.
Don’t know if it’s been addressed, but do the Braves have to sign Soriano to a one-year deal before they trade him?
December 9th, 20095:36 pm
Dave, in all honesty, if I had to choose between the two scenarios, I would much rather see Lowe dealt for a lesser prospect, to get rid of the contract, than to see Vazquez dealt, and give up a better and younger pitcher. If we cant have everything, and must choose between the two scenarios, I would rather see Lowe go.
In spite of this, I’ve said for months that I think Vazquez would be the one to go, merely because he is younger, more attractive to other teams, and would bring us more.
If you were Frank Wren, Dave, what would you do? Would you deal Lowe for less of a return, or Vazquez for more of a return?
Bobby’s Cox, lay off the Ambien man, cause you are dreaming.
December 9th, 20095:37 pm
The only reason would be if they are afraid that KJ will go to another team instead of them. It’s possible (but not probable) that he could make MORE after the Braves release him than he would have in arbitration. Especially if there are multiple teams vying for his services.
jeffrey d-they can eithier trad him and allow the new team to work out a contract/go to arbitration, or they can sign him to a contract then trade him.
A rough estimate of the Braves’ current payroll situation is not promising regarding the acquisition of a big bat for the middle of the order.
Assuming that the team can trade Soriano without eating any of his contract (not a given) and will non-tender Johnson, I’m estimating that the 11 players with contracts in excess of $1 million will make somewhere around $75 mil this season. If the numbers are off, don’t hesitate to correct them.
The next 10 most likely to make the roster (Escobar, Prado, Diaz, Hanson, Jurrjens, Moylan, O’Flaherty, Medlen, Acosta, either Conrad or D. Hernandez) bring the total into the low 80s.
That leaves maybe $12-15 million to fill 4 more spots, including starters at 1B and either LF or RF.
Clearly, the Braves hopes of improving offensively are to trade Lowe to free up money, but exactly who is going to take on his salary? Eating a big chunk of his contract is not going to make the team better or help the bottom line appreciably.
The only hope may be to swap Lowe for an OF/1B with a contract almost as costly as his. Do the Braves really want Juan Pierre, Gary Matthews Jr. or Carlos Guillen? Don’t think so.
Lowe is too good to simply unload to cut payroll. And the number of teams that can afford him is very limited, making a reasonable deal from a Braves standpoint that much harder.
Wonder what the market would be for Kawakami? The Braves could sign LaRoche for a few mil more than his salary, and would have enough cash left for 1 decent corner OF.
If Wren can trade Lowe and his contract without having to include cash in the deal and get something for him, more power to him. Not sure if it’s realistic, however.
And we’re still assuming that the Braves can get something of value in return from a team willing to assume Soriano’s arb contract.
The only hope of
Gone viral – Damon sunk my fantasy team in September though. He and Posada kept sitting out games, like every 3 days.
Hold on Texas. ESPN Radio’s Shannon Drayer says the Mariners are close on Harden. Could this be another Furcal situation?
I would get rid of Lowe to get salary relief, then sign Nady and Cameron and be done with it.
December 9th, 20095:38 pm
Bobby’s Cox, I wish it was that simple.
Nope. If he agrees to a trade before going before the arbitration board, then that whole mess is now the other teams problem.
December 9th, 20095:39 pm
Makes more sense than some things others propose here!!!
Canadian Braves Fan
Canadian Braves Fan –
Do you have your visa to be here on this discussion board??? Eh??
Who needs a visa, when I carry a US passport
December 9th, 20095:41 pm
Thanks Andy. I thought I read somewhere that the Braves and Soriano would have to agree to a one-year deal before trading him.
December 9th, 20095:43 pm
Mr. Baseball – Lowe is going out. At worst, eating 5 million a year which isn’t going to happen, we’d still have an extra 10M a year in payroll flexibility.
Also, Jason Heyward and/or Jordan Schafer are getting a roster spot. May even be a starter right away. That is the other spot where money will be saved.
I’m interested to see where Lowe even goes. It really does seem like teams are willing to roll the dice on pitchers coming off injuries or pitchers that just aren’t that good. Should be interesting.
December 9th, 20095:44 pm
Xavier Nady, Dye, Cameron, Nick Johnson, Josh willingham, All No
A Gonzo, Carl Crawford, Conor Jackson, Dan Uggla All Yes
canadian braves fan … nice comeback!!!!! LOL
Frank Wren is working a side job to help pay for a portion of Lowe’s contract…
December 9th, 20095:45 pm
If you’re going to pay old guys, it sure helps if they’ll produce the way Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera (all HOFers), Pettitte, Posada (likely HOFers), Damon (a longshot, but he could get to 3000 hits), and Matsui did last season.
It also helps to have a gigantic payroll to be able to take the hit when old players don’t produce.
If the Braves eat 5 million a year on Lowe, I really hope they get a decent return in terms of prospects.
December 9th, 20095:46 pm
“Dave, in all honesty, if I had to choose between the two scenarios, I would much rather see Lowe dealt for a lesser prospect, to get rid of the contract, than to see Vazquez dealt, and give up a better and younger pitcher.”
For me, it all depends on the situation. I have been saying since the rumors began all the way back in late May that I thought trading Vazquez would be a mistake. I am a huge fan of his arm and believe that Atlanta is the place he should have been for most of the 2000s. Having said that, if we find ourselves in a situation where we have to eat a significant portion of Lowe’s contract, my opinion flips. We would be better served hoping for a comeback season from Lowe and getting a better series of players/prospects for Vazquez in that scenario than paying 25% of Lowe’s contract to have him pitch elsewhere in exchange for mediocre prospects. It’s determining the exact line of demarcation where the situation flips that is the tricky part. I don’t want to lose Vazquez but it’s not a black/white situation.
Ritchie from Scotland
I really don’t mind what we get for Soriano. A decent, possibility of coming good, prospect would do me fine. We would have gotten a draft pick for him and you never know how they will end up turning out.
As for Lowe, I would like the team acquiring him takes on all his contract. All we can hope to get is a good prospect, possibly a 3rd baseman? If we can’t get anything more than a couple of decent prospects maybe we should just keep him and trade Javy for something good.
That AL manager sounded like Jim Leyland to me.
December 9th, 20095:47 pm
Hey, let’s think positively. Maybe somebody will overpay Lackey and make Lowe’s 15 mil look like a bargain.
December 9th, 2009
I would get rid of Lowe to get salary relief, then sign Nady and Cameron and be done with it.
Wouldn’t our lineup be: McLouth Prado Chipper – Nady McCann Escobar -Cameron Diaz Pitcher?
Do we even need Cameron in that scenario?
Why not an outfield of Diaz/McLouth/Heyward, Schafer 4th and a 1M bench guy? If we’re signing Cameron as our 2nd best bat, what’s the point? He’s forcing 1 of Diaz or Heyward to the bench, and both are far more economical options and project to give very similar value hitting in 7th or 8th as he would.
December 9th, 20095:48 pm
Jeffrey D: What Andy K said at 5:37 p.m. He is correct.
December 9th, 20095:49 pm
Efrim-Sorry, but if we have to pay one third of Lowe’s salary to trade him then he stays a Brave. Vazquez (unfortunately) will then be traded. Braves aren’t paying anyone $5 mil a year to not play for them.
With the dearth of starting pitching available via trade and free agency, I think the Braves should start looking into dealing Vazquez. As much as I want to see him in a Braves uni next year, he will fetch a significant return for the Braves and the Braves will not have to eat any of his salary. I would keep Lowe and hope for a turnaround season. If Lowe bounces back he will be a lot easier to move after a good season and with just 2 years $30 million on his contract.
If Wren cannot get what he wants for Soriano I would hold onto him for now. Since the Braves have Wagner, once Gonzalez signs somewhere and assuming Valverde signs somewhere, Soriano will become much more valuable to a team that finds they need a closer. If that does not happen, hopefully Liberty media will allow Wren to carry Soriano during spring practice because someone will panic and realize they need a closer.
Be patient everyone. Wren has valuable pieces and if he plays his cards right (and Liberty gives him the flexibility to do so) the Braves will get good return
December 9th, 20095:50 pm
Lackey will get at least $16 a year for 4 years, probably moe from the deep pockets
December 9th, 20095:51 pm
I feel terrible for DOB. He could’ve stayed home and received all these no news rumblings. It looks like nothing is going to come from these meetings and it was just a big waste of time. No big bat, no trade of Lowe or Vasquez. We can’t even trade KJ or Soriano, who wasn’t even supposed to be on the team. A whole lot of nothing.
December 9th, 20095:52 pm
Who ever said anything about Cameron Diaz.
What do you thing: What about Braves getting Reid Brignac ss rookie call up. Played around 90 games in majors last year . Thats what Wren wanted back-up ss. Soriano to Rays for Brignac.
December 9th, 20095:53 pm
With the draft becoming so much more important to teams, and the whole arbitration thing, the next collective bargaining agreement should allow teams to trade draft picks.
December 9th, 20095:55 pm
Because ugaaccountant, what if Heyward isnt ready come spring training, what if he hasnt shown he can do the job, you gonna hope that someone like Cameron is still available? I dont think so, you sign Cameron and if Heyward proves he is ready, he takes Diaz’ spot in the outfield and you have a really good bench with Diaz on it.
Sounds more like Francona to me…
Rob - in pain (from SC)
December 9th, 20095:57 pm
Did the Braves ever have interest in retaining Gonzalez or Soriano
Even more obvious, draft picks should no longer be based on arbitration. It lowered the price on a large number of free agents, and the union is most designed to help veteran free agents get their money.
Astros Acquire Matt Lindstrom
December 9th, 20095:59 pm
Did we really expect any big deals…DOB Thanks for your effort and hard work.
For what it’s worth — and it’s certainly noteworthy — a Rays writer saw Wren and Rays GM Friedman get off elevator together while ago and walk into the Scout of the Year banquet that all the team officials are attending tonight.
December 9th, 20096:01 pm
4:46pm: Drayer tweets herself and says it’s the Rangers and not Mariners on Harden – maybe a mistake tweet earlier.
Macon Braves (RIP)
Let’s not forget about Schafer either. Who knows? N8
Absolutely. I am one of those that still think that he’s got an extremely bright future ahead of him…yet I still don’t include him in my thinking a lot of times. With his arm and defense, he can play any of the outfield positions, but he’ll obviously be a CF when he gets established.
Wayne in Utah
December 9th, 20096:02 pm
If we end up doing and expanded deal with the Rays, we will probably end up losing someone that we treasure. Medlen? Kimbrel? Hyde?? Schafer??
Nice hope they worked out a trade!
DOB,that should be good for another two hours of conversation.
December 9th, 20096:03 pm
This just in!
Wren was spotted cutting Friedman’s steak for him. Stay tuned for more updates.
O.J. – I read quotes on here daily. The Braves clearly think Heyward is ready or close to it. They’ve mentioned giving him every chance of winning a starting spot. So why spend a lot of money on Cameron, when there’s a dang good chance Heyward is forcing his way onto the field.
Backup plans are abundant on our roster – Jordan Schafer, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Jones, Matt Young, Brian Barton. All of these guys are going into spring expecting to make the team. They are all out right now trying their best to be ready, because at their ages (besides Schafer) it’s now time to put up or shut up. We are incredibly deep at fill in of’s to bat 7th/8th.
If i’m building a roster I pay top dollar for top players, but not medium dollars for someone i’m going to bat 7th.
December 9th, 20096:04 pm
December 9th, 20096:05 pm
How about we just keep Lowe and Soriano. Bring up RSF and Freeman to fight it out to see who can man first. Bring in Schafer, Heyward, Diaz, McLouth, Cody Johnson and Milligan and have a free for all!
(and then bring in Ryan Freel and Nomar to fill in where needed!)
December 9th, 20096:06 pm
Macon – I agree. I don’t understand why people keep putting him into trade packages as just a throw-in. He was a top prospect in all of baseball not too long ago. And his value is at an all-time low right now. I really hope he is with us (or Gwinnett to be more precise) to start the year. Either that or we get true value for him if he is in fact traded.
December 9th, 20096:08 pm
I have been saying all off – season we should take our chances in the outfield with our youth and find a big bat for 1b, there is somebody out there who can fill the big bopper we need.
December 9th, 20096:09 pm
FW is attending a banquet. We can go take a nap for the next 2 hours.
December 9th, 20096:12 pm
Frank Wren interview coming up shortly on MLB network’s Hot Stove show.
Friedman: “Want Crawford?”
Wren: “Does a bear s*** in the woods? Have you seen O’Brien’s blog? I’ll be a god, Andy. An almighty god.”
Friedman: “Send over Escobar and Hanson. That’ll get it done.”
Wren: “Escobar’s a head case and Hanson is an injury waiting to happen. You got it, pal!”
Friedman: “Nice doing business with you.”
Wren (screaming and running down the hall): “A god, I tell you! A f**king god!”
December 9th, 20096:13 pm
Maybe Wren can get the Rays GM all liquored up,whip out a contract,and the next thing we have Longoria for Blanco trade. Sounds like a plan to me.
Makes sense to me CB – our 2 key outfield youth are seasoned, with call ups expected by June at worst. Why create a log jam if you have 2 guys you want up by June?
December 9th, 20096:14 pm
Jordan Schafer, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Jones, Matt Young, Brian Barton. Out of all those names, which one do you think opposing teams are going to be most scared of? Oh thats right, none of them. Not saying that Cameron strikes fear in opposing pitchers, but we know what he is capable of, more so than any of those other guys.
Heres what Bowman just tweeted:
“Braves don’t currently view any suitors for Soriano as a front-runner. Spoke to at least six clubs about him today.”
5:10pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Harden has signed with the Rangers.
December 9th, 20096:15 pm
Any chance he would move over to 1st? Fischer
any chance he could learn to hit away from Coors ?
The Rays probably want the Braves to throw in some cash on Soriano. Gotta love it.
We cut Barton last month, so we know it won’t be him, OJ.
December 9th, 20096:16 pm
But OJ you signed Nady to put fear in pitchers as our middle of the order bat. Now we’re discussing what to do with the 2nd starting spot, and I think it goes to Heyward.
December 9th, 20096:23 pm
Would anybody deal Prado and Soriano for Carlos Pena? Add another prospect and go for Upton?
December 9th, 20096:24 pm
I can definitely see Wren going after Carlos Pena.Power hitter that’s only under contract 1 more year so it’s very possible TB would move him in the right deal. Say a trade of Soriano,Medlen and a decent prospect should do. I read where TB is very high on Crawford and they’re trying to extend him… haven’t read such a thing on Pena. I have a strong feeling Pena will be our new 1st baseman.
who would play 2nd, Wayne?
December 9th, 20096:25 pm
Pena & keep KJ. I’ve heard much worse.
December 9th, 20096:26 pm
PLease tell me Pena ain’t a Boras client. I don’t want a repeat rape like the one we suffered in the Tex deal.
December 9th, 20096:29 pm
Not Wayne but I would have to say Infante since KJ hit around .220 with an OPS under .700 last year.
You could either give KJ one more tryout, or go for one of the second baseman on the FA market (there are 4-5 of them). Belliard, Uribe, Counsell, Carroll, Hudson, Lopez, etc…
I like Prado a lot. But is he worth keeping over a shot at a 40 HR guy? Inquiring minds want to know….
i am suprised that the braves are not showing any interest in trading for Dan Uggla.
December 9th, 20096:30 pm
Totally agree, Lew. I was just responding to the notion that the Braves had to eat a portion of Lowe’s contract.
I really don’t think it will happen, but I don’t see KJ as a 220 guy. I think he will end up making us wish we had hung onto him in the next year or so.
December 9th, 20096:32 pm
Uggla? Would need to deal someone like Medlen to get him, I would think.
Uggla makes KJ look like Robbie Alomar in the field. Unless Uggla is going to play 1B or LF no thanks.
December 9th, 20096:33 pm
Like I said earlier, I’d be hoping for third base prospect Matt Sweeney in a trade with the Rays. He would be a long shot. If not him, then perhaps RHP Nick Barnese. LHP Matt Moore would be awesome, but I see no reason why the Rays would give up him. Might not want to give up anyone in their list of top prospects.
December 9th, 20096:38 pm
December 9th, 20096:43 pm
I believe that trading Soriano right now is a big mistake. At the moment all teams have other options and also know that we want / need to get rid of him. With both Wagner and Saito being older pitchers I would hold on to Soriano through the first month of the season. If both Wagner and Saito are going well then I would look for suitors for Soriano.
Plus at least for the first month Cox would have enough dominant bullpen pitchers so as not to overwork Wagner and Saito. With Cox’s tendancy to overuse his bullpen, particularly the set up man and the closer, being able to use Soriano for the 1st month or two of the season as a set up man and closer not only builds up his value but also doesn’t put as much wear and tear on Wagner and Saito in April and May.
Keeping Soriano for just a month or two does not ruin our budget but does provide great insurance and rest for others in the bullpen. After the 1st month or so someone’s closer is going to have gone down. Hopefully, its not the Braves, but if it is then we keep Soriano while insurance kicks in on the injured ( Wagner or Saito). If not, then we are then dealing from a position of strength, having a very good closer available for a team that could kiss their season goodbye if they can’t obtain a new closer.
December 9th, 20096:48 pm
Wayne – I agree that KJ is not a .220 hitter. I think he is a below average defender and an above average base runner. I believe he is a .270 12 65 guy. The problem is Prado is cheaper. More consistant and will hit for a higher average with the same power.
December 9th, 20096:49 pm
Scout of the Year Award sounds like a prestigious deal. Speaking if scouting I do not believe I have ever seen a good expose on MLB scouting…
We can comfortably trade Soriano to the Rays… he’s not going to the Yankme’s at least!
In my opinion, Lowe is getting a bum wrap for his last season being a bust. He was a very capable and dependable pitcher for the Braves except for just a handful of starts. Some of the bad starts near the end of the year were due to some problem with one of his fingers, but he pitched on (many pitchers would have asked to be skipped rather than try to pitch when injured).
I believe that a straight up trade with the Angels, Lowe for Rivera is fair for both sides. Rivera gives us the power bat, run producer and #4 hitter that we need. The Angels have other outfield options and need quality pitching. We lose some in outfield defense but that is generally the case for power hitting, run producing outfielders.
Wayne in Utah @ 6:05 – I agree. My thoughts about keeping Soriano are already posted. With Lowe, the length of his contract is the main issue. Other teams have serviceable pitchers they can acquire for a shorter period of time. Less risk for them and more flexibility.
You can move Vazquez more quickly and probably get a better return anyway.
If Lowe continues to struggle (a payroll risk), there are other options coming up through the system (or Medlen, for that matter). But I suspect D-Lowe will do better in 2010.
December 9th, 20096:51 pm
Too bad we couldn’t have just kept Soriano… insurance for an older Wagner and a young fire arm to boot.
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